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CDC 6600

The CDC 6600 was the first successful supercomputer, introduced in 1964. It was designed by Seymour Cray before he left Control Data to start his own company, Cray Research.

The computer is built out of several thousand small modules, each of which manages to pack up to 64 transistors and assorted resistors, diodes, etc., into an approximately 65mm x 75mm package. The transistors are mounted facing inwards on two circuit boards, and the resistors and diodes are mounted vertically, spanning the space between the two boards.

The machine was described in incredible detail by Jim Thornton, who was Cray's right-hand man for the Control Data years. His book Design of a Computer is available online.