Mailüfterl [May breeze] transistorised computer Transistor calculator

Heinz Zemanek and staff, Vienna (A), 1957/58

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Collection Area
Information & Communication
Data Processing
medien.welten (media.worlds)
1950 - 1959

After the Second World War, calculator installations were initially equipped with valves and transistors, and later with microchips, heralding the age of the modern computer.

After the Second World War, transistors replaced electron tubes as switching elements in computers. Tubes are sensitive glass vacuum vessels with a short service life. If a tube fails during a computation, the entire process has to be repeated. All this changed with the emergence of semiconductor-based transistors, which are more reliable in operation, smaller, and above all cheaper to make. In 1958, around the same time that the Mailüfterl transistorised computer was being built in Vienna for research purposes, American technicians succeeded in fitting several transistors to a semiconductor wafer, or chip. The gradual miniaturisation of these circuit elements allowed computers to become ever smaller and more powerful. The PDP 11 digital computer represents the new size class of computers, which were mainly for controlling certain sequences of operations. In the 1960s and 1970s computers such as these resulted in unprecedented advances in industrial automation.

Inv.Nr. 19110/1

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