Origin of the term minicomputer (was Re: PDP-1 as minicomputer

Eric Smith eric at brouhaha.com
Fri Aug 20 14:33:36 CDT 2010


Tony Duell wrote:
 > But DEC had their own meaning for 'microprocessor' to mean a 'microcoded
 > control system'. I seem to remember that the control logic of a VT52 and
 > that of the DMC11, etc are called 'microprocessors' in the DEC manuals,
 > for all the are built from lots of MSI chips, and there's nothing that
 > the rest of the world would call a microprocessor (a chip such as a Z80,
 > 6800, 8080, 6502, etc)

IBM used that definition as well.  The "PALM" (Put All Logic in 
Microcode) board-level processor of the IBM 5100 Portable Computer, 
introduced in 1975, was referred to as a microprocessor.  It was 
implemented primarily from IBM's "Duchess" TTL gate arrays, containing 
up to 134 gates each.




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