Stretch that computer

September 5th, 1980: The last IBM STRETCH super computer is shutdown at Brigham Young University.

The 7030, or STRETCH, system was begun in 1955 and took six years to deliver the first installation to the Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory. It was designed to be 100 to 200 times as powerful as the state of the art.

This system was the first major IBM machine to use transistor rather than vacuum tubes. It sported a large memory, 2mb, and a huge hard drive, 32mb, with multiple R/W arms. Architectural innovation included pipelining, lookahead processing and a rudimentary multitasking ability. Many of these are now used in our microprocessor to increase their processing speed.

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