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February 9, 1988

CRAY HOLDS LEAD WITH EIGHT-PROCESSOR Y-MP: UNIX STANDARD

By CBR Staff Writer

Keeping up the pressure on its thrusting Japanese rivals, Cray Research Inc yesterday launched the Cray Y-MP/832 extension to its X-MP line of multiprocessor scientific supercomputers. The Y-MP/832, which comes with eight processors cycling at 6nS against 8.5nS on the X-MP, and 32M 64-bit words of memory, is claimed to offer two to three times the system performance of the biggest X-MP and 30 times that of the Cray-1 introduced in 1976, making it the most powerful Cray yet, also outperforming the Cray-2. It comes with Cray’s Unicos implementation of Unix System V as standard, with COS from the X-MP as an option. The machine, which was designed by a team under Steve Chen, now departed to form his own Supercomputer Systems with financial backing from IBM, sells for $20m. It is designed for fast long and short vector and high-speed scalar processing, and comes with one or two input-output subsystems. A 128M-word solid state storage system is also standard. Cray says it has two orders in the bag, and will make its first shipment to a customer in the third quarter. The company’s plan calls for three or four Y-MPs to be shipped this year, and in 1989 it will build them at a rate of one a month. A new DS-40 disk subsystem stores 20.8Gb on four drives with four controllers for transfer rate of 9.6Mbytes-per second and costs $1m for X-MP, Y-MP or Cray-2. The FEI-3 interface provides a gateway to Ethernet and supports Sun, Apollo, Motorola or Iris workstations. The FEI-3 gateway is $12,000.

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