CDC 6600

3D rendering with a figure as scale
Orthographic 2-view drawing of CDC 6600 with scaling
The CDC 6600. Behind the system console are two of the "arms" of the plus-sign shaped cabinet with the covers opened. Individual modules can be seen inside. The racks holding the modules are hinged to give access to the racks behind them. Each arm of the machine had up to four such racks. On the right is the cooling system.
A CDC 6600 system console. This design was a major innovation, in that the screens and keyboard replaced hundreds of switches and blinking lights common in contemporary system consoles. The displays were driven through software, primarily to provide text display in a choice of three sizes. It also provided a way to draw simple graphics. Unlike more modern displays, the console was a vector drawing system, rather than a raster system. The consoles had a single font, where each glyph was a series of vectors. Autocompletion of keyword parts enabled quicker command entry.
A CDC 6600 cordwood logic module containing 64 silicon transistors. The coaxial connectors are test points. The module is cooled conductively via the front panel. The 6600 model contained nearly 6,000 such modules.
CDC 6000 series SCOPE 3.1 building itself while running on Desktop CYBER emulator

The flagship of the 6000 series of mainframe computer systems manufactured by Control Data Corporation.

- CDC 6600

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IBM 7030 Stretch

IBM's first transistorized supercomputer.

IBM 7030 maintenance console at the Musée des Arts et Métiers, Paris
A circuit board from the IBM 7030, in the Bradbury Science Museum, Los Alamos, New Mexico.

It was the fastest computer in the world from 1961 until the first CDC 6600 became operational in 1964.

CDC 6000 series

Discontinued family of mainframe computers manufactured by Control Data Corporation in the 1960s.

Open panels of the CDC 6500 undergoing restoration at Living Computers: Museum + Labs in Seattle.
CDC 6600 computer. Display console shown in the foreground, main system cabinet in background, with memory/logic/wiring to the left and middle, and power/cooling generation and control to the right.
Console for CDC 6600
Operator console of the CDC 6400 with four magnetic tape memory units in the background with a magnetic tape controller unit in front of them at the Rechenzentrum (Computer Center) of RWTH Aachen University, Germany (1970).
Seven-track magnetic tape memory units (CDC 604) at the Rechenzentrum (Computer Center) of RWTH Aachen University, Germany (1970)
CDC 6400 used by the US Navy
CDC 6500 (right) and other equipment
Detailed image of the CDC 6500 at LCM+L
Detailed image of the CDC 6500 at LCM+L

It consisted of the CDC 6200, CDC 6300, CDC 6400, CDC 6500, CDC 6600 and CDC 6700 computers, which were all extremely rapid and efficient for their time.

CDC 7600

3D rendering with a figure as scale
CDC 7600 serial number 1. This image shows two sides of the C-shaped chassis.
CDC 7600 with scaling
3D rendering of a full overview of two CDC 7600
CDC 7600 assembly at LLNL

The CDC 7600 was the Seymour Cray-designed successor to the CDC 6600, extending Control Data's dominance of the supercomputer field into the 1970s.


Computer with a high level of performance as compared to a general-purpose computer.

The IBM Blue Gene/P supercomputer "Intrepid" at Argonne National Laboratory runs 164,000 processor cores using normal data center air conditioning, grouped in 40 racks/cabinets connected by a high-speed 3D torus network.
Computing power of the top 1 supercomputer each year, measured in FLOPS
A circuit board from the IBM 7030
The CDC 6600. Behind the system console are two of the "arms" of the plus-sign shaped cabinet with the covers opened. Each arm of the machine had up to four such racks. On the right is the cooling system.
A Cray-1 preserved at the Deutsches Museum
A cabinet of the massively parallel Blue Gene/L, showing the stacked blades, each holding many processors
The CPU share of TOP500
Diagram of a three-dimensional torus interconnect used by systems such as Blue Gene, Cray XT3, etc.
The Summit supercomputer was as of November 2018 the fastest supercomputer in the world. With a measured power efficiency of 14.668 GFlops/watt it is also the third most energy efficient in the world.
An IBM HS20 blade
Wide-angle view of the ALMA correlator
Example architecture of a grid computing system connecting many personal computers over the internet
Top supercomputer speeds: logscale speed over 60 years
Top 20 supercomputers in the world (June 2014)
Taiwania 3 is a Taiwanese supercomputer which assisted the scientific community in fighting COVID-19. It was launched in 2020 and has a capacity of about two to three PetaFLOPS.
Distribution of TOP500 supercomputers among different countries, in November 2015

The CDC 6600, designed by Seymour Cray, was finished in 1964 and marked the transition from germanium to silicon transistors.

Mainframe computer

Computer used primarily by large organizations for critical applications like bulk data processing for tasks such as censuses, industry and consumer statistics, enterprise resource planning, and large-scale transaction processing.

A single-frame IBM z15 mainframe. Larger capacity models can have up to four total frames. This model has blue accents, as compared with the LinuxONE III model with orange highlights.
A pair of IBM mainframes. On the left is the IBM z Systems z13. On the right is the IBM LinuxONE Rockhopper.
An IBM System z9 mainframe
Inside an IBM System z9 mainframe
Operator's console for an IBM 701

Since the late 1950s, mainframe designs have included subsidiary hardware (called channels or peripheral processors) which manage the I/O devices, leaving the CPU free to deal only with high-speed memory.

Control Data Corporation

Mainframe and supercomputer firm.

The 12-bit CDC 160 and 160-A architecture were the basis of the peripheral processors (PPs) in the CDC 6000 series
CDC 6500 with open panels. On display at the Living Computer Museum in Seattle, Washington.
CDC 6600
CDC 7600, serial no. 1.

In 1964, the resulting computer was released onto the market as the CDC 6600, out-performing everything on the market by roughly ten times.

Reduced instruction set computer

Computer designed to simplify the individual instructions given to the computer to accomplish tasks.

The Sun Microsystems UltraSPARC processor is a type of RISC microprocessor.
An IBM PowerPC 601 RISC microprocessor
RISC-V prototype chip (2013).

The CDC 6600 designed by Seymour Cray in 1964 used a load/store architecture with only two addressing modes (register+register, and register+immediate constant) and 74 operation codes, with the basic clock cycle being 10 times faster than the memory access time.

Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences

Mathematics research school of New York University (NYU), and is among the most prestigious mathematics schools and mathematical sciences research centers in the world.

View of Warren Weaver Hall, Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences from Gould Plaza
Lecture Hall at Warren Weaver Hall
Classroom at Warren Weaver Hall
The Courant Institute along with Microsoft Research are the founders of the Games for Learning Institute
Applied Mathematics Laboratory
Center for Atmosphere-Ocean Science

The Institute was in the forefront of advanced hardware use, with an early IBM 7094 and the fourth produced CDC 6600.

Seymour Cray

American electrical engineer and supercomputer architect who designed a series of computers that were the fastest in the world for decades, and founded Cray Research which built many of these machines.

With a Cray-1

So after some basic design work on the CDC 3000 series, he turned that over to others and went on to work on the CDC 6600.

Channel I/O

High-performance input/output architecture that is implemented in various forms on a number of computer architectures, especially on mainframe computers.

Computer simulation, one of the main cross-computing methodologies.

The 1965 CDC 6600 supercomputer utilized 10 logically independent computers called peripheral processors (PPs) and 12 simple I/O channels for this role.