It is great to have lived in a time period where this much progress has been made in only 40 short years. Thanks for illustrating the extent to which computer technology has eclipsed the landmark accomplishments, like the Cray 1A, of the past.
Yes, I remember when the Cray was the gold standard for processing speed.
That is really cool!
I love how they built a scale version of it to house the board
I'm amazed that he got his wife to help
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This Cray implementation is quite old and some of the information re. FPGAs is very out of date.
The Spartan 3E 1600 is no longer supported by current Xilinx tools and is certainly way below the curve in terms of bang per buck.
Direct comparisons are difficult but the Artix 35 in the $100 Arty board is way more powerful with more memory, 90 DSP-48 slices rather than a mere 36 multipliers, and much faster.
The Arty boards has 256Mbyte of RAM
If you have the time you could make a nice pocket sized Cray clone - but as the original author pointed out - there is no practical point in doing so
It is pretty amazing the progress made. Nothing like a computer museum to highlight that! We have a Cray-1 in our computer museum too. The disk drives (washing machines) for the ICL 2900 series have to be seen to believed for anyone not of that generation. Even the disk packs for them are something: weigh a good deal and the expense! Spend about £40m on them to get an equivalent 64GB that you have in your phone.
Browsing the web, a saw this great picture of a famous CRAY 1A built in 1975 by Seymour Cray after four years of design work. It was revolutionary because it used ICs for the first time in a supercomputer even though they were around since the 1960's. Here is a picture of one in the computer museum.
Courtesy of https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cray-1
What was interesting was someone decided to implement this machine on a FPGA. So in the matter of 40 years give or take a few, we have a quantum leap in technology
and an impressive reduction in cost.
The actual design was implemented in a Xilinx Spartan-3E 1600 development board.
This is basically the biggest FPGA you can buy that doesn’t cost thousands of dollars for a devkit.
The Cray occupies about 75% of the logic resources, and all of the block RAM.
From the website: Homebrew Cray-1A
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