The Universal Automatic Calculator or UNIVAC (according to other sources Universal Automatic Computer ) is a computer from 1951, which was designed by J. Presper Eckert and John W. Mauchly (both from the ENIAC group). The first Univac used as an external storage, a magnetic tape. The term UNIVAC 1951 representative uses for computers. To date, the UNIVAC series will be further developed and supported.


After the Second World War, few people were of the view that computers would have a future. Founded in 1946 by J. Presper Eckert and John W. Mauchly Eckert - Mauchly Computer Corporation (EMCC ) was one of the few companies that was convinced that electronic computers can be used universally, not just for specific calculations of complex mathematical problems, but that this universal ' calculators will also find a use in the economy.

The Eckert - Mauchly Computer Corporation worked on BINAC, a smaller version of ENIAC, which was built for the Northrop Corporation. EMCC 1948 got the contract to build a computer for the U.S. Census Bureau, which should be ready for the 1950 census. Because of financial difficulties of the appointment could not be maintained, and the Eckert - Mauchly Computer Corporation was acquired by Remington Rand on February 15, 1950. The EMCC has been integrated as a business unit in the Remington Rand UNIVAC organization.

As in 1951, the UNIVAC was the U.S. Census Bureau passed I, they heralded the era of commercial electronic data processors, and for some years the name UNIVAC was representative used for all computers. The UNIVAC was after the Zuse Z4, the second commercial computer world. It was installed a few months after the delivery of the Z4 at the ETH Zurich.

The UNIVAC became famous after the presidential election night in 1952. With it, an extrapolation was created, based on 7 % of the counted votes. As a result, he said at 9 clock in the evening a landslide victory for Eisenhower ahead, contrary to conventionally determined forecasts of a head - to-head race. The client does not trust the UNIVAC and decided forecast, not to publish it. Later it turned out that she was quite accurate: The predicted distribution of 438 electors for Eisenhower and 93 for Stevenson came up close to the actual distribution of 442:89. This result made ​​the UNIVAC known worldwide.

1955 Remington Rand merged with Sperry Corporation Sperry Rand. The Business Unit Univac remained unchanged exist at Sperry Rand. All delivered computers were still called UNIVAC. Only in 1982 the name UNIVAC was replaced by the name Sperry. 1986 Sperry merged with Burroughs Corporation to Unisys. From this point, the computer series was renamed Unisys.

Over the years, the computer architecture has been developed. Starting with vacuum tubes over transistors to CMOS for the specific UNIVACs processor architecture was preserved, even the common from the UNIVAC-1100/2200- and OS2200 series property that 1 character = 9 bits = 1 byte.


  • The UNIVAC I ( Universal Automatic Computer I) was the first commercially produced computer in the USA. Grace Hopper and Betty Holberton were instrumental in the UNIVAC I. FLOW- MATIC was designed for the UNIVAC I, as well as the network method Critical Path Method, today essential in any planning software.
  • The Remington Rand 409 was designed in 1949. She was one of the first punch card machines, which used valves for storing intermediate results. It was built to machine under the name UNIVAC 60 (1952) and UNIVAC 120 ( 1953).
  • The UNIVAC II was a further development of the UNIVAC I, which was first delivered in 1958. Was expanded, especially the main memory on 2,000 to 10,000 machine words, UNISERVO II magnetic tapes, which could use either the old UNIVAC I- magnetic tapes or the new based on mylar tapes. Some circuits have been implemented on the basis of transistors ( Univac the tube II was still based). The Univac II was fully compatible with the I Univac this. Both in terms of the program instructions and data structures
  • The UNIVAC III was delivered in 1962. It 96 pieces of the UNIVAC III systems were produced.
  • The ERA 1101 also called UNIVAC 1101 was designed by Engineering Research Associates ( ERA ) and built by the Remington Rand Corporation, 1950.
  • The ERA 1102 also called UNIVAC 1102 was designed by Engineering Research Associates ( ERA ) and built for the United States Air Force.
  • The ERA 1103 also called UNIVAC 1103 was a successor to the UNIVAC 1101 and was introduced in 1953. This machine was designed by the Engineering Research Associates ( ERA ), including the UNIVAC 1103 by Seymour Cray was designed. An improved version, the UNIVAC 1103A was built in 1956 and was the direct competition for the IBM 704
  • The UNIVAC 1104 was a forerunner of the UNIVAC NDTS systems and was built in 1957, later replaced by the AN/USQ-20.
  • The UNIVAC LARC ( Livermore Advanced Research Computer ) was a first attempt in 1960 to build a supercomputer. The LARC had two CPUs. A total of two machines were built, one for the U.S. Navy and one for the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. 1960 was one of the LARC 500 kFLOPS the fastest machines this time.
  • The UNIVAC NTDS, also called UNIVAC -1206 or AN/USQ-17 or AN/USQ-20, was a computer system, which was used from 1960 on warships of the U.S. Navy.
  • The UNIVAC BOGART was built 1956-1959 as the successor to the UNIVAC 1103 for the NSA, who used the machine for cryptanalysis.
  • The UNIVAC Athena was a control systems for rockets and was built in 1955 for the American military.
  • The UNIVAC 490 was a 30 -bit computer with machine words of 16 K or 32 K and was built in 1961. The machine cycle was 4.8 microseconds.
  • The UNIVAC 492 is similar to the UNIVAC 490, in contrast to this they had extended memory up to 64K 30-bit machine words.
  • The UNIVAC 494 was a 30 -bit machine word system, which was launched as a successor to the UNIVAC 490/492 on the market. The UNIVAC 494 had a faster processor and 131 K of memory. Up to 24 input and output channels were available, and the system was usually shipped with UNIVAC FH880 or UNIVAC FH432 magnetic drum memory. The operating system was called OMEGA, a successor to the REX operating system of the UNIVAC 490
  • The UNIVAC 1004 was based on punch card system and was expelled in 1962. The memory bits was 961 " characters" of 6. For this purpose a hole card reader that could read 400 cards per minute, delivered a card punch (200 per minute ) and a drum printer (400 lines per minute).
  • The UNIVAC 418 was a first attempt to develop a "desktop" computer. The computer was just small enough to fit on an office table. Since the machine was mainly used in the military field, only one machine was spotted in 1964 in Europe.
  • The UNIVAC 1005 is an extension of the UNIVAC 1004 and it was introduced in February 1966. The UNIVAC 1005 was mainly used in the military field and led to the first use of computers on the battlefield.

UNIVAC systems of Sperry Rand / Sperry Univac based on transistors. Even today, these processors are supported by the Unisys ClearPath models.

  • The UNIVAC 1107 was the first model of the UNIVAC -1100 series, which in 1962 appeared on the market. This series introduced a striking difference in the computer architecture. Unlike its predecessors, no register store instructions was more used, but converted to an accumulator architecture. 36 pieces have been sold. On the UNIVAC 1107 1960 by Ole -Johan Dahl and Kristen Nygaard at the Norwegian Computer Center (University of Oslo) has developed the Simula programming language. The first prototype of the compiler ran in 1964.
  • The UNIVAC 1108 was the second product line in the series of the UNIVAC 1100 computer, which was introduced in 1964. In contrast to the UNIVAC 1107 1108 magnetic memory based thin film memory has been replaced by integrated circuits in the UNIVAC. In addition, smaller and faster circuits have been used for the main memory.
  • The UNIVAC 1106 was the third product line, which was introduced in 1969. The UNIVAC 1106 was fully compatible with the instruction set of the UNIVAC 1108. A total of 338 processors were delivered.
  • The UNIVAC 1110 was presented as a fourth product line in 1972. The UNIVAC 1110 had enhanced multiprocessing capabilities. In contrast to the UNIVAC 1108/1106, which supported only two processors, the UNIVAC 1110 was able to control up to 24 processors. A machine with 24 processors was used by NASA. A total of 290 processors were sold.

In 1975, the storage system was replaced and introduced a new naming convention, the last numbers of the maximum number of processors or CAU ( Command Arithmetic Unit), respectively, corresponded to CPU.

  • The UNIVAC 1100/10 corresponded to an improved version of the UNIVAC 1106, or 10 CPUs.
  • The UNIVAC 1100/20 corresponded to an improved version of the UNIVAC 1108
  • The UNIVAC 1100/40 corresponded to an improved version of the UNIVAC 1110
  • The UNIVAC 1100/60 was introduced in 1979.
  • The UNIVAC 1100/70 was presented in 1981.
  • The UNIVAC 1100/80 was introduced in 1979.
  • The UNIVAC 1100/90 was introduced in 1982. The system was cooled with liquid.
  • The Sperry 2200 series was produced from 1982 to 1985.

After the merger of Sperry and Burroughs Corporation in 1986 to Unisys computers were titled with the name Unisys later in 2200 with the brand Unisys Clearpath.

  • The Unisys 2200 series was continued until 1997.
  • The Unisys ClearPath series continues to this day.

Temporal viewing

The following chart shows the time history of the Univac computer.

The Company

UNIVAC as a company was formed by the amalgamation of various areas of Remington Rand, namely the area tabulating machines, the area for scientific computer in use and the range of commercially used computer ( this placed the UNIVAC ago). Remington Rand in 1955 united with the Sperry and Sperry Rand was. The business was renamed Sperry UNIVAC computer. 1978, the term UNIVAC disappeared from the company name, the company name was only Sperry.

Sperry merged with Burroughs in 1986 and, after an in-house competition to name the name search Unisys.

UNIVAC was in the 60s in addition to IBM, Burroughs, Scientific Data, Control Data Corporation, General Electric, RCA and Honeywell among the eight major computer companies.