Based on the Cray 1 supercomputer designed by American engineer Seymour Cray in 1976, Cray 2 was the world's most powerful computer when it came out and the second to break the gigaflop barrier (a billion operations per second) a year after Russia's M-13. It implements the principle of vector calculus, according to which a single instruction causes a cascade of calculations performed simultaneously by several processors. Cray 2 has a very compact C-shape architecture to decrease distances between components and increase calculating speed. An insulating, heat conducting liquid flows through the water-cooled supercomputer to dissipate the heat produced by hundreds of thousands of microprocessors. It was ideal for large computing centres in the areas of weather forecasting or fluid dynamics. This one was in use at the École polytechnique from 1985 to 1993.


  • Title: The Cray 2 supercomputer
  • Creator: Seymour Cray
  • Date: 1985
  • Date Created: 1985
  • Location: United States of America
  • Physical Dimensions: Central Unit
  • Provenance: Musée des arts et métiers
  • Subject Keywords: Électronique / Informatique
  • Contributor: Author : Cyrille Foasso
  • Inventory number: Inv. 43964
  • Credits: © Musée des arts et métiers-Cnam/photo Michèle Favareille

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