Cray Computer Corporation
Clock Speed: 
Dates Used: 
Friday, June 1, 1990 to Monday, June 30, 1997
Microprocessor Peak Teraflops: 
Memory (terabytes): 
Number of Processors: 

The CRAY Y-MP8/864 that would become NCAR's flagship computer for seven years was installed in the Computer Room on May 21, 1990. It was named shavano after a 14,000-foot peak in the Colorado Rockies, which in turn had been named for Chief Che-Wa-No, chief of the Tabeguache branch of the Ute Indians.

The Y-MP had eight processors that could run independently or in parallel, and could achieve more than a gigaflop on an NCAR ocean climate model. The machine also had 64 megawords of directly addressable central memory and a 256-million-word Solid-state Storage Device (SSD) that functioned as a dedicated high-speed disk drive. It had a clock speed of 6 nanoseconds.

At the time of its installation, shavano represented a leap foward for NCAR computing facility, marking the focal point of SCD's conversion from the COS operating system to UNICOS. The shared-memory vector supercomputer was top of the line for its time, but as time marched on, it was surpassed by new technology.

In June 1997, shavano was decommissioned after seven years of hard, productive work. NCAR staff serenaded "Old Big Iron" with bagpipes and a rendition of "Auld Lang Zyne," eulogizing it as the most popular supercomputer NCAR ever had.

Ten months later, in April 1998, shavano was dismantled and removed from the NCAR Computer Room.