UK Government Launches the Alvey Programme

1983
UK Government Launches the Alvey Programme

The Alvey Programme was a British government sponsored research program in information technology that ran from 1983 to 1987. The program was a reaction to the Japanese Fifth generation Computer Project.

Focus areas for the Alvey Programme included:

  • VLSI (very large scale integration) technology for microelectronics
  • Intelligent Knowledge Based Systems (IKBS) or Artificial Intelligence (AI)
  • Software Engineering
  • Man-Machine Interface (included Natural Language Processing)
  • Systems Architecture (for parallel processing)

Leaps in computer hardware technology have been defined by generation:

  • 1st Generation: computers using vacuum tubes;
  • 2nd Generation: computers using transistors and diodes;
  • 3rd Generation: computers using integrated circuits;
  • 4th Generation: computers using microprocessors.

Whereas previous computer generations had focused on increasing the number of logic elements in a single CPU, the fifth generation, it was widely believed at the time, would instead turn to massive numbers of CPUs, running in parallel, for added performance.


 

 

 

 

UK Government Launches the Alvey Programme

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