a computer star\'s new advance

by:Rocket PCB     2019-10-21
Special report from the New York Times.
1990 this is a digital version of an article from The Times Print Archive, before it starts online in 1996.
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Nine months after Seymour clay was separated from the company he founded and restarted on the mountain here, his career has broken through efforts to design the next generation of the world\'s fastest computer, supercomputers.
Cray Computer Corporation, the company\'s executive, said that over the past six months they have overcome the last few major obstacles to making computers and making them easier to repair.
Skeptics argue that chips, at the core of new machines, are difficult to produce in quantity;
These chips are made from a semiconductor compound called arsenide that makes the circuit run much faster than silicon.
\"We now believe that no technology has been shown --
Neil Davenport, president and software expert at Cray Computer, said he initially helped develop many international markets for Cray Research Inc. , Mr.
Clay\'s former company
But despite progress in manufacturing solutions
Experts in the supercomputer industry say Clay\'s project is still considered a considerable gamble.
First, Sir.
Cray\'s new computer faces significant challenges from machines developed by Cray Research, the world\'s leading supercomputer maker.
Cray\'s research still relies on more widely accepted chips made of silicon.
Other major gamers must also be wary of Steve S, a former protester.
With 64 broken Chen-year-old Mr.
Cray has set up its own company and has received financial support from international commercial machines.
In addition, he must compete with American competitors like the thinking machine company.
This has turned to new technologies such as connecting thousands of computers to more than Mr.
Cray\'s using only 8 processors.
Finally, Japanese electronics giants such as Hitachi, Fujitsu and NEC are also facing threats, and they are eager to become major players in the supercomputer market.
Advertise to Mr.
Clay has created the world\'s fastest Computer in more than 30 years of Computer design career, and the progress of cray Computer has not only been closely watched by the company\'s competitors, it is also closely watched by extremely complex government and corporate customers who use these machines.
Supercomputers can perform the calculations required for a large number of simulations, which are the essence of scientific experiments and engineering products.
They are not only used in basic scientific research and weapon design, they are also used in more than a dozen industries.
Aircraft companies and automobile manufacturers use them to test new designs, and oil companies determine the best locations for oil and pharmaceutical companies to develop new drugs.
Cray will not reveal that it believes it has made significant progress in recent months.
Clay, who declined to be interviewed, said he was not ready to speak publicly until he was ready to work the prototype.
The company said the first prototype of the machine, which will be ready later this year, will be called Cray 3 for $25 million to $30 million.
Cray is using its $100 million War box from Cray Research last year to complete Cray 3. Mr. Cray\'s high-
The bet depends largely on whether he can master the art of working with arsenide, a promising alternative to traditional silicon in semiconductor chips.
Semiconductor materials are the basis of all modern electronic products and are ideal for etching them to form extremely fine channels through which current can flow to activate circuits that perform calculations.
Arsenic promises lower power consumption, higher radiation resistance and higher temperature compared to silicon.
In principle, without changing the basic computer design, the speed of the arsenic-treated gallium chip can reach five or six times that of the silicon chip.
Despite the potential, it is difficult to manufacture, and arsenic-based aluminum is still a very difficult material that can be made into very small chips that work together. Mr.
Cray\'s goal is to achieve Japan\'s long-standing advantage: to achieve micro-scale in costeffective way.
Advertising for a breakthrough in supercomputer speed
Cray has to package thousands of chips in a small space and keep them cool enough so they don\'t break or melt.
To do this, he is committed to developing new packaging technologies that enable chips to be put together very closely.
He then pauses all processor modules in the liquid coolant bath.
The solution is to work with Hughes Aircraft to develop robotic assembly equipment to connect 52 gold wires to each arsenic-based aluminum chip.
The wires as electrical connectors and fasteners are much thinner than human hair and are a quarter of an hour long.
They need to be very straight because after 52 wires are connected to each chip
Each has a tiny solder joint.
The chip is flipped and pressed directly on a 1 inch square meter printed circuit board.
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The printed circuit board itself is a miracle of the microstructure.
Each board has 9 chips, consisting of 8 layers, each with its own circuit.
In order to cool the chip flush with the circuit board, thousands of holes have been drilled to allow the coolant to contact each chip directly.
Hundreds of printed circuit boards enter each palm
Size modules, they themselves are connected together in three modulesfoot-high, donut-Computer shape
The challenges of the market are predictable, but it is not the only difficulty to improve the manufacturing process of this complex product.
Cray\'s new computer faces a huge market challenge for the former company, which has a 60% share of the global supercomputer market.
Minneapolis supercomputer company Cray Research, led by John Basil Wagan, is pushing forward its own supercomputer prototype, now known as Y-MP-16.
Instead of using the more risky arsenide chip, Cray Research uses silicon in the chip of its next machine.
The company said it hopes to launch a machine that will match Obama.
Cray is about the same as Mr.
Cray products into the market. Mr.
Cray recently told supercomputer consultant Gary Smaby that he believes that the next computer, Cray 4, will bring the real return of the gallium ide.
That machine will squeeze more circuits on each arsenide chip. Mr. Smaby said Mr.
According to Cray, the basic switching speed of the machine will be less than one billion per second, which is the speed of silicon.
Machine-based will not match. Mr. Chen, whose I. B. M. -
Called supercomputer systems.
It is considered to work on a supercomputer that is much more expensive than the most expensive one now, and the cost can be as high as $60 million.
S. Competitors who connect thousands of computers have turned to new technologies such as parallel processing to speed up computing by connecting up to thousands of computers. Mr.
Cray chooses to use only moderate parallelism-
Connecting eight processors
Instead, it focuses on the use of higher-speed arsenic-treated chips.
But now there seems to be significant progress in parallel processing.
Companies like thinking machines have proven that computers that use thousands of parallel processors can compete with more traditional computersstyle machines.
\"Parallel computing is where the excitement is today,\" said Larry Smar, director of the national supercomputer application center and major purchaser of supercomputers . \".
But for all the impressive games
Clay has something important for him: the loyalty of the world\'s fastest computer in the elite user group of leading computing and science centers. Mr.
Clay has won their admiration for decades.
The chief designer of a rival supercomputer company said I wouldn\'t bet him.
Peter Gregory, a supercomputer industry consultant in Boston, said: \"Seymour has loyal followers . \".
\"In any case, about a dozen people will try to buy his machine. \'\'Mr.
Davenport said that the company is focusing on selling these machines, and he expects that the sales of these machines will be about 10 times faster than that of Cray 2, and that for Cray 2, which has already been purchased, and are looking for customers with more power.
A clear client is the national testing facility for the Strategic Defense Initiative, right here at Mr. Cray. The Government-
Financing projects trying to simulate a \"Star Wars\" missile --
Two Cray 2 have been purchased and are looking for more speed.
A version of this article appeared on page 1001035 of the National edition in February 17, 1990, titled: new advances in computer stars.
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