Cray X-MP

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Harry Nelson in front of a Cray X-MP [1]

Cray X-MP,
a supercomputer designed, manufactured and marketed by Cray Research Inc., announced in 1982 as successor of the Cray-1. It was the world's fastest computer from 1983 to 1985 [2]. Its principal designer was Steve Chen. The X-MP's main improvement over the Cray-1 was a shared-memory, parallel vector processor, housing two CPUs in a mainframe that was nearly identical in outside appearance to the Cray-1. The X-MP CPU had a faster 9.5 nanosecond clock cycle (105 MHz), compared to 12.5 ns for the Cray-1. It was built from bipolar gate array integrated circuits containing 16 emitter-coupled logic gates each, and was very similar to the Cray-1 CPU in architecture, and object-code compatible [3]. In 1984, improved models of the X-MP were announced, consisting of up to four-processor systems.


The Cray-2 was a supercomputer with four vector processors built with emitter-coupled logic starting in 1985. It was the fastest machine in the world when it was released, replacing the Cray X-MP in that spot [4].

Cray Y-MP

X-MP successor Cray Y-MP was sold by Cray Research from 1988, retained software compatibility with the X-MP, but extended the address registers from 24 to 32 bits. The Y-MP could be equipped with two, four or eight vector processors [5].

Cray C90

The Cray C90 series (Y-MP C90) was a vector processor supercomputer launched by Cray Research in 1991. The series included the C94, C98 and C916 models with a maximum of four, eight, and 16 processors respectively [6].

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