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Encyclopedia > IAS computer

The IAS machine was the first electronic digital computer built by the Institute for Advanced Study (IAS), Princeton, NJ, USA. The paper describing the design of the IAS machine was edited by John von Neumann, (see Von Neumann architecture). The tower of a personal computer (specifically a Power Mac G5). ... Fuld Hall The Institute for Advanced Study is a private institution in Princeton Township, New Jersey, designed to foster pure cutting-edge research by scientists in a variety of fields without the complications of teaching or funding, or the agendas of sponsorship. ... See also: the Borough of Princeton, New Jersey Princeton Township highlighted in Mercer County. ... John von Neumann in the 1940s. ... The so-called von Neumann architecture is a model for a computing machine that uses a single storage structure to hold both the set of instructions on how to perform the computation and the data required or generated by the computation. ...

The machine was a binary computer with a 40 bit word, storing two 20 bit instructions in each word. The memory was 1024 words. Negative numbers were represented in "two's complement" format. Two registers: the Accumulator (AC) and Multiplier/Quotient (MQ). The binary or base-two numeral system is a system for representing numbers in which a radix of two is used; that is, each digit in a binary numeral may have either of two different values. ... In computer science, the term integer is used to refer to any data type which can represent some subset of the mathematical integers. ... Twos complement is the most popular method of signifying negative integers in computers. ...

Importantly, the IAS machine was the first design to mix programs and data in a single memory. Von Neumann showed how the combination of instructions and data in one memory could be used to implement loops, by modifying branch instructions when a loop was completed, for example. The resultant demand that instructions and data placed on the memory later came to be known as the Von Neumann Bottleneck. The so-called von Neumann architecture is a model for a computing machine that uses a single storage structure to hold both the set of instructions on how to perform the computation and the data required or generated by the computation. ...

While the original design called for using a type of vacuum tubes called RCA Selectron tubes for the memory, problems with the development of these complex tubes forced the switch to Williams tubes. In electronics, a vacuum tube (American English) or (thermionic) valve (British English) is a device generally used to amplify a signal. ... RCA, formerly an initialism for the Radio Corporation of America, is now a trademark used by two companies for products descended from that common ancestor: Thomson Consumer Electronics, which manufactures RCA-branded televisions, DVD players, video cassette recorders, direct broadcast satellite decoders, camcorders, audio equipment, telephones, and related accessories; and... The Selectron was an early form of computer memory developed by RCA. Development started in 1946 with a planned production of 200 by the end of the year, but production problems meant that they were still not available by the middle of 1948. ... The Williams tube or (more accurately) the Williams-Kilburn tube (after Freddie Williams and coworker Tom Kilburn) was a cathode ray tube used to store electronic data. ...

IAS machine derivatives

Plans for the IAS machine were widely distributed to any school or company interested in computing machines, resulting in the construction of fifteen derivative (but incompatible) computers referred to as "IAS machines".

Some of these "IAS machines" were:

  Results from FactBites:
Institute for Advanced Study: John von Neumann: (1167 words)
Referred to as Williams Memory at the time, this was the method used for the IAS Computer, and that allowed instructions as well as data to be encoded into numeric form and stored in the memory.
The abstraction freed the concepts of the nascent computer from the constraints posed by the technology of the era and, ultimately, stimulated the growth of that technology.
Von Neumann was fascinated by the relationship of computers to the brain, in particular, the relationship between the language of mathematics and the communications of the central nervous system.
Institute for Advanced Study: Privacy policy: Privacy Policy (3389 words)
These users agree that the IAS will not have obligation to take action with respect to such material that they may receive or be exposed to through their connection to the IAS's computer network.
IAS will not be held responsible for harm caused to the user's personal computer equipment by connecting it to the IAS's computer network and the Internet.
IAS support staff may not be held liable for any damage to personal equipment resulting from offering their assistance.
  More results at FactBites »



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