Vintage Cray J90 "Jedi" Vector Processor Supercomputer J916 - Pre SGI


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Product Overview

Vintage Cray J90 "Jedi" Vector Processor Supercomputer J916 - Pre SGI6

This is not just any vintage supercomputer, but a rare, museum-piece, pre-SGI, Cray Research J90 Supercomputer (development code-named Jedi), J916 configuration. It bears the serial number 9097, adding to its unique value.

Although we can't say for sure, this appears to be a complete system.

The system is composed of three detachable rack sections, each housing a specific component. It also includes authentic Cray-issued manuals, ensuring the system's authenticity, and a Sun SparcStation 5 for additional functionality.

Main Rack:

  • Cray 916 System
  • Mem0: Mem32 90380501-01
  • Mem1: M3216 90380501
  • Mem2: Mem32 90380501
  • Mem3: Mem32 90380501-02
  • Proc0: 90380013 - 2 x Y1Chan 90288400
  • Proc1: 90380017 - HI TA 90287500-03, HI RA 90288000-04, Y1 Channel 90288400-A1, Y1Chan 90288400-A2
  • Proc2: 90380013 - HI TA 90287500-A0, HI RA 90288000-A0, Y1Chan 90288400
  • Clock A1 90479900
  • 90286406 A1 Backplane
  • J916 200-240VAC 24A Power Supply

Second Rack:

  • J90 Peripheral Cabinet
  • VME 90382400 Chassis
  • 4 x IOP IOBB64 Modules
  • EI-1 DC-65 Module

Third Rack:

  • J90 Peripheral Cabinet
  • VME 90382400 Chassis
  • IOP IOBB-64 Module


  • Network Queuing System (NQS) User's Guide SG-2105 8.0
  • Installation Tool Menus and Help Files Reference Manual SR-2412 8.0
  • UNICOS Tape Subsystem Administrators Guide SG-2307 9.0
  • UNICOS NQS and NQE Administrator's Guide SG-2305 9.0
  • UNICOS Resource Administration SG-2302 9.0
  • Remote Procedure Call (RPC) Reference Manual SR-2089 8.0
  • UNICOS Source Manager (USM) User's Guide SG-2097 7.0
  • OLNET Online Diagnostic Network Communications Program Maintenance Manual for UNICOS SPM-1021 8.0
  • UNICOS 8.0 Software Documentation Addendum SN02164 8.0
  • UNICOS Macros and Opdefs Reference Manual SR-2403 8.0
  • UNICOS Index for Man Pages SR-2049 8.0
  • UNICOS Systems Administration Volume 1 SG-2113 8.0
  • UNICOS Systems Administration Volume 2 SG-2113 8.0
  • UNICOS Systems Administration Volume 3 SG-2113 8.0
  • UNICOS Systems Administration Volume 4 SG-2113 8.0
  • UNICOS Administrator Commands Reference Manual SR-2022 8.0
  • UNICOS Basic Administration Guide for the Cray J90 and Cray EL Series SG-2416
  • UNICOS CDBX CDBX Debugger User's Guide SG-2094 8.0

Also Included:

Sun SparcStation 5 (likely used for netbooting), monitor, keyboard, mouse. Misc cabling for interconnections between the Sun SparcStation, Cray, and cabinet The cabinets and system appear to be in good shape, with some scratches, dents, and dings in the metal cabinet cases from long-term storage. Please refer to the photos.

Due to the complex nature of this setup, we do not have the skills necessary to reconnect and power up the Cray. It appears to need multiple 240VAC hookups.

We've powered up the SparcStation, and it appears to be functional—however, the internal battery will need to be replaced, and various settings such as the MAC address, boot device, etc. will need to be reset. We do not know if the internal hard drive is functional or if there is an operating system or if the operating system for the Cray is present for netbooting.

The manuals are in good shape, with several still sealed in their original plastic packaging.

It ships in three large crates with an estimated combined shipping weight of 3000 lbs.

Due to its vintage nature, size, and weight, this item is being offered strictly AS-IS.

About The Cray J90 Series Supercomputer "Jedi"

The Cray J90 series supercomputer, codenamed "Jedi" during its development, represents a significant chapter in the history of computing technology. First introduced to the market by Cray Research in 1994, the J90 series was an evolution of the Cray Y-MP EL minisupercomputer. It was designed as an air-cooled vector processor supercomputer, distinguishing itself from its predecessors by offering a more accessible entry point into the realm of high-performance computing.

Technical Specifications

The Cray J90 was built to support up to 32 CMOS processors, operating at a clock speed of 10 ns (100 MHz). This configuration allowed it to serve as a strong competitor within its price range, despite offering less performance compared to the more advanced Cray T90 supercomputer of the same era. The J90 could accommodate up to 4 GB of main memory and provided up to 48 GB/s of memory bandwidth. Its input/output operations were managed by an IOS (Input/Output Subsystem) named IOS Model V, which was based on the VME64 bus and utilized SPARC I/O processors (IOPs) running the VxWorks RTOS. This setup was designed to emulate the IOS Model E used in larger Cray Y-MP systems, thereby minimizing changes to the UNICOS operating system that ran on the J90.

The J90 series was available in three basic configurations: the J98, which supported up to eight processors; the J916, with up to 16 processors; and the J932, capable of hosting up to 32 processors. Each processor within the J90 was composed of two chips—one for the scalar operations and another for vector processing. Notably, the scalar chip included a small (128 word) data cache to enhance scalar performance, a feature complementing the instruction caching traditionally found in Cray machines.

In 1997, Cray Research introduced the J90se (Scalar Enhanced) series, which doubled the scalar speed of the processors to 200 MHz, while the vector chip remained at 100 MHz. This series also introduced support for the GigaRing I/O system found on the Cray T3E and Cray SV1, replacing the IOS-V. Furthermore, it became possible to install SV1 processors in a J90 or J90se chassis, offering a path to increase performance within the same hardware frame.

Cultural and Historical Significance

The Cray J90 series not only marked a technological advancement in the field of supercomputing but also captured the imagination of both the scientific community and the general public. Its codename "Jedi" evokes the sense of innovation and boundary-pushing that characterized Cray Research's approach to supercomputer design. The company, founded by Seymour Cray in 1972, was driven by a mission to build the industry's fastest computers and lead in large-scale scientific computing. This mission evolved over time to include solving scientific and industrial problems that could make the world safer, healthier, and smarter.

In 2017, a vintage Cray J90 supercomputer was listed for auction on eBay, complete with a 48-foot Ellis & Watts trailer that housed the supercomputer. This listing highlighted the enduring fascination with Cray's supercomputers and their place in computing history. The auction offered a glimpse into the past, showcasing a piece of technology that once represented the cutting edge of computational power.

Item was as described, and very fast delivery!

5 stars across the board for every seller rating category, and I would buy from this seller again. And per my request, the capacitors were also very well packed for safe delivery.

Bruce B.

Obtainium have been a very helpful seller to me.

In recent times I have had a few items go astray enroute to my address in Australia. This seller was most helpful & encouraging, regarding the onward tracking & eventual safe delivery of this item. This item's arrival in good condition was a joy to me as, it was a rare part that fitted my military comms. Well done seller. I would gladly recommend this seller to all potential buyers.

Jean-Pierre H.

The item was as described and in good and working condition.

Delivered as promised. I would order again if store has anything else I may need. THANK YOU!

Robert L.

Super Duper Fast Shipping.

Item As Described. Packaged Nicely, What A Seller.

Wayne L.

Product shipped quickly and arrived in good shape

J. Fong


The instrument was well packed. It is in extremely good condition. It passed all preliminary tests.

Raymond W.

Item looks better than described, looks brand new and works great.

My old buffer was 50 years old and I sent it to buffer heaven, thanks.

Mike H.

Just what the doctor ordered.

Good supply and price. Thxs

Ralph M.

As advertised. Would buy from again.

S. Scafer

Perfect transaction, pleasure to deal with.

M. Dante