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Ancient Cray Memory

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Dec 172008


This is an image of actual Cray Super Computer Memory… each of those little rings, is one bit of visible read once memory.  Man has electrical engineering come a long way since then…  The opportunity to photograph this epic piece of electronic history was brought to me by my friend phar, who bought this on I think ebay.  Just thought I’d share the history.

 Posted by at 10:19 pm

  8 Responses to “Ancient Cray Memory”

Comments (8)
  1. I’m pretty sure, that this core memory isn’t from a Cray supercomputer, but from a Control Data 6600 series of computers. Mr. Seymour Cray at least worked on the system design of this machines. See for some further information. We at (located in Munich, Germany) own several of those core memory modules, also the one in your picture 🙂


  2. Well color me mistaken. Nice catch!

  3. Even better. The CDC 6600 is my favorite weird-ass architecture: it used 60-bit words, instructions were variable-length (15, 30, or 45 bits), and multiple instructions could and were packed in a word. There was also a 7-word instruction cache, and so people would reorder instructions in their loops to avoid padding their code with nops (and fit then into cache). Goofy stuff.

    I really with I had that old APL terminal I nabbed in the 90’s. Overstrike!

  4. It is certainly not Cray memory — no Cray ever used core memory. Not sure if it is real CDC 6600 memory or not, but it does look like most core made from the late 1960s or early 1970s.

  5. Like a fossil trilobite.

  6. That is too cool. Thanks for sharing the pic!

  7. Is this where the term “core dump” comes from?

  8. It is actually where the term core dump comes from =D

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