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Resurrecting the Cray-1 in a Xilinx FPGA

11/17/2010 06:51 PM EST
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chipchap42
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re: Resurrecting the Cray-1 in a Xilinx FPGA
chipchap42   12/23/2010 5:48:18 PM
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Brilliant story! And an amazing achievement to have got all the way through. Congratulations Chris, this is inspirational stuff. This should be written up and offered as a story to help motivate future students. I think the fact that many "grizzled engineers" (and Max...) are singing your praises here is an indication of how unusual we all think this is. Looking forward to your next feat.

Christopher_Fenton
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re: Resurrecting the Cray-1 in a Xilinx FPGA
Christopher_Fenton   11/30/2010 1:23:26 AM
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I think an array of Cray-1s is called a Cray X-MP =) Not sure if that will fit in my Spartan6 or not...hmm

Christopher_Fenton
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re: Resurrecting the Cray-1 in a Xilinx FPGA
Christopher_Fenton   11/30/2010 1:21:52 AM
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Clicking "synthesize" is definitely a whole lot easier than the wire-wrap mess that filled the real Cray-1s. It's amazing that they *ever* got those to work.

Christopher_Fenton
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re: Resurrecting the Cray-1 in a Xilinx FPGA
Christopher_Fenton   11/30/2010 1:20:01 AM
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I'm not sure about the publicity part, but they did send me a new Spartan-6 development kit when I wrote this article for their XCell journal. Xilinx is my preferred FPGA vendor, although I wish they would go ahead and add Systemverilog support!

Christopher_Fenton
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re: Resurrecting the Cray-1 in a Xilinx FPGA
Christopher_Fenton   11/30/2010 1:16:31 AM
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Thanks! Learning how to build things for fun was what motivated me to become an EE in the first place!

Les_Slater
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re: Resurrecting the Cray-1 in a Xilinx FPGA
Les_Slater   11/29/2010 8:29:30 PM
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Thanks Chris. I enjoyed following your tale of labor, love and adventure. I remember in the days when I still had my Altair computer there was a benchmarking program published in Byte magazine called 'sieve'. I think the original version was written in 'basic'. A 'C' version came out and it became a benchmark for compilers. At some point someone ran the benchmark on a Cray computer, don't remember what model. The results were orders of magnitude faster than common computers at the time, e.g. the 4.77 MHz IBM PC ran it in about 10 seconds and the Cray was 0.01 seconds.

Max The Magnificent
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re: Resurrecting the Cray-1 in a Xilinx FPGA
Max The Magnificent   11/29/2010 4:45:41 PM
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It really makes you think, doesn't it? Where will we be in 30 year's time?

Max The Magnificent
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re: Resurrecting the Cray-1 in a Xilinx FPGA
Max The Magnificent   11/29/2010 4:08:59 PM
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Cool Pictures -- thanks for sharing -- Max

mike-mjb
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re: Resurrecting the Cray-1 in a Xilinx FPGA
mike-mjb   11/27/2010 12:22:11 AM
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Chris, This is what the joy of design is all about. Thanks for taking the time to share. Most designers only get to do much smaller blocks for $$$. Ya did the Cray-1! Hmmm ... I can see an array of Cray-1's happening.

Bracca
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re: Resurrecting the Cray-1 in a Xilinx FPGA
Bracca   11/26/2010 5:37:29 PM
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Chris's writing is as good as his research and programming. Congratulations, Chris.

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