Slide 5 of 89
Cray came to the the University of Minnesota under the WW II G.I. Bill, got a BSEE, then a masters the next in Math. He went to Electronic Research Associates (ERA) and virtually started designing computers and leading and teaching others the day he arrived. He was given the job of designing the control for the ERA1103, a 36-bit scientific computer that Unisys still produces.
He was the chief architect and designer for Univac’s Navy Tactical Data System computer. ERA was bought by Remington-Rand, became part of Univac, and now Unisys. The first merger created the impetus for the ERA founders to form Control Data.
In 1957, when CDC started, Cray put together the “little character”, a six bit computer to test circuits for the first CDC computer, the 160 --- the IO computer for the 1604. So here’s an idea that Cray pioneered: use little computers to do IO for larger computers. The 3600 series followed and held CDC until the 6600 was born in the mid-60s.