EMI Emidec 1100 computer

This Emidec Computer News Issue 3 features the Emidec 1100 computer at the Electronic Computer Exhibition in 1961. This is a 10 page A4 publication with some great black & white photographs, dated October 1961.

The EMIDEC 1100 computer (became the ICT 1101 in 1962) was produced by the Computing Services Division of EMI Laboratories in the UK under the leadership of Professor Sir Godfrey Newbold Hounsfield in 1959 after one year's development. It used magnetic core memory and transistor technologies and it is claimed to be the first large commercial transistorised machine in the UK.

Core memory was a matrix of laced ferrite cores. Because transistors were relatively slow at that time Godfrey Hounsfield used magnetic logic units as the core store to speed up the operation of the machine to achieve a processing power comparable with a valve/tube computer. These logic units consisted of a single ferrite ring (toroid), with up to fifteen connections to it. Main storage capacity was 1,024 words, each of 36 bits - just over 4k bytes.

Backup storage (equivalent of hard disk) was provided by magnetic drums, each of 4,096 registers - about 20k. Anything else was stored on 1-inch-wide (25 mm) magnetic tape mounted in the vertical drive, vacuum-sealed behind a glass door. Peripherals included punched tape readers, punched card readers, and line printers.

24 EMIDEC 1100 computers were sold to commercial customers including Domestic Electric Rentals, Boots, British Motor Corporation, London Transport, Lloyds Bank and the Admiralty. They were used for a range of commercial and industrial applications.

In July 1962 EMI Computing Services Division became part of International Computers and Tabulators (ICT) which merged with other UK computer companies in 1968 to become International Computers Limited (ICL).


Date : October 1961

Creator : EMI

This exhibit has a reference ID of CH15496. Please quote this reference ID in any communication with the Centre for Computing History.

Scan of Document: EMI Emidec 1100 computer

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