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Chapter 1. Development of the PC

Chapter 1. Development of the PC

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ComputerHistoryBeforePersonalComputers

Manydiscoveriesandinventionshavedirectlyandindirectly

contributedtothedevelopmentofthepersonalcomputeraswe

knowittoday.Examiningafewimportantdevelopmental

landmarkscanhelpbringtheentirepictureintofocus.

Thefirstcomputersofanykindweresimplecalculators.Even

theseevolvedfrommechanicaldevicestoelectronicdigital

devices.



Timeline

Thefollowingisatimelineofsomesignificanteventsin

computerhistory.Itisnotmeanttobecomplete,justa

representationofsomeofthemajorlandmarksincomputer

development:



[Pages9-11]

1617



JohnNapiercreates"Napier'sBones,"woodenorivoryrods

usedforcalculating.



1642



BlaisePascalintroducesthePascalinedigitaladdingmachine.



1822



CharlesBabbageintroducestheDifferenceEngineandlater

theAnalyticalEngine,atruegeneral-purposecomputing

machine.



1906



LeeDeForestpatentsthevacuumtubetriode,usedasan

electronicswitchinthefirstelectroniccomputers.



1936



AlanTuringpublishes"OnComputableNumbers,"apaperin

whichheconceivesanimaginarycomputercalledtheTuring

Machine,consideredoneofthefoundationsofmodern



computing.TuringlaterworkedonbreakingtheGerman

Enigmacode.

1936



KonradZusebeginsworkonaseriesofcomputersthatwill

culminatein1941whenhefinishesworkontheZ3.Theseare

consideredthefirstworkingelectricbinarycomputers,using

electromechanicalswitchesandrelays.



1937



JohnV.AtanasoffbeginsworkontheAtanasoff-Berry

Computer(ABC),whichwouldlaterbeofficiallycreditedasthe

firstelectroniccomputer.Notethatanelectroniccomputer

usestubes,transistors,orothersolid-stateswitchingdevices,

whereasanelectriccomputeruseselectricmotors,solenoids,

and/orrelays(electromechanicalswitches).



1943



Thomas(Tommy)FlowersdevelopstheColossus,asecret

Britishcode-breakingcomputerdesignedtodecodesecret

messagesencryptedbytheGermanEnigmaciphermachines.



1945



JohnvonNeumannwrites"FirstDraftofaReportonthe

EDVAC,"inwhichheoutlinesthearchitectureofthemodern

stored-programcomputer.



1946



ENIACisintroduced,anelectroniccomputingmachinebuiltby

JohnMauchlyandJ.PresperEckert.



1947



OnDecember23,WilliamShockley,WalterBrattain,andJohn

Bardeensuccessfullytestthepoint-contacttransistor,setting

offthesemiconductorrevolution.



1949



MauriceWilkesassemblestheEDSAC,thefirstpractical

stored-programcomputer,atCambridgeUniversity.



1950



EngineeringResearchAssociatesofMinneapolisbuildstheERA

1101,oneofthefirstcommerciallyproducedcomputers.



1952



TheUNIVACIdeliveredtotheU.S.CensusBureauisthefirst

commercialcomputertoattractwidespreadpublicattention.



1953



IBMshipsitsfirstelectroniccomputer,the701.



1954



Asilicon-basedjunctiontransistor,perfectedbyGordonTealof

TexasInstruments,Inc.,bringsatremendousreductionin

costs.



1954



TheIBM650magneticdrumcalculatorestablishesitselfasthe

firstmassproducedcomputer,withthecompanyselling450in

oneyear.



1955



BellLaboratoriesannouncesthefirstfullytransistorized

computer,TRADIC.



1956



MITresearchersbuildtheTX-0,thefirstgeneral-purpose,

programmablecomputerbuiltwithtransistors.



1956



TheeraofmagneticdiskstoragedawnswithIBM'sshipmentof

a305RAMACtoZellerbachPaperinSanFrancisco.



1958



JackKilbycreatesthefirstintegratedcircuitatTexas

Instrumentstoprovethatresistorsandcapacitorscanexiston

thesamepieceofsemiconductormaterial.



1959



IBM's7000seriesmainframesarethecompany'sfirst

transistorizedcomputers.



1959



RobertNoyce'spracticalintegratedcircuit,inventedatFairchild

CameraandInstrumentCorp.,allowsprintingofconducting

channelsdirectlyonthesiliconsurface.



1960



BellLabsdesignsitsDataphone,thefirstcommercialmodem,

specificallyforconvertingdigitalcomputerdatatoanalog

signalsfortransmissionacrossitslongdistancenetwork.



1960



Theprecursortotheminicomputer,DEC'sPDP-1,sellsfor

$120,000.



1961



AccordingtoDatamationmagazine,IBMhasan81.2%share

ofthecomputermarketin1961,theyearinwhichit

introducesthe1400series.



1964



CDC's6600supercomputer,designedbySeymourCray,

performsuptothreemillioninstructionsperseconda

processingspeedthreetimesfasterthanthatofitsclosest

competitor,theIBMStretch.



1964



IBMannouncesSystem/360,afamilyofsixmutually

compatiblecomputersand40peripheralsthatcanwork

together.



1964



OnlinetransactionprocessingmakesitsdebutinIBM'sSABRE

reservationsystem,setupforAmericanAirlines.



1965



DigitalEquipmentCorp.introducesthePDP-8,thefirst

commerciallysuccessfulminicomputer.



1966



Hewlett-Packardentersthegeneral-purposecomputer

businesswithitsHP-2115forcomputation,offeringa

computationalpowerformerlyfoundonlyinmuchlarger

computers.



1969



TherootofwhatistobecometheInternetbeginswhenthe

DepartmentofDefenseestablishesfournodesontheARPAnet:

twoatUniversityofCaliforniacampuses(oneatSantaBarbara

andoneatLosAngeles)andoneeachatSRIInternationaland

theUniversityofUtah.



1971



AteamatIBM'sSanJoseLaboratoriesinventsthe8"floppy

disk.



1971



Thefirstadvertisementforamicroprocessor,theIntel4004,

appearsinElectronicNews.



1971



TheKenbak-1,oneofthefirstpersonalcomputers,advertises

for$750inScientificAmerican.



1972



Hewlett-PackardannouncestheHP-35as"afast,extremely

accurateelectronicsliderule"withasolid-statememory

similartothatofacomputer.



1972



Intel's8008microprocessormakesitsdebut.



1972



SteveWozniakbuildshis"bluebox,"atonegeneratortomake

freephonecalls.



1973



RobertMetcalfedevisestheEthernetmethodofnetwork

connectionattheXeroxPaloAltoResearchCenter.



1973



TheMicralistheearliestcommercial,non-kitpersonal

computerbasedonamicroprocessor,theIntel8008.



1973



TheTVTypewriter,designedbyDonLancaster,providesthe

firstdisplayofalphanumericinformationonanordinary



televisionset.

1974



ResearchersattheXeroxPaloAltoResearchCenterdesignthe

Alto,thefirstworkstationwithabuilt-inmouseforinput.



1974



Scelbiadvertisesits8Hcomputer,thefirstcommercially

advertisedU.S.computerbasedonamicroprocessor,Intel's

8008.



1975



Telenet,thefirstcommercialpacketswitchingnetworkand

civilianequivalentofARPAnet,isborn.



1975



TheJanuaryeditionofPopularElectronicsfeaturestheAltair

8800,whichisbasedonIntel's8080microprocessor,onits

cover.



1975



Thevisualdisplaymodule(VDM)prototype,designedbyLee

Felsenstein,marksthefirstimplementationofamemorymappedalphanumericvideodisplayforpersonalcomputers.



1976



SteveWozniakdesignstheAppleI,asingle-boardcomputer.



1976



The51/4"flexiblediskdriveanddiskareintroducedby

ShugartAssociates.



1976



TheCrayImakesitsnameasthefirstcommerciallysuccessful

vectorprocessor.



1977



TandyRadioShackintroducestheTRS-80.



1977



AppleComputerintroducestheAppleII.



1977



CommodoreintroducesthePET(PersonalElectronic

Transactor).



1978



TheVAX11/780fromDigitalEquipmentCorp.featuresthe

capabilitytoaddressupto4.3GBofvirtualmemory,providing

hundredsoftimesthecapacityofmostminicomputers.



1979



Motorolaintroducesthe68000microprocessor.



1980



JohnShoch,attheXeroxPaloAltoResearchCenter,invents



thecomputer"worm,"ashortprogramthatsearchesa

networkforidleprocessors.

1980



SeagateTechnologycreatesthefirstharddiskdrivefor

microcomputers,theST-506.



1980



Thefirstopticaldatastoragediskhas60timesthecapacityof

a51/4"floppydisk.



1981



XeroxintroducestheStar,thefirstpersonalcomputerwitha

graphicaluserinterface(GUI).



1981



AdamOsbornecompletesthefirstportablecomputer,the

OsborneI,whichweighs24lbs.andcosts$1,795.



1981



IBMintroducesitsPC,ignitingafastgrowthofthepersonal

computermarket.TheIBMPCisthegrandfatherofallmodern

PCs.



1981



Sonyintroducesandshipsthefirst31/2"floppydrivesand

disks.



1981



PhilipsandSonyintroducetheCD-DA(compactdiscdigital

audio)format.



1982



SonyisthefirstwithaCDplayeronthemarket.



1983



AppleintroducesitsLisa,whichincorporatesaGUIthat'svery

similartotheonefirstintroducedontheXeroxStar.



1983



CompaqComputerCorp.introducesitsfirstPCclonethatuses

thesamesoftwareastheIBMPC.



1984



AppleComputerlaunchestheMacintosh,thefirstsuccessful

mouse-drivencomputerwithaGUI,withasingle$1.5million

commercialduringthe1984SuperBowl.



1984



IBMreleasesthePC-AT(PCAdvancedTechnology),threetimes

fasterthanoriginalPCsandbasedontheIntel286chip.The

ATintroducesthe16-bitISAbusandisthecomputeronwhich

allmodernPCsarebased.



1985



PhilipsintroducesthefirstCD-ROMdrive.



1986



CompaqannouncestheDeskpro386,thefirstcomputeronthe

markettousewhatwasthenIntel'snew386chip.



1987



IBMintroducesitsPS/2machines,whichmakethe31/2"

floppydiskdriveandVGAvideostandardforPCs.ThePS/2

alsointroducestheMicroChannelArchitecture(MCA)bus,the

firstplug-and-playbusforPCs.



1988



ApplecofounderSteveJobs,wholeftAppletoformhisown

company,unveilstheNeXT.



1988



CompaqandotherPC-clonemakersdevelopEnhanced

IndustryStandardArchitecture(EISA),whichunlike

MicroChannelretainsbackwardcompatibilitywiththeexisting

ISAbus.



1988



RobertMorris'swormfloodstheARPAnet.The23-year-old

Morris,thesonofacomputersecurityexpertfortheNational

SecurityAgency,sendsanondestructivewormthroughthe

Internet,causingproblemsforabout6,000ofthe60,000hosts

linkedtothenetwork.



1989



Intelreleasesthe486(P4)microprocessor,whichcontains

morethanonemilliontransistors.Intelalsointroduces486

motherboardchipsets.



1990



TheWorldWideWeb(WWW)isbornwhenTimBerners-Lee,a

researcheratCERNthehigh-energyphysicslaboratoryin

GenevadevelopsHypertextMarkupLanguage(HTML).



1993



IntelreleasesthePentium(P5)processor.Intelshiftsfrom

numberstonamesforitschipsafteritlearnsit'simpossibleto

trademarkanumber.Intelalsoreleasesmotherboardchipsets

and,forthefirsttime,completemotherboardsaswell.



1995



IntelreleasesthePentiumProprocessor,thefirstintheP6

processorfamily.



1995



MicrosoftreleasesWindows95,thefirstmainstream32-bit

operatingsystem,inahugerollout.



1997



IntelreleasesthePentiumIIprocessor,essentiallyaPentium

ProwithMMXinstructionsadded.



1997



AMDintroducestheK6,whichiscompatiblewiththeIntelP5

(Pentium).



1998



MicrosoftreleasesWindows98.



1998



IntelreleasestheCeleron,alow-costversionofthePentiumII

processor.Initialversionshavenocache,butwithinafew

monthsIntelintroducesversionswithasmallerbutfasterL2

cache.



1999



IntelreleasesthePentiumIII,essentiallyaPentiumIIwith

SSE(StreamingSIMDExtensions)added.



1999



AMDintroducestheAthlon.



1999



TheIEEEofficiallyapprovesthe5GHzband802.11a54Mbps

and2.4GHZband802.11b11Mbpswirelessnetworking

standards.TheWi-FiAllianceisformedtocertify802.11b

products,ensuringinteroperability.



2000



Thefirst802.11bWi-Ficertifiedproductsareintroduced,and

wirelessnetworkingrapidlybuildsmomentum.



2000



MicrosoftreleasesWindowsMe(MillenniumEdition)and

Windows2000.



2000



BothIntelandAMDintroduceprocessorsrunningat1GHz.



2000



AMDintroducestheDuron,alow-costAthlonwithreducedL2

cache.



2000



IntelintroducesthePentium4,thelatestprocessorintheIntel

Architecture32-bit(IA-32)family.



2001



IntelreleasestheItaniumprocessor,itsfirst64-bit(IA-64)

processorforPCs.



2001



Theindustrycelebratesthe20thanniversaryofthereleaseof

theoriginalIBMPC.



2001



Intelintroducesthefirst2GHzprocessor,aversionofthe

Pentium4.Ittooktheindustry281/2yearstogofrom



108KHzto1GHz,butonly18monthstogofrom1GHzto

2GHz.

2001



MicrosoftreleasesWindowsXPHomeandProfessional,forthe

firsttimemergingtheconsumer(9x/Me)andbusiness

(NT/2000)operatingsystemlinesunderthesamecodebase

(anextensionofWindows2000).



2001



Atherosintroducesthefirst802.11a54Mbpshigh-speed

wirelesschips,allowing802.11aproductstofinallyreachthe

market.



2002



Intelreleasesthefirst3GHz-classprocessor,a3.06GHz

versionofthePentium4.ThisprocessoralsointroducesIntel's

Hyper-Threading(HT)technology(whichenablesasingle

processortoworkwithtwoapplicationthreadsatthesame

time)todesktopcomputing.



2003



IntelreleasesthePentiumM,aprocessordesignedspecifically

formobilesystems,offeringextremelylowpowerconsumption

thatresultsindramaticallyincreasedbatterylifewhilestill

offeringrelativelyhighperformance.ThePentiumMbecomes

thecornerstoneofIntel'sCentrinobrand.



2003



AMDreleasestheAthlon64,thefirstx86-64(AMD64)64-bit

processortargetedatthemainstreamconsumerandbusiness

markets.



2003



TheIEEEofficiallyapprovesthe802.11g54Mbpshigh-speed

wirelessnetworkingstandard,whichusesthesame2.4GHz

bandas(andisbackward-compatiblewith)802.11b.802.11g

productsreachthemarketquickly,someevenbeforethe

officialstandardisapproved.



2004



IntelintroducesaversionofthePentium4codenamed

Prescott,thefirstPCprocessorbuilton90-nanometer

technology.



2004



IntelintroducesEM64T(ExtendedMemory64Technology),

whichisa64-bitextensiontoIntel'sIA-32architecture.EM64T

issoftware-compatiblewithandtargetedatthesamemarket

asthex86-64(AMD64)technologyfirstreleasedbyAMDand

isnotcompatiblewiththe64-bitItanium.



2005



MicrosoftreleasesWindowsXPx64Edition,whichsupports

processorswithAMD64andEM64Textensions.



2005



TheeraofmulticorePCprocessorsbeginsasIntelintroduces

thePentiumD8xxandPentiumExtremeEdition8xxdual-core

processors.



2005



AMDintroducestheAthlon64X2dual-coreprocessors.



MechanicalCalculators

Oneoftheearliestcalculatingdevicesonrecordistheabacus,

whichhasbeenknownandwidelyusedformorethan2,000

years.Theabacusisasimplewoodenrackholdingparallelrods

onwhichbeadsarestrung.Whenthesebeadsaremanipulated

backandforthaccordingtocertainrules,severaltypesof

arithmeticoperationscanbeperformed.

MathwithstandardArabicnumbersfounditswaytoEuropein

theeighthandninthcenturies.Intheearly1600s,aman

namedCharlesNapier(theinventoroflogarithms)developeda

seriesofrods(latercalledNapier'sBones)thatcouldbeusedto

assistwithnumericmultiplication.

BlaisePascalisusuallycreditedwithbuildingthefirstdigital

calculatingmachinein1642.Itcouldperformtheadditionof

numbersenteredondialsandwasintendedtohelphisfather,

whowasataxcollector.Thenin1671,GottfriedWilhelmvon

Leibnizinventedacalculatorthatwasfinallybuiltin1694.His

calculatingmachinecouldnotonlyadd,butbysuccessive

addingandshifting,itcouldalsomultiply.

In1820,CharlesXavierThomasdevelopedthefirst

commerciallysuccessfulmechanicalcalculatorthatcouldnot

onlyaddbutalsosubtract,multiply,anddivide.Afterthat,a

successionofever-improvingmechanicalcalculatorscreatedby



variousotherinventorsfollowed.



TheFirstMechanicalComputer

CharlesBabbage,amathematicsprofessorinCambridge,

England,isconsideredbymanytobethefatherofcomputers

becauseofhistwogreatinventionseachadifferenttypeof

mechanicalcomputingengine.

TheDifferenceEngine,ashecalledit,wasconceivedin1812

andsolvedpolynomialequationsbythemethodofdifferences.

By1822,hehadbuiltasmallworkingmodelofhisDifference

Enginefordemonstrationpurposes.Withfinancialhelpfromthe

Britishgovernment,Babbagestartedconstructionofafull-scale

modelin1823.Itwasintendedtobesteam-poweredandfully

automatic,anditwouldevenprinttheresultingtables.

Babbagecontinuedworkonitfor10years,butby1833hehad

lostinterestbecausehenowhadanideaforanevenbetter

machine,somethinghedescribedasageneral-purpose,fully

program-controlled,automaticmechanicaldigitalcomputer.

BabbagecalledhisnewmachineanAnalyticalEngine.Theplans

fortheAnalyticalEnginespecifiedaparalleldecimalcomputer

operatingonnumbers(words)of50decimaldigitsandwitha

storagecapacity(memory)of1,000suchnumbers.Builtin

operationsweretoincludeeverythingthatamoderngeneralpurposecomputerwouldneed,eventheall-important

conditionalfunction,whichwouldallowinstructionstobe

executedinanorderdependingoncertainconditions,notjust

innumericalsequence.Inmoderncomputerlanguages,this

conditionalcapabilityismanifestedintheIFstatement.The

AnalyticalEnginewasalsointendedtousepunchedcards,

whichwouldcontrolorprogramthemachine.Themachinewas

tooperateautomaticallybysteampowerandwouldrequire

onlyoneattendant.



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