What is the Full Form of EDVAC?

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EDVAC Full Form is  Electronic Discrete Variable Automatic Computer. It was among the first devices to use electronic computing. In contrast to ENIAC, it was designed to function as a stored-program computer and utilised binary numerals instead of decimal ones. It and ORDVAC were ENIAC’s successors. 

History of EDVAC

J. Presper Eckert and John Mauchly, the creators of the ENIAC, suggested building the EDVAC in August 1944. With a starting budget of $100,000, a contract to construct the new computer was inked in April of that year. The Ballistic Research Laboratory received EDVAC in 1949. In 1952, the Ballistic Research Laboratory was integrated into the US Army Research Laboratory.

EDVAC operated as a binary serial computer with programmed division, automated multiplication, addition, subtraction, and automatic checking, as well as a 1,024 44-bit word ultrasonic serial memory. The typical addition and multiplication times for EDVAC were 864 and 2,900 microseconds, respectively.

Components of EDVAC

The computer physically was made up of the following parts:

  • an oscilloscope-equipped control unit
  • a dispatcher unit to accept commands from the control including memory and transmit them to other units
  • a magnetic tape reader recorder.
  • a computing device that can carry out arithmetic operations on two numbers and deliver the output to memory after verifying for duplicate units
  • a clock
  • a dual memory unit with three temporary delay-line tanks, each retaining a single word
  • two sets of 64 mercury acoustic delayed lines with a capacity of eight words per line.

Future Impact of EDVAC on Computer Designs

First Draught of a Report on the EDVAC, John Von Neumann’s renowned EDVAC monograph, outlined the primary change to the device’s design that realised the key “stored-program” idea that we now refer computer as the Von Neumann architecture. This involved keeping the programme and data in the same memory. The first operational computers that used this design were the British machines EDSAC at Cambridge and the Manchester Baby. And the vast majority of computers created afterwards have followed suit. To identify it, the Harvard design is now referred to as having the programme and data in separate memory.

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