Thinking MachinesThinking Machines Corporation
was a supercomputer
manufacturer founded in Waltham, Massachusetts
in the late 1980s by W. Daniel Hillis
and Sheryl Handler to turn Hillis's doctoral work at MIT
on parallel computing
architectures into a commercial product called the Connection Machine
. Models produced, in order, were the CM-1, CM-2, CM-200, CM-5, and CM-5E. The company moved in the early 1990s from Waltham to Kendall Square
in Cambridge, Massachusetts
, not far from the MIT AI Lab
and competitor Kendall Square Research
Thinking Machines went through Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 1995, following the collapse of the US supercomputer market. Many of the hardware people joined Sun Microsystems and went on to design the Sun Enterprise series of parallel computers. The Darwin datamining toolkit, developed by Thinking Machines' Business Supercomputer Group, was purchased by Oracle.
Besides Danny Hillis, other noted people who worked for or with the company included David Waltz, Guy L Steele, Jr, Karl Sims, Brewster Kahle, Marvin Minsky, Carl Feynman, Stephen Wolfram, and Richard Feynman.
Besides Kendall Square Research, Thinking Machines' competitors included MasPar, which made a computer similar to the CM-2, and Meiko, whose later offerings were similar to the CM-5.