What isDECstation

DECstation was a computer brand that was used by Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) and was launched in two phases – first in 1978, and then in 1989. The range comprised of workstations based on the MIPS architecture and a range of PCs that were compatible with it. The MIPS-based workstations had Ultrix, a DEC-proprietary UNIX version, and earlier versions of OSF/1.

The Story Behind the Development of DECstation

The second and completely unrelated line of DECstations began with the DECstation 3100. It was the first commercially available RISC-based device that was manufactured by DEC and launched on January 11, 1989. The DECstation 3100 was the result of an advanced development project conducted at DEC’s Palo Alto Hamilton Ave facility, known as the PMAX project. The goal was to create a family of computer systems that could compete with the likes of Sun Microsystems and other RISC-based UNIX platforms of the time.

The team behind the PMAX project – James Billmaier, Mario Pagliaro, Armando Stettner, and Joseph DiNucci, wanted to create a family of systems that employed a truly RISC-based architecture, as opposed to the heavier, CISC VAX PRISM architectures or PRISM architectures that were still in development. During that period, DEC was popularly known for its CISC-based systems like the PDP-11 and VAX lines.

Features of DECstation

  • DECstation was a brand of computers used by DEC.
  • It referred to three lines of computer systems, the first of which was released in 1978.
  • The DECstation 3100 was the first commercially available RISC-based machine built by DEC.
  • DECstation workstations ran Ultrix, a DEC-proprietary version of UNIX, and early versions of OSF/1.
  • DECstation employed a truly RISC-based architecture.

Final Thoughts

The DECstation was a significant brand of computers that marked a transformational change in the industry, as it shifted from CISC to RISC-based architecture. While DECstation is no longer in production, it still holds a place in the history of the computer industry.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What was DECstation?

DECstation was a brand of computers used by Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) and referred to three lines of computer systems.

What was the goal behind the development of DECstation?

The goal was to create a family of computer systems that could compete with the likes of Sun Microsystems and other RISC-based UNIX platforms of the time.

When was the first DECstation released?

The first DECstation was released in 1978 as a word processing system.

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