EDVAC, The Electronic Discrete Variable Automatic Computer, was designed in the mid-1940s and was one of the first large mainframe computers of its time. What set EDVAC apart was its unique ability to represent binary systems rather than decimal systems, making it a groundbreaking achievement in digital computing.
The contract to build EDVAC was signed in 1946 with a budget of $100,000. Upon its delivery to the Ballistics Research Laboratory in 1949, EDVAC became the first computer to use magnetic tapes as data storage media. It was a binary serial computer that processed mathematical operations with a serial storage capacity of about 5.5 kB.
EDVAC boasted an ultraserial memory capacity of 1,000 34-bit words, and an average addition time of 864 microseconds and multiplication time of 2,900 microseconds. It could run for over 20 hours per day, making it one of the most efficient machines of its time.
In its day, EDVAC was the ultimate computing machine, with automatic addition, subtraction, multiplication and programmed division. However, it was replaced by an improved computer, the Ballistic Research Laboratories Electronic Scientific Computer (BRLESC), in 1961. The BRLESC had larger memory and faster response time.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What made EDVAC unique?
EDVAC was unique in its ability to represent binary systems rather than decimal systems, making it a groundbreaking achievement in digital computing for its time.
When was EDVAC built and installed?
EDVAC was designed in the mid-1940s and built during the 1940s before being installed at the U.S. Army Ballistics Research Laboratory in Maryland in August 1949.
What was the budget for building EDVAC?
The initial budget for the project was $100,000.
What replaced EDVAC?
EDVAC was replaced in 1961 by the Ballistic Research Laboratories Electronic Scientific Computer (BRLESC), which had larger memory and faster response times.
Although EDVAC is mostly forgotten today, it was undoubtedly a breakthrough in the world of computing and paved the way for modern-day computers. Its unique ability to represent binary systems rather than decimal systems was a remarkable achievement for its time and has ultimately led to the creation of more advanced computational devices.