Computer Science

Explain the Minicomputer?

The minicomputer, or Colloquial Money, was developed in the mid-1960s and sold for less than large computers and was controlled by IBM and its direct rivals.

A New York Times study from the 1970s found that microcomputers costing less than 25 25,000 (equivalent to 7,167,000 by 2020) contain input and output devices such as remote printers and at least 4,000 words.

Ability to run advanced software such as Fortran or BASIC.

Microcomputers are multiprocessor computers. Consists of two or more processors. Microcomputers are used for basic organizational tasks such as receipts, accounting and inventory management.


The department has formed an independent team with its engineering software and operating system. Landmines are designed for control, equipment, human interaction and communication, rather than computers and records.

Many complete applications are sold indirectly to the original manufacturer. During the two decades of the mining computer class (1965-1985), about 100 companies were formed, of which only six remained.

When single-chip CPUs appeared, starting with the Intel 4004 in 1971, the term “microcomputer” came to mean a machine in the middle of the computer spectrum, large computers and small computers. The term microcomputer is rarely used today. Modern terms for systems in this category are “mid-range computers”, such as Oracle’s high-tech SPARC, Power ISA and Hewlett-Packard Itanium systems.


In this, we will be discuss the points about the minicomputer:

  • History of Minicomputer
  • Size of Minicomputer
  • Types of Minicomputers
  • Characteristics of Minicomputer
  • Application of Minicomputer
  • Usage of Minicomputer
  • Advantages of Minicomputer
  • Disadvantages of Minicomputer
  • Examples of Minicomputer

History of Minicomputer

Minicomputer appeared in the mid-1960’s. At the time, it was the only small computer that used kernel memory technology and transistors. The first small computer was known as the Digital Devices Company. It costs about 16,000.

Relative computing power compared to modern microcar-like systems of the 1950s. In particular, there were popular drum machines such as UNIVAC 1101 and LGP-30.

These are parts of a small computer that share some features. A similar design in the early 1960’s used magnetic delay line memory.

However, these machines are primarily designed as a small desktop computer, using custom chassis and usually only one company’s equipment.

In contrast, so-called microcomputers are often compatible with standard frameworks and are deliberately designed for common hardware such as ASR 33.

Another common difference is that most of the first small machines were not “general purpose”, they were designed for specific roles such as process control or accounting.

Programming on these devices was usually done in a specific machine language and was also strictly coded for add-ons, although some used some basic elements.

DAC writes that their PDP-5 is “the world’s first commercially available microcomputer”. It has many features of durability and size, but it was designed and developed in the laboratory not as a general purpose computer but as a tool. there.

The CDC 160 is a smaller, transistor, less expensive computer than in the 1960s and is considered the first model of a small computer.

But the starting price is 100,000 (equivalent to $ 87,803 by 2020) and the desktop-like desktop framework is in a “small system” or “medium computer” rather than a modern thermal power computer.

However, there is a strong opposition to the term “first microcomputer”.

1. Success

Most computer records show that the Digital Equipment Corporation (DAC) introduced the 12-bit PDP-8 as the first small computer in 1964. There is no doubt that some of them have been widely used in DC since the mid-1960s.

Smaller systems and The PDP-5 and LINC in the DEC existed before, but the PDP-8 was smaller in size, a global layout and cost less than modern definitions. The $ 18,500 entry fee (equivalent to $ 151,927) will be allocated to a different category from previous models such as the CDC 160.

Nowadays, PDP-8 has been very successful, eventually selling 50,000 copies. Subsequent versions reduced the cost and size of the system by using smaller input circuits.

This success created an entire industry of 128 computer companies on the Massachusetts line, including Public Data, Wang Laboratories and Prime Computer. The HP 2100, Honeywell 316 and TI-990 were other popular small computers of the era.

Early diggers found different word types, a typical example of 12-bit and 18-bit DEC systems. The introduction of the 7-bit ASCII symbol set and the standard in the 16-bit system with Data Nova in late 1969 was an important introduction to this phenomenon. A d.

In the early 1970s, most DCs with PDP-11 were 16-bit. Sometimes small computers look similar to 16-bit, because larger tablets use a 32-bit or more text length.

With improved input circuit designs, micro -computers became smaller, easier to build, and therefore less expensive, especially with the introduction of 7,400 input circuits. It is used in production process management, wire transfer and laboratory equipment management. ad.

In the 1970s, the computer design (CAD) industry and other industries like compact equipment were in demand. ad.

The global breakthrough in oil and gas exploration in the early 1970s saw the increasing use of microcomputers in specialized processing centers close to data collectors. The system RDS 500 Data System is a must -have for oil and gas surveillance companies.

When the MITS Altair 8800 was published in 1975, Radio Electronics magazine called the system a “mini-computer,” even though micro-computer has become a popular term for machine-related personal computers.

At the same time, microcomputers run on 8-user single-user machines and simple machines such as CPU / MS or MS-DOS, but micro-operating systems are multi-user and multi-tasking operating systems. Systems such as VMS and Unix.

At the same time, the size of the clothes began to move. While many 24-bit and 32-bit processors were introduced before, renamed the DC 1977 VAX Supermini Computer or Supermini, it transformed the slightly wider market into a 32-bit architecture.

Many innovations were made, even in the late 1970s, when 16-bit single-chip machine guns were introduced, such as the TMS 9900 and the Zilog Z8 8000.

Most retailers made each with their own single -chip machine based on their own architecture using these processors for low cost results in their 32-bit systems.

Examples: are the Intersil 6100 single chip PPD-8, DEC T-11 PDP-11, microNOVA, Fairchild 9440 Nova and TMS9900 TI-990.

2. Decline

In the early 1980s, the 16-bit market was on the verge of extinction, but the performance of new 16-bit microprocessors began to improve. At this point, customers who require more performance than recommended are usually switched to 32-bit systems.

But it did not take long before the market was threatened. The Motorola 68000 delivers a large percentage of normal mini-performance on a computer platform. It follows true 32-bit processors such as the National Semiconductor NS32016, Motorola 68020 and Intel 80386.

In the mid-1980s, high-end microcomputers offered computing performance comparable to low- and mid-range minicomputers, and the new RISC approach was promised higher levels of performance than most computers Small fast, there were more sophisticated computers. central computer.

What sets mini-computers apart from the real mini-market is their storage and memory capacity. Both problems were only solved in the late 1980s. Around 1987, 1 MB of RAM was the norm.

In 1990, computer hard drives quickly broke the 100 MB range, and the introduction of cheap and easy-to-use LAN systems was the answer for users. Multi-user system.

The introduction of workstation machines has opened up new markets for graphics systems that have not even been noticed by ministers interested in stations.

Minis hold strong for those using existing software products or requiring high-performance multitasking, but the introduction of new Unix-based operating systems has also provided more practical alternatives for these roles.

During this period, small suppliers began to disappear rapidly. Data General is fully responsive to the changing market by focusing on the high-performance file server market, which is a large LAN that can meet its role. It did not last long.

The new network quickly incorporated such solutions, and the latest versions of Microsoft Windows did the same with the novel. DEC decided to switch to mainframe and DEC released the VAX 9000 mainframe in 1989, but it was a floppy disk that went missing after the sale.

The company tried to enter the DC Station Alpha server and workstation market, but it was too late to secure the company, and the skeleton was eventually sold to Compaq in 1998.

By the end of the decade, all major suppliers had disappeared. Public data, Prime, Computer Vision, Honeywell and Wang failed, merged or violated.

Today, only a few computer engineers own it. The IBM AS / 400 operating system, which introduces many advanced concepts, is close to the IBM AS / 400. IBM initially made great efforts to convert programs written from IBM System / 34 and System / 36 to AS / 400.

Many name changes, the AS / 400 platform replaced the IBM i system with the IBM Power Systems. In contrast, proprietary PC architectures such as DEC VAX, Wang VS, and HP 3000 have long lacked appropriate upgrade methods. OpenVMS is powered by the HP Alpha and Intel IA-64 (Itanium) CPU architecture.

Tandem Computers, which focuses on reliable computers, was acquired by Compaq, and a joint venture with Holt Packard was merged a few years later. The NSK-based continuous production line has been redesigned from a MIPS processor to an Itanium “HP Integrity Non Stop Servers” processor.

As with previous migrations of nested hardware to MIPS microprocessors, all client software is still used without modifying the source code.

Mutual Non-Stop remains an HP solution that is in high demand by its large customers. The NSK operating system, now called Non-Stop OS, continues to serve as the primary software environment for uninterrupted servers and extends to integration with Java support and popular development tools such as Visual Studio and Eclipse.

3. Industrial impact and heritage

Some companies have developed software that revolves around small computers, using specialized software and in many cases traditional solutions such as computer-aided design, PC-assisted production, process control, resource design and more. Most, if not all, minicomputers are sold by OEMs and value-added suppliers.

Many leading computer companies, such as DEC, Data General, and Hewlett-Packard (HP), refer to the HP3000 mini-farm worker as a “server” rather than a “minicomputer.” Although most computers and servers today have a mix of physical, architectural, CPU, and operating systems, the capabilities of more advanced microcomputers.

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