Cray 1

In another area of our basement is a very special exhibit that should probably be in a museum. It is the first supercomputer ever turned on and used, which NCAR did in 1977 when it took delivery on a new kind of computer, the Cray 1A supercomputer invented by Seymour Cray and manufactured by Cray Research. Because of this special partnership, which continued until the inventor’s death in 1996, NCAR staff were pioneers in using supercomputers and in developing a computer graphics package that allowed science researchers to formulate ways to display the computer output.

Refer to the Scientific Computing Division’s webpage for information on current high-performance computers; go to