# Early Developments: From Difference Engine to IBM 701

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1 1 Early Developments: From Difference Engine to IBM 701 Computer Science & Artificial Intelligence Lab M.I.T. Based on the material prepared by and Krste Asanovic

2 Charles Babbage Lucasian Professor of Mathematics, Cambridge University, L1-2 Charles Babbage Image removed due to copyright restrictions. To view image, visit

3 6.823 L1-3 Charles Babbage Difference Engine 1823 Analytic Engine 1833 The forerunner of modern digital computer! Application Mathematical Tables Astronomy Nautical Tables Navy Background Any continuous function can be approximated by a polynomial --- Weierstrass Technology mechanical - gears, Jacquard s loom, simple calculators

4 Difference Engine A machine to compute mathematical tables Weierstrass: Any continuous function can be approximated by a polynomial Any Polynomial can be computed from difference tables An example f(n) d1(n) d2(n) = n 2 +n+41 = f(n) - f(n-1) = 2n = d1(n) - d1(n-1) = 2 f(n) = f(n-1) + d1(n) = f(n-1) + (d1(n-1) + 2) L1-4 n d2(n) d1(n) f(n) all you need is an adder!

5 Difference Engine L Babbage s paper is published 1834 The paper is read by Scheutz & his son in Sweden 1842 Babbage gives up the idea of building it;he is onto Analytic Engine! 1855 Scheutz displays his machine at the Paris World Fare Can compute any 6th degree polynomial Speed: 33 to digit numbers per minute! Now the machine is at the Smithsonian

6 Analytic Engine L : Babbage s paper was published conceived during a hiatus in the development of the difference engine Inspiration: Jacquard Looms looms were controlled by punched cards The set of cards with fixed punched holes dictated the pattern of weave program The same set of cards could be used with different colored threads numbers 1871: Babbage dies The machine remains unrealized. It is not clear if the analytic engine could be built even today using only mechanical technology

7 Analytic Engine The first conception of a general purpose computer 1. The store in which all variables to be operated upon, as well as all those quantities which have arisen from the results of the operations are placed. 2. The mill into which the quantities about to be operated upon are always brought. The program Operation variable1 variable2 variable L1-7 An operation in the mill required feeding two punched cards and producing a new punched card for the store. An operation to alter the sequence was also provided!

9 Babbage s Influence L1-9 Babbage s ideas had great influence later primarily because of Luigi Menabrea, who published notes of Babbage s lectures in Italy Lady Lovelace, who translated Menabrea s notes in English and thoroughly expanded them.... Analytic Engine weaves algebraic patterns... In the early twentieth century - the focus shifted to analog computers but Harvard Mark I built in 1944 is very close in spirit to the Analytic Engine.

10 Harvard Mark I L1-10 Built in 1944 in IBM Endicott laboratories Howard Aiken Professor of Physics at Harvard Essentially mechanical but had some electromagnetically controlled relays and gears Weighed 5 tons and had 750,000 components A synchronizing clock that beat every seconds Performance: 0.3 seconds for addition 6 seconds for multiplication 1 minute for a sine calculation Broke down once a week!

11 Linear Equation Solver John Atanasoff, Iowa State University L s: Atanasoff built the Linear Equation Solver. It had 300 tubes! Application: Linear and Integral differential equations Background: Vannevar Bush s Differential Analyzer --- an analog computer Technology: Tubes and Electromechanical relays Atanasoff decided that the correct mode of computation was by electronic digital means.

12 Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer (ENIAC) Inspired by Atanasoff and Berry, Eckert and Mauchly designed and built ENIAC ( ) at the University of Pennsylvania The first, completely electronic, operational, general-purpose analytical calculator! 30 tons, 72 square meters, 200KW Performance Read in 120 cards per minute Addition took 200 µs, Division 6 ms 1000 times faster than Mark I Not very reliable! L1-12 Application: Ballistic calculations angle = f (location, tail wind, cross wind, air density, temperature, weight of shell, propellant charge,... )

13 Electronic Discrete Variable Automatic Computer (EDVAC) L1-13 ENIAC s programming system was external Sequences of instructions were executed independently of the results of the calculation Human intervention required to take instructions out of order Eckert, Mauchly, John von Neumann and others designed EDVAC (1944) to solve this problem Solution was the stored program computer program can be manipulated as data First Draft of a report on EDVAC was published in 1945, but just had von Neumann s signature! In 1973 the court of Minneapolis attributed the honor of inventing the computer to John Atanasoff

14 Stored Program Computer L1-14 Program = A sequence of instructions How to control instruction sequencing? manual control calculators automatic control external ( paper tape) Harvard Mark I, 1944 Zuse s Z1, WW2 internal plug board ENIAC 1946 read-only memory ENIAC 1948 read-write memory EDVAC 1947 (concept ) The same storage can be used to store program and data EDSAC 1950 Maurice Wilkes

15 Technology Issues L1-15 ENIAC EDVAC 18,000 tubes 4,000 tubes digit numbers 2000 word storage mercury delay lines ENIAC had many asynchronous parallel units but only one was active at a time BINAC : Two processors that checked each other for reliability. Didn t work well because processors never agreed

16 The Spread of Ideas L1-16 ENIAC & EDVAC had immediate impact brilliant engineering: Eckert & Mauchley lucid paper: Burks, Goldstein & von Neumann IAS Princeton Bigelow EDSAC Cambridge Wilkes MANIAC Los Alamos Metropolis JOHNIAC Rand ILLIAC Illinois Argonne SWAC UCLA-NBS UNIVAC - the first commercial computer, 1951 Alan Turing s direct influence on these developments is still being debated by historians.

17 Dominant Problem: Reliability L1-17 Mean time between failures (MTBF) MIT s Whirlwind with an MTBF of 20 min. was perhaps the most reliable machine! Reasons for unreliability: 1. Vacuum Tubes 2. Storage medium acoustic delay lines mercury delay lines Williams tubes Selections CORE J. Forrester 1954

18 Commercial Activity: L1-18 IBM s SSEC Selective Sequence Electronic Calculator 150 word store. Instructions, constraints, and tables of data were read from paper tapes. 66 Tape reading stations! Tapes could be glued together to form a loop! Data could be output in one phase of computation and read in the next phase of computation.

19 And then there was IBM L1-19 IBM machines were sold in IBM a cheaper, drum based machine, more than 120 were sold in 1954 and there were orders for 750 more! Users stopped building their own machines. Why was IBM late getting into computer technology? IBM was making too much money! Even without computers, IBM revenues were doubling every 4 to 5 years in 40 s and 50 s.

20 6.823 L1-20 Software Developments up to 1955 Libraries of numerical routines - Floating point operations - Transcendental functions -Matrix manipulation, equation solvers, High level Languages - Fortran 1956 Operating Systems - - Assemblers, Loaders, Linkers, Compilers - Accounting programs to keep track of usage and charges Machines required experienced operators Most users could not be expected to understand these programs, much less write them Machines had to be sold with a lot of resident software

21 Factors that Influence Computer Architecture L1-21 Technology Applications Computer Architecture Software Compatibility Software played almost no role in defining an architecture before mid fifties. special-purpose versus general-purpose machines

22 6.823 L1-22 Microprocessors Economics since 1990 s Huge teams design state-of-the-art microprocessors PentiumPro Itanium ~ 500 engineers ~ 1000 engineers Huge investments in fabrication lines and technology to improve clock-speeds and yields to build new peripheral chips (memory controllers,...) Economics price drops to one tenth in 2-3 years need to sell 2 to 4 million units to breakeven The cost of launching a new ISA is prohibitive and the advantage is dubious!

23 6.823 L1-23 Compatibility Essential for portability and competition Its importance increases with the market size but it is also the most regressive force What does compatibility mean? Instruction Set Architecture (ISA) compatibility The same assembly program can run on an upward compatible model then IBM 360/ now Intel x86 (IA32), IA64 System and application software developers expect more than ISA compatibility (API s) applications operating system proc + mem + I/O Java? Wintel

24 Perpetual tension Language/ Compiler/ System software designer Architect/Hardware designer L1-24 Need mechanisms Decompose each to support important mechanism into essential abstractions micro-mechanisms and determine its feasibility and cost effectiveness Determine compilation Propose mechanisms and strategy; new language features for performance abstractions Architects main concerns are performance (both absolute and MIPs/\$), and power (both absolute and MIPs/watt) in supporting a broad class of software systems.

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