Smaller and Faster: The Cray-2 and 3
Smaller and Faster: The Cray-2
For many supercomputers, swifter meant bigger. But the Cray-2 supercomputer, though smaller than the Cray-1, ran 12 times faster. It computed in one second what would have taken ENIAC several months.
The Cray-2 took nine years to develop. Released in 1985, each of the 27 made sold for between $12M and $17M.
Rollwagen, an electrical engineer and businessman, became CEO in 1980. He led Cray Research, Inc. through its most successful period, but also through its decline.View Artifact Detail
Hitting the Wall: The Cray-3
The Cray-3 was to be 10 times faster than the Cray-2. But Seymour Cray, unwilling to join the trend toward using many slower processors, switched to exotic gallium arsenide chips, packing more than a thousand in each 4-cubic-inch module.
This risky path to speed backfired. Cray sold only one partially completed machine.