Build A Supercomputer… In Your Garage

Like this guy did.

Back in the day, the Cray was the #1, top dog, badass supercomputer. (Matthew Broderick’s character geeks out over a couple in Wargames.) They were the fastest computers in the world, critical to research, defense, and (in time) pioneering computer animated special effects. They cost millions of dollars, and were as big as a pile of dishwashers.

And now a guy can build a working one for a couple of hundred dollars, in his garage, at 1/10th the size. (Most of the bulk is a wooden shell that mimics the Cray exterior, not the hardware itself.) In the 37 years since its introduction, we have shrunk the internals of that giant machine down to one circuit board.

In truth, that one circuit board is too powerful. It had to be slowed down to better emulate the Cray hardware. That’s how far we’ve come in the last 37 years.

Welcome to the future.

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