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Origins of PDC

A long, long time ago... in 1988, a group of scientists at the School of Computer Science and Engineering at the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH: Kungliga Tekniska Högskolan) applied for a grant to buy a massively parallel computer. A driving force behind the application was the belief that massive parallelism would become an important technology both in computer science and high-performance computing.

Equally important, there was a need for the performance that could be delivered by such an architecture. The computer market was surveyed and it was decided that the Thinking Machines Corporation (TMC) offered the best choice with its Connection Machine system, CM-2. Money was granted and during the fall of 1989 TMC installed an 8K Connection Machine CM-2 at KTH.

At this time the idea came up to group together resources and activities around the CM2 and already existing parallel computers. Thus, what was to be called the Center for Parallel Computers was formed and inaugurated by Janne Carlsson, the President of KTH, on January 15, 1990. In January 1991 PDC applied for an upgrade of the CM-2 to a CM-200. The application was successful and the upgrade was installed in December 1991.

Gert Svensson, now Deputy Director of PDC, with the CM-200 in 1991