Seymour Cray By: Brandon Gates
Early Life • Born in 1925 in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin. • His father was a civil engineer. • At the age of ten he was able to build a device to convert punched paper tape into Morse code signals using only Erector Set components.
Control Data Corporation • In 1950, Cray joined Engineering Research Associates (ERA) in Saint Paul, Minnesota. • He left ERA to join the Control Data Corporation when ERA’s scientific computing division was dissolved. • Cray completed the CDC 1604, CDC 6600, CDC 7600 with this company. • These supercomputers were much faster than any other at the time of their release. • The CDC 8600 was never completed due to funding issues.
Cray Research • Cray left CDC when he couldn’t finish work on the CDC 8600. • He founded Cray Research during this time. • Cray Research made two massively successful machines; the Cray-1 and the Cray X-MP. • The Cray-2 and the Cray Y-MP were not as successful.
Cray Computer Corporation and SRC Computers • Cray split this company into Cray Computer Corporation. • The Cray-3 was a failure and had to file bankruptcy. • Seymour Cray decided to try the Massively Parallel solution for high-speed computing. • Cray set up SRC Computers and started design on his own parallel structure. • The design had just started when Cray died in a tragic car accident.
Private Life and His Death • He avoided publicity and there are a number of unusual tales about his life away from work. • A favorite pastime was digging a tunnel under his home. "While I'm digging in the tunnel, the elves will often come to me with solutions to my problem." • Cray died October 5, 1996 (age 71) of head and neck injuries suffered in a traffic collision on September 22, 1996. • Ironically the vehicle that he crashed in, a Jeep Cherokee, was designed using a Cray supercomputer.
Works Cited • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seymour_Cray • http://research.microsoft.com/users/gbell/craytalk/ • Charles J. Murray (1997). The Supermen: The Story of Seymour Cray and the Technical Wizards behind the Supercomputer. John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 0-471-04885-2.