Mainframes - Research Article from Macmillan Science Library: Computer Sciences

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Evolution of Mainframes

In the early 1960s, companies such as Burroughs, IBM, RCA, NCR, and Sperry Rand manufactured mainframes. Since the 1970s, the only mainframes in use are the System/390, made by IBM, or clones made by Hitachi and Fujitsu. This provides a high degree of hardware compatibility both within and across manufacturer lines. The System/390 evolved from the System/360, which was initially introduced by IBM in 1965.

Over time, the physical size and cost of mainframes have been reduced dramatically. What once cost millions and filled a large data center can now literally fit in a single 48.7-centimeter (19-inch) wide cabinet for a few hundred thousand dollars. Power consumption and heat dissipation have also been reduced. In the 1970s and 1980s, mainframes gave off so much heat they had to be cooled with chilled water.

The fifth generation machines on the market now use Complimentary Metal Oxide Semiconductor, or...

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This section contains 1,453 words
(approx. 5 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Mainframes Encyclopedia Article
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Macmillan Science Library: Computer Sciences
Mainframes from Macmillan Science Library: Computer Sciences. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.
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