Specification - VAX-11/780
1 VAX MIPS
4K MOS RAM chips, originally limited
to 1 megabyte total physical memory
Original memory cycle time:
243 different instructions on several
basic data types: 8-,16-,and 32-bit integers,
32-and 64-bit floating point,
packed decimal, and unpacked
numeric strings up to 31 decimal digits,
character string (up to 65,535 bytes),
variable-length bit fields up to
32 bits aligned on any bit position,
UNIBUS or MASSBUS disks and
tapes typically, l-2tape drives
and 2- 6 disks configured
RP05,RK07,and TE16 most common
VAX VMS Version 1, intended
as the all-purpose operating system
for the VAX family,
FORTRAN-77, COBOL, BLISS-32,
Enhanced PDP-11 architecture to
increase virtual address space
from 16 to 32 bits, doubling
general registers from 8 to 16
VAX-11/780s were sold until 1988
Enter the VAX
The VAX changed Digital's approach to architecture and became a
standard of comparison for a new breed of superminicomputers. At the
same time, the PC industry was launched by the Apple II,which could
be hooked up to any color television. The first desktop computer from
Tandy laid the groundwork for a global PC market.
WordStar and VisiCalc provided popular word-processing and
spreadsheet programs that personal computers could run. In 1981 IBM
introduced its first PC. Running MS-DOS as its operating system
ensured the future of Microsoft. Soon Lows 101 combined VisiCalc's
spread sheet capability with graphics and data retrieval.
DECtalk converted text to speech, and Apple's Macintosh made a
success of the mouse as interface, which was developed some years
earlier for the short-lived Lisa.
Apollo's first workstation gave engineers and designers enormous
computing power at a fraction of the cost of powerful processors.
Programs such as PageMaker promoted desktop publishing, compact
disks economized optical storage, and precautions were on the rise
against computer viruses.
VAX Family Timeline
1975 Digital's 32-bit system first proposed
1976 VAX program office established
Starlet (VMS) project begins
1978 Digital's first 32-bit computer, the VAX-11/780
1979 Venus,VAX 8600 project begins
1980 VAX-11/750, the industry's first32-bit
minicomputer, uses Large Scale Integration
First use of gate arrays in major system
1981 Gemini/Nautilus (VAXBI) project begins
VAX-11/782, first dual-processor VAX
1982 VAX-11/730, first single-cabinet VAX
1983 VAXcluster systems, loosely linked
multiprocessing concept MicroVAX I,
1984 VAX-11/785, most powerful VAX to date
25,000 VAX computers shipped
VAX 8600, first new-generation VAX, Digital's
highest-performance system to date
1985 MicroVAX H, industry's most powerful
superminicomputer, and VAXstation II extend
VAX power to single-chip personal-size systems.
1986 VAXBI-based systems: 8200, 8300,8800
VAX 8800, most powerful Digital system
Digital's first ECL multiprocessor
VAX 8500, VAX 8550, VAX 8700
1987 VAX 8978, with up to 50 times the power
100,000 VAX computers shipped
1988 VAX 8840,first4-processor VAX runs
symmetric multiprocessing (SMP).
VAX 6200 series: VAX 6210, VAX 6220, VAX 6230,
VAX 6240-first small system to run SMP.
1989 VAXstation 3100
VAX 6000,-200,-300,-400 series
VAX 9000 series
1990 MicroVAX 3100e
VAX 6000,-400 and-500 series
VAXft Model 310,fault-tolerant VAX
VAX 9000 series expands by 10 servers
1991 Four new VAXft models extend high availability.
VAX 4000 triples previous model's performance.
VAX 6000 Model 600 doubles previous model's
15,000 VAX 6000 systerns sold.