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Thinking Machines Corporation

Press Release
Projects for TMC
DataVault Patent

The Connection Machine (1988)

Thinking Machines Corporation produced a family of high performance computer systems. The largest member of the family in the late 1980's was the 64,000 processer CM-2 with performance in excess of 2500 MIPs, and floating point performance above 2500 MFlops....

It's successor, the CM-5, appeared in the movie "Jurassic Park."

Connection machine systems were used in a range of research and "big science" applications including data base retrieval, image processing, computer-aided design and floating-point intensive scientific calculations.

I built and serviced several CM-2 systems - see my projects, and co-invented aspects of the high-performance fault tolerant DataVault as described in the DataVault patent.

CM-2 and DataVault
CM-2 General Specifications
Processors 65,536
Memory 512 Mbytes
Memory Bandwidth 300Gbits/Sec
I/O Channels 8
Capacity per Channel 40 Mbytes/Sec
Max. Transfer Rate 320 Mbytes/Sec
DataVault Specifications
Storage Capacity 5 or 10 Gbytes
I/O Interfaces 2
Transfer Rate, Burst 40 Mbytes/Sec
Max. Aggregate Rate 320 Mbytes/Sec

The DataVault uses a unique patented RAID design which maximizes uptime, operating at full bandwidth and full data integrity even during a disk unit failure.

[At the height of their popularity, there were over 30 Connection Machines installed, including sites such as Los Alamos National Labs, the National Center for Atmospheric Research, and dozens of universities. Thinking Machines Corp. underwent Chapter 11 reorganization in the 1993's, reorganized into a Data-Mining software corporation, which was later purchased by Oracle in 1999.]

My Projects at Thinking Machines Corporation, 1985 - 1992

1989-1992: Consultant at TMC

1985-1989: Employee at TMC

  • Created scientific visualization animations with visiting scientists -- e.g., molecular and atmospheric simulations, seismic imaging & solids modelling
  • Wrote driver-software for award winning animator Karl Sims -- used for the animations "Panspermia" and "Leonardo's Deluge"
  • Designed and installed computer graphics suite with BetaCam video editing system.
  • Co-inventor of the DataVault, a patented fault-tolerant ultra-high-speed disk array.
  • Performed final test, and QA, Connection Machine model CM-1 supercomputers.
  • Field installation and system field analysis for CM-1 and CM-2 supercomputers and Datavault systems.
  • Analysis and redesign for BIBI host interconnect subsystem of the CM-2 for Digital's VAX hosts.

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