Information Research Services Updated: 02 February 1998


1957 August: Ken Olsen and Harlan Anderson found DIGITAL EQUIPMENT CORPORATION and set up shop in an old woolen mill in Maynard, Massachusetts.

DIGITAL opened for business with three employees and 8,500 square feet of production space in a converted 19th century woolen mill.

1957 The company’s first product is Laboratory Modules.

Laboratory Modules were intended to sit on an engineer’s workbench or be mounted in a scientist’s equipment rack. To simplify the construction of logic systems, the modules were connected by simple cords with banana plugs.

1958 February: DIGITAL’s second product, Systems Modules, goes on the market.

Systems Modules or "DIGITAL Building Blocks" were identical in circuitry, signal levels, and speed range to Laboratory Modules but had a higher packing density and fixed backplane wiring. They were used for computers, memory testers and other complex systems of logic.

1958 July: By the end of its first fiscal year, DIGITAL sells $94,000 worth of laboratory and systems modules and has 60 employees.
1959 Design work begins on DIGITAL Memory Test Systems.

From a DIGITAL technical report dated March 1960: "DEC1500 series memory testers -- complete systems for testing coincident current core memories under simulated computer conditions. DEC memory testers will test planes up to 64 by 64 with several patterns of information quickly and completely in a single operation."

1959 The 3000 series Laboratory Modules and 4000 series Systems Modules go on the market.

The 3000 series Laboratory Modules ran at 500 kHz. The 4000 series System Modules ran at 1 MHz and were principal components in the PDP-4 and PDP-5.

1959 August: Design work begins on DIGITAL’s first computer, the Programmed Data Processor-1 (PDP-1).

A young hardware engineer named Ben Gurley was hired to design DIGITAL’s first computer. Three and a half months later, the prototype Programmed Data Processor-1 (PDP-1) was complete. In December, the prototype was demonstrated at the Joint Computer Conference in Boston.

1960 The 5000 series Laboratory Modules and 6000 series Systems Modules go on the market.

DIGITAL’s second-generation modules were made possible by the arrival of a new series of transistors. The modules ran at 10 MHz, compared to the first-generation modules, which ran at 5 MHz.

1960 The first DIGITAL Logic Handbook is published.

The Logic Handbook was an early project of Barbera Stephenson, the first woman hired as an engineer at DIGITAL. The Logic Handbook was the first in a long series of handbooks that worked both as textbooks and promotional tools. DIGITAL sent them to every customer and handed them out at trade shows.

1960 November: The PDP-1, the world’s first small, interactive computer is delivered to Bolt, Beranek and Newman (BBN), a computer-consulting firm in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

From a technical bulletin dated March 1960: "…a compact, solid state general purpose computer with an internal instruction execution rate of 100,000 to 200,000 operations per second. PDP-1 is a single address, single construction, stored program machine with a word length of 18-bits operating in parallel on 1’s complement binary numbers."

1961 Gordon Bell begins design work on the PDP-4.

The machine was aimed at applications with not many calculations, but rather the single manipulation of input and output, such as controlling a bakery or fleet of elevators. "As computers [like the PDP-4] become smaller and less expensive," said Bell, "they will take over some special system types…then the computer becomes a ‘module’ of the system."

1961 DECUS, the DIGITAL Equipment Computer Users Society, meets for the first time in Lexington, Massachusetts.

DECUS evolved because engineers needed a forum to share information and computer programs for DIGITAL’s first computer, the PDP-1. Founded on the idea of open exchange of information between user and manufacturer, DECUS has grown to be the computer industry’s largest users’ group with 150,000 members in 22 chapters worldwide. The DECUS logo is a stylized version of the PDP-1 "TYPE 30" point scope.

1962 July: Shipments begin of the PDP-4, DIGITAL’s second 18-bit computer.

Similar in structure to the PDP-1, the PDP-4 used slower memory and different packaging to achieve a lower price of $65,000. Approximately 54 PDP-4s were sold in application areas as diverse as nuclear physics, production and stock control.

1962 September: The PDP-1 operating system (the world’s first timesharing system) was written by engineers at MIT and BBN for the PDP-1.

Timesharing made interactive access to computers economically viable by allowing various users to share the computer simultaneously.

1962 Gordon Bell begins design work on the architecture for the PDP-5.

Bell based the new machine on a 12-bit DIGITAL controller (the DC-12) that DIGITAL had designed in 1961 but never built. Bell specified the instruction set in the fall of 1962. Design work was continued by Edson deCastro in early 1963.

1963 The 8000 series modules are introduced.

The 8000 series modules, also known as VHF modules, ran at 30 MHz. The modules were used to build high performance systems. The technology developed in the VHF modules was used in the timesharing capabilities of the PDP-6.

1963 April: DIGITAL’s first 12-bit machine, the PDP-5, is announced.

The PDP-5 was innovative in replacing the radial structure of earlier designs with an I/O bus. By allowing peripheral equipment to be added incrementally – rather than pre-allocating space, wiring, and cable drivers – the I/O bus design lowered the base costs of the system and simplified the configuring of machines in the field.

1963 DIGITAL has 12 field service engineers who work together to cover a territory that includes the U.S. and installations in Germany and England.

In March, DIGITAL opened its first European sales and service office with three people in Munich, Germany. At the same time, the first Canadian sales office opened with two people in Ottawa.

1964 Flip Chip modules are developed.

Flip Chip modules were built of discrete transistors, diodes, resistors and capacitors. The series was designed so that backplanes could be wire-wrapped automatically, reducing costs and increasing production line throughput. Flip Chips became the basis for the PDP-8.

1964 July: The first European Customer Training Center opens in Reading, England.
1964 October: DIGITAL unveils its first 36-bit computer, the PDP-6.

DIGITAL’s first large computer, the PDP-6, was designed to be a powerful, timeshared machine oriented to scientific use. It was the first commercially available computer with manufacturer-provided software for general purpose applications. Ultimately, 26 PDP-6 systems were installed.

1964 TOPS-10 is developed as the major user software interface for DIGITAL’s 36-bit machines.

TOPS-10 was developed from a 6-K word monitor for the PDP-6. It included user files and I/0 device independence, a command control program, and multiprocessing capabilities.

1964 December: The PDP-7, DIGITAL’s third 18-bit computer, is introduced.

A successor to the PDP-4, the PDP-7 used smaller, more conventional system units and was well-received in laboratory and data acquisition applications. The machine featured DIGITAL’s first mass-storage based operating system (DECsys for DECtape). In 1969, Richie and Thompson used the PDP-7 to develop the first version of UNIX at Bell Labs. Ultimately, 120 PDP-7s were produced and sold.

1964 DECtape is introduced concurrent with the PDP-7.

DECtape was a random access, block addressable medium for storing information on small magnetic tape. For the first time, tape was divided into sectors so that it could be used as an I/O storage system that was both interactive and inexpensive.

1964 December: DIGITAL is issued its first patent, for magnetic core memory. The inventors are Ken Olsen and Dick Best.

By 1971, DIGITAL was the largest consumer of magnetic core memories other than IBM. DIGITAL built its own magnetic core manufacturing business and by the mid- 1970s was producing 30 billion magnetic cores per year.

1965 The PDP-7A is introduced.

This second version of the PDP-7 used the newly announced R Series Flip Chip modules.

1965 April: Introduction of the PDP-8, the world’s first mass-produced minicomputer.

Word length: 12 bits
Speed: 1.5-microsecond cycle time
Primary memory: 4K 12-bit word core memory
Secondary memory: 32K maximum
Instruction set: 3-bit op code, 1 indirect bit; 8 bits of address
Input/Output: teletype (ASR-33) includes paper-tape reader and punch
Power: 780 watts
Price: $18,000

1965 November: In what is believed to be the earliest example of around-the-world networking, a link is made by operating a PDP-6 in Perth, Australia from Boston via a telex link.

The PDP-6 was operated and programmed from Boston using a 12,000-mile, 5-hole telex code. It proved very difficult to generate a control C in 5-hole code. At one point in the session, Robin Frith in Perth asks Alan Kotok in Massachusetts, "Do you think you could let us poor Aussies have a bit of core?"

1966 August: The PDP-9, DIGITAL’s fourth 18-bit computer system ships.

The PDP-9 featured a speed increase of approximately twice that of the PDP-7. The PDP-9 was also one of the first small or medium scale computers to have a keyboard monitor system based on DIGITAL’s own small magnetic tape units (DECtape).

1966 The PDP-8/S is introduced as an economical alternative to the "classic" PDP-8.

The size of a file-cabinet drawer, the S model’s cost reduction came from implementing the PDP-8 instruction set serially.

1966 The LINC-8 is introduced.

The LINC-8 was based on a previous design from Lincoln Labs to penetrate the emerging biomedical computer market. The computer incorporated both the LINC (Laboratory Instrument Computer) processor and the PDP-8 processor unit.

1967 September: The PDP-10 debuts.

The 36-bit PDP-10 was program-compatible with the PDP-6 and approximately twice as powerful. Designed to perform conversational timesharing, batch-processing and real-time operations equally well and simultaneously, the PDP-10 achieved great popularity with the commercial timesharing utilities, university computer centers and research laboratories.

1967 K series Flip Chip modules are introduced.

This new line of noise-immune modules was used for control applications in industrial computers. By 1975, DIGITAL produced approximately 200 different types of K series modules.

1967 The first generation of M series Flip Chip modules is introduced.

M series modules were used in the first redesign of the PDP-8, called the PDP-8/I, and were used in the first PDP-11 (PDP-11/20), the second PDP-10 processor (KI10) and the PDP-8/E. M series modules were DIGITAL’s first logic cards to use integrated circuits.

1968 July: There are more than 50 sales and services offices in 11 countries all over the world.
1968 August: The PDP-8/I is DIGITAL’s third 12-bit computer system and the first to be implemented with integrated circuits.

The PDP-8/I was more expandable (and expensive) than the PDP-8/S. Introduced at the same time was the PDP-8/L, a smaller OEM version of the 8/I.

1968 EDUsystems are introduced.

PDP-8-based EDUsystems, using the BASIC language developed by Dartmouth College, brought computers into elementary and secondary schools. EDUsystems were designed to start small and expand as the school’s computing requirements increased.

1968 The TYPESET-8, the pioneer of the "turnkey" computer system, is introduced.

This hardware and software package originally sold with the classic PDP-8 as its CPU and functioned as a computerized typesetting system for use in hot metal and photocomposition typesetting.

1969 March: The PDP-14 is delivered.

K series modules were used to develop noise-immune I/O units for this completely new, solid state controller that controlled operations by solving Boolean equations. Applications in the relay-logic marketplace included an automatic racking and stacking system, control of machine tools and sequencing.

1969 The PDP-12, successor to the LINC-8, is introduced.

PDP-12 was used in applications such as chemistry, applied psychology, patient monitoring and industrial testing. The machine incorporated the PDP-8/I and LINC-8 instruction sets, making it compatible with LINC-8 software. In addition to a display-based operating system, software packages were included for data acquisition and display, Fourier analysis and spectrometry.

1969 The PDP-15, successor to the PDP-9 and 9/L, is introduced.

The PDP-15 was DIGITAL’s last 18-bit computer system and the first implemented with integrated circuits. The new machine was faster and less expensive than its predecessors and had the added sophistication of a separate I/O processor to the CPU. Over 400 of these machines were ordered in the first eight months of production.

1969 FOCAL version 1.0 is issued.

The name stood for FOrmula CALculator and was the company’s first registered international trademark. FOCAL was the only language that ran on every DIGITAL computer at the time.

1970 The PDP-8/E, successor to the PDP/8-I, is introduced.

The new computer featured the OMNIBUS – a patented synchronous bus that handles bi-directional communication between system elements. A single OMNIBUS contained enough slots to handle up to 32K words of core memory, or up to 10 peripheral controllers. Shortly after the introduction of the PDP-8/E, DIGITAL installed its 10,000th computer system.

1970 April: The PDP-11/20, the first of DIGITAL’s 16-bit family of machines, is delivered.

The PDP-11/20 was the first minicomputer to interface all system elements – processor, memory and peripherals – to a single, bi-directional, asynchronous bus. The UNIBUS enabled fast devices to send, receive or exchange data without intermediate buffering in memory. The PDP-11 became the world’s most successful family of minicomputers.

1970 DIGITAL introduces three new peripherals: the LA30 DECwriter, the TU10 magnetic tape unit and the VT05 alphanumeric keyboard terminal.

The VT05 was the first video terminal manufactured by DIGITAL. The TU10 DECmagtape unit was available in eight different models. Each model incorporated a transport mechanism, head assembly, read/write electronics, motor control circuits, power supply, and cabinet. Bit packing densities of 200, 556, and 800 bits per inch (bpi) were program selectable. A single capstan drove the tape in the forward or reverse direction at a speed of 45 inches per second (ips).

1970 MUMPS software for the PDP-15 is introduced.

MUMPS was developed as a general purpose data management language at Massachusetts General Hospital; it allowed up to twenty-two users to simultaneously access a database held on disk. MUMPS-15 systems were used extensively in such areas as hospital information and stock and warehouse control.

1971 June: The first annual customer satisfaction survey is taken.
1971 RSTS-11, a timesharing operating system for the PDP-11, is introduced.

RSTS-11 was the first general purpose small computer operating system with generalized device handling. RSTS-11 was particularly well suited to commercial applications because of its sophisticated file handling and protection capabilities.

1971 The DECsystem-10 is introduced, marking a change in the marketing philosophy of the PDP-10 group.

The entire DECsystem-10 line used the same basic monitor system to give users unequaled expansion capability. The first DECsystem10s, the 10/40 and 10/50, used the proven KA10 processor, which was developed for the PDP-10 in 1967.

1971 The PDP-11/45, the most powerful PDP-11 family member to that point, is introduced. The PDP-11 was featured in Garry Trudeau’s Doonesbury comic strip.

The PDP-11/45 was an excellent computational tool for large multi-user, multi-task installations. Through memory management, memory could be expanded to 128K, which included a combination of bi-polar and MOS memory. Other features included a greatly expanded floating-point processor.

1971 Doonesbury’s Mark Slackmeyer learns to operate a PDP-11 during an ill-fated summer job.
1971 The RTM (PDP-16) is introduced.

The RTM (Register Transfer Module) began a new concept in small computers and digital controllers. Announced initially as the PDP-16, this series of printed circuit modules could be tailored to any application and made to operate with or without programs. In terms of cost, the RTM closed the gap between small logic modules and the smallest general purpose computer.

1972 The PDP-16/M is introduced as the first "sub-minicomputer" developed by DIGITAL.

The PDP-16/M combined the programmable capability of a minicomputer with the proven reliability of the PDP-16 controller (RTM). The machine incorporated a programmable read-only memory and a variety of options to make a versatile device for the OEM, educator and systems designer.

1972 The PDP-11/40 is introduced.

The PDP-11/40 offered approximately twice the processing power of the earlier PDP-11/20. A floating-point package was offered as on option, making the cost slightly lower than the 11/20.

1972 DIGITAL introduces the PDP-11/05 and PDP-11/10, the first "inexpensive" PDP-11s.

The central processors for the PDP-11/05 and 11/10 were identical. The 11/05 was offered for the Original Equipment Manufacturer, while the 11/10 was designed for the end-user. Both machines offered features not available on the earlier PDP-11/20, such as 4-level priority interrupt and multiple accumulators.

1972 May: The KI10 processor is introduced for the DECsystem-10/70.

The KI10 processor was faster than its predecessor, the KA10, and was DIGITAL’s first 36-bit processor to incorporate integrated circuits. The lights on the KI10 were later used to represent a futuristic computer in George Lucas’ landmark film, THX1138.

1973 May: RSX-11D, a real-time operating system for online data acquisition, monitoring and control on the PDP-11, is introduced.

RSX-11D was aimed at the sophisticated end-user and included a real-time executive, on-line program development, complete device handling capabilities and total system protection. Typical applications were in the lab, industrial, computation and OEM markets.

1973 July: RT-11, a real-time operating system for monitoring and control, is introduced.

RT-11 signaled DIGITAL’s entrance into the low end of the real-time market. With its single-job monitor and F/B monitor, RT-11 was designed for the single-user involved in program development and/or real-time applications, providing fast, simple, on-line access to any PDP-11 processor with at least 8K of memory and mass storage.

1973 September: DIGITAL develops DEC Data Communications Message Protocol (DDCMP) as a standard for its future computer-to-computer communications.

DDCMP, which was used to develop DIGITAL’s Network Architecture (DECnet), was based on peer-to-peer communications where information is managed by members of the networks itself; communication is from processor to processor, rather than from processor to terminal.

1974 April: MPS, DIGITAL's first microprocessor, is introduced.

MPS represented DIGITAL’s first entry into LSI (Large-Scale Integration) technology. MPS modules were designed to supply users with reliable, low-cost microprocessor systems that could be used in process/control and data formatting or preprocessing applications.

1974 May: RSX-11M, a real-time operating system for online control, is introduced for use on the PDP-11.

RSX-11M was a real-time, multi-programming, program-development system with a disk-based operating system supporting both synchronous and asynchronous communications hardware. RSX-11M concepts were precursors to those in the VMS operating system.

1974 September: DIGITAL announces the LA36 DECwriter II.

The LA36 DECwriter II was the company’s first commercially successful keyboard terminal and became the de facto market standard.

1974 October: The KL10 processor is introduced in the DECsystem-10/80 and 10/90.

Twice as fast as its predecessor, the KI-10, and four times as fast as the earlier KA-10, the KL-10 featured 386 micro-programmed instructions, emitter coupled logic (a state-of-the-art technology) and a 125 nanosecond access time cache or buffer memory. One of the more significant features of the KL-10 was the Console Diagnostic Computer, which uses a PDP-11/40 to perform those functions.

1975 February: LSI-11, DIGITAL's first 16-bit microcomputer, is introduced.

Directed toward OEM’s and large volume end-users whose applications require the computer to be buried inside the final applications product, the LSI-11 was a complete computing system (CPU, memory and I/O) on one board.

1975 February: The powerful PDP-11/70 is added to the PDP-11 family.

The PDP-11/70 represented the high end of PDP-11 architecture with the capacity for supporting the speed, addressing range and bandwidth required in large systems applications. It was the first PDP-11 to use cache memory.

1975 April: Introduction of DIGITAL's Network Architecture (DECnet).

DECnet architecture evolved from one focused on the RSX family of operating systems to an architecture that encompasses large, open, distributed networks. Unlike competitors’ network offerings, DECnet was not a terminal network but a true computer-to-computer capability for distributed computing systems.

1975 April: The VAX architecture committee meets for the first time.

Work begins on a computer with 32-bit architecture; the goal: to build a machine culturally compatible to the PDP-11 -- but with increased address space. The result: VAX, the "Virtual Address Extension" of the PDP-11’s 16-bit architecture to 32-bit architecture. The new computer required a new operating system, so VMS, the "Virtual Memory System" was developed simultaneously.

1975 September: The VT52, DIGITAL first commercially produced video terminal is announced.

The VT52 was designed to sell into programming, timesharing and text editing applications. The terminal included a 19-key numeric cluster pad for data entry plus four cursor control keys and three unlabeled function keys to transmit escape sequences which could be used by the customer for special functions.

1975 The PDP-11/34 is delivered.

The midrange PDP-11/34 was DIGITAL’s most successful PDP-11 in terms of unit volume. The 11/34 featured a CPU so compact that the entire CPU logic was contained on two circuit boards. This provided greater flexibility during later system expansion by making additional chassis space available.

1976 January: Introduction of 36-bit DECSYSTEM-20, the lowest-priced general-purpose timesharing system on the market.

The DECSYSTEM-20 was based on the non-cache KL20 processor, 64 to 256K 36-bit core memory and included RP04 moving head disk drives, TU45 tapes, a line printer, a card reader and 8 to 64 terminal lines.

1976 January: TOPS-20, a new virtual memory operating system, is introduced for use with the DECSYSTEM-20.

TOPS-20 (the direct descendant of TOPS-10) was implemented with upgraded facilities based on multi-process operating systems advances, including concurrent interactive timesharing and multi-stream batch. TOPS-20 was also available with variety of unbundled higher level language compilers and application tools such as FORTRAN, COBOL, BASIC, ALGOL, CPL, APL and Data Base Management.

1976 DIGITAL enters the word-processing market with the WPS-8.

The WPS-8 was a stand-alone, single terminal, single user word processing system, the first in a series of products designed to address the needs of "sophisticated" users of text editing equipment.

1977 March: DIGITAL announces a new midrange price/performance system, the PDP-11/60.

The PDP-11/60 offered a combination of unique attributes, which were normally found in larger, more expensive computers at the time. Designed around the proven UNIBUS architecture, the PDP-11/60 included user control store features previously unavailable from DIGITAL, as well as several 11/70 class features such as cache memory and RAMP.

1977 May: DIGITAL announces its newest computer, the DECstation, a family of components centered around the VT78 Video Data Processor.

The DECstation was a complete PDP-8 computer system implemented in large-scale integration technology so that it could be packaged inside the shell of a display terminal. Designed for an interactive environment, the primary emphasis was on system capability, hence the large 16K (32Kb) memory and the array of I/O controllers.

1977 October: Introduction of the VAX-11/780, the first member of the VAX computer family.

VAX-11 architecture was designed to alleviate the PDP-11’s most severe limitation: an address space that was too small for many applications. The Virtual Address eXtension (VAX) increased the virtual address from 16 to 32 bits. The number of general registers also doubled from 8 to 16. The instruction set had both two and three operand formats for many common operations, with either a register or memory operand allowable.

1977 DIGITAL opens the DIGITAL Diagnosis Center (DDC) in Colorado Springs, Colorado. It is the industry's first facility for computerized remote diagnosis.
1977 DIGITAL is the first computer company to connect to the ARPAnet. The connection is made via a PDP-10.

In 1969, the U.S. Defense Department’s Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) began to construct a resource sharing computer network among its contractors. This network became known at the ARPAnet, a wildly successful wide-area packet switching network that later evolved into the Internet. By the end of 1970, the initial four-node configuration was complete consisting of UCLA, UC Santa Barbara, Stanford Research Institute and the University of Utah. The ARPANET expanded steadily and operated with a wide variety of hardware and software systems. From the four sites that comprised the network in January 1970, the network expanded to thirteen by January 1971 and twenty-three by April 1972. By the time that DIGITAL joined as the first computer company in 1977, there were approximately 60 nodes in operation.

1978 February: V1.0 of the VMS operating system ships.

VMS (Virtual Memory System) was developed in parallel with the VAX, allowing complete integration of hardware and software. The overall aim during development was to achieve compatibility between systems so that information and programs could be shared. V1.0 featured FORTRAN IV and DECnet, a 64 megabyte memory limit, an event driven priority scheduler, process swapper, process deletion/creation/control, I/O post processing and AST delivery.

1978 March: DIGITAL ships the first DECsystem 2020.

The DECsystem-2020 was introduced as "the world’s lowest cost mainframe computer system." It was DIGITAL’s least expensive and last 36-bit computer system. The system’s low cost was made possible by a state-of-the-art packaging technology that allowed the entire system to fit in a single cabinet measuring five feet high by two feet wide by three feet deep.

1978 August: The VT100 terminal is introduced.

The VT100 was DIGITAL’s first ANSI-compliant video terminal. It became the industry’s best selling terminal and the de facto market standard.

1978 September: Gordon Bell, Craig Mudge and John McNamara publish Computer Engineering: A DEC View of Hardware Systems Design.

The book provides a case study of computer design at DIGITAL within the context of prevailing goals and constraints. For the first time, the computer industry was examined from an evolutionary perspective.

1979 March: The F-11 microprocessor is announced.

The F-11 was DIGITAL’s second 16-bit – and first internally designed – microprocessor. The F-11 shipped in the LSI-11/23 board.

1979 March: The PDP-11/23 is introduced.

The PDP-11/23 was positioned between the low-end PDP-11/03 and the PDP-11/34 in order to round out DIGITAL’s 16-bit product line and bridge the gap between existing microcomputers and midrange minicomputers.

1979 November: The RL02 disk drive is announced.

The RL02 featured twice the capacity of the RL01 drive and low ambient noise levels for office use.

1979 November: The PDP-11/44 ships.

The PDP-11/44 incorporated the complete PDP-11/70 instruction set and memory expansion into 1MB and a lower-cost package. The PDP-11/44 was the last PDP-11 implemented in discrete logic.

1980 February: Introduction of DECnet Phase III – the most advanced networking in the computer industry.

DECnet products made it possible to build networks of over 200 nodes, considered very large in 1980. Phase III was supported on seven operating systems and three hardware families.

1980 April: VMS version 2.0 is released.

VMS version 2.0 offered the industry’s largest array of languages on one system including VAX-11, FORTRAN, BASIC, PASCAL, COBOL-74 and PL/I, DSM and PDP-11 CORAL 66/VAX.

1980 June: DIGITAL, Intel and Xerox cooperate in Ethernet local area network project.

The DIGITAL LAN products that built on Ethernet technology allowed minicomputer, terminal servers and network devices to be connected with ease.

1980 October: Introduction of the VAX-11/750.

VAX-11/750 was the second member of the VAX family and the industry's first Large Scale Integration (LSI) 32-bit minicomputer.

1980 October: The RM80 disk is introduced.

The medium-capacity RM80 disk drive was DIGITAL’s first product based on Winchester technology, incorporating advanced microprocessor control and industry leadership RAMP features.

1981 March: The PDP-11/24 is introduced.

The PDP-11/24 was a fourth generation PDP-11 system designed to increase DIGITAL’s penetration of the Technical and Commercial OEM markets. The new machine featured large-scale integration, 1 MB memory capacity and the PDP-11 UNIBUS.

1981 July: DIGITAL announces the VT125 Graphics Terminal, the newest member of the VT100 terminal family.

The VT125 was an enhanced VT100 alpha-numeric terminal with data plotting extensions which combined bit map graphics architecture, automatic vector and general curve generation, as well as alphanumeric features to produce a state-of-the-art terminal suitable for business graphics and technical applications.

1981 July: DIGITAL announces the DECmate "Work Processor."

With the DECmate, DIGITAL integrated an array of functions such as word processing, communications, financial planning, budgeting support and engineering calculations in a single marketing focus. The DECmate was based on the VT278 computing terminal, which combined video output and keyboard input with a powerful programmable CPU and peripheral interfaces all on one module.

1981 October: VAX information architecture is introduced.

VAX information architecture consisted of a family of information management software products including VAX-11 FMS, DATATRIEVE, CDD, RMS and DBMS. The key to the products was an integrated architecture that allowed functions to be added as they were needed.

1982 April: VMS V3 ships.

VMS V3 supported three new processors: the VAX-11/750, VAX-11/725, VAX-11/782. V3 features included asymmetric multiprocessing (ASMP) for VAX-11/782, support for new architectures, protocols and busses, system communication architecture (SCS), mass storage control protocol (MSCP), lock management system services, and MONITOR utility for performance monitoring.

1982 April: The VAX-11/730 is the third and – at the time – the lowest cost member of the VAX family.

The VAX-11/730 was the smallest VAX to date. The machine was the first VAX processor to fit on three Hex boards and the first VAX to fit a 10.5" high, rack mountable box. The 11/730 was also the first 8-user, DECnet VAX/VMS system complete in one 42" high cabinet.

1982 May: DIGITAL introduces a range of new personal computers.

DIGITAL’s new personal computer line included the Professional 300 series based on the PDP-11, the Rainbow 100 based on the Intel 8086, and the DECmate II based on the PDP-8.

1982 May: A new concept in integrated office software is introduced.

Back in 1977, Skip Walter and John Churin began work on integrated office software that would run on a network and could mix and match custom applications such as word processing, mail, calendars and databases. The result was ALL-IN-1.

1982 June: Announcement of the RA60 and RA81 disks and DIGITAL Storage Architecture puts DIGITAL at the forefront in storage technology.

The RA60 provided 205 megabytes of removable media disk capacity and the RA81 supplied 456 megabytes of Winchester fixed disk capacity in rack mounted 10.5" high drives – both industry firsts.

1982 November: The Customer Support Center in Colorado Springs pilots Remote Fault Isolation Technology for software support in the VMS and TOPS support groups.
1983 DIGITAL establishes Internet connectivity. Initial e-mail, FTP archive and USENET news hub are established.
1983 DIGITAL launches its first multivendor customer service program, designed to provide customers -- from small businesses to Fortune 500 organizations -- with a full range of service and support for both DIGITAL and non-DIGITAL products.
1983 May: DIGITAL announces VAXclusters.

VAXclusters tied VAX processors together in a loose processor coupling that allowed VAX computers to operate as a single system, extending the characteristics of VAX to high capacity and high availability applications.

1983 May: DIGITAL ships the HSC50 controller, its first intelligent disk subsystem.

The HSC50 contained local intelligence capable of managing the physical activity of the drives, optimizing subsystem throughput, detecting and correcting physical errors, and performing local functions such as diagnostic execution without host intervention.

1983 August: DIGITAL ships the J-11 chip in the LSI-11/73 board.

The J-11 chip was DIGITAL’s last 16-bit microprocessor and the first executed in CMOS technology. The LSI-11/73 brought PDP-11/70 functionality to a microcomputer on the Q-Bus by offering PDP-11/70 memory management, an 8K byte cache and FP11 floating-point operations.

1983 October: DIGITAL starts the industry's first remote delivery of software updates from its Colorado Springs facility.
1983 October: DECnet Phase IV is announced.

DECnet Phase IV significantly increased the number of nodes possible in a network from hundreds to many thousands. Phase IV began the migration from old point-to-point networks to the new multi-point Ethernet. Concepts developed in the DECnet architecture were incorporated in international standards.

1983 December: DECtalk, a text-to-speech system that allows computers to talk, is announced.

DECtalk was a new type of output device, it accepted ASCII text from an RS232C terminal port and spoke the text rather than printing it, the first such device offered by any major computer manufacturer.

1984 February: DIGITAL announces the TK50 cartridge tape drive.The TK50 cartridge tape system was developed by DIGITAL as the first tape drive to use CompacTape. CompacTape was the industry's first standard 1/2 inch tape cartridge, allowing for the free interchange of recorded data.
1984 April: DIGITAL announces the Rdb relational database management system.

The two new relational database products, VAX Rdb/VMS and VAX Rdb/ELN, were implemented on a common architecture, spanning the full range of VAX processors – from the MicroVAX I to the VAX-11/785.

1984 April: Introduction of the VAX-11/785, the most powerful single computer to date in DIGITAL's VAX family.

CPU cycle time in the VAX-11/785 was 133ns, 50% faster than the 200ns-cycle time of the VAX-11/780. The accelerated cycle time allowed all CPU operations to run up to 50% faster, resulting in higher throughput, faster response time and the ability to support more users.

1984 September: VMS V4 ships.

VMS V4 supported the new VAX 8600 processor, MicroVAX I and II, and VAXstation I and II. V4 features included VAXclusters, connection manager, distributed lock manager, distributed file system (F11BXQP), security enhancements, command line editing and command recall, local area terminal server, implementation of access control lists, cluster wide operator control and variable prompt strings.

1984 October: Announcement of the VAX 8600, the first of a new generation of computers within the VAX family and, at the time, the highest performance computer system in DIGITAL's history.

The VAX 8600 offered up to 4.2 times the performance of the industry standard VAX-11/780 and increased I/O capacity, while maintaining I/O subsystem compatibility with the VAX -11/780 and the 11/785 Synchronous Backplane Interconnect (SBI). The VAX 8600 was the first VAX implementation in ECL technology and the first to include macropipelining.

1984 October: Introduction of the VAXstation I, the company’s first true 32-bit single-user workstation.

The VAXstation I was the first in a new family of MicroVAX-based technical workstations. It was a powerful, single-user computing system supporting the professional user, sold in packaged form.

1985 January: DIGITAL introduces VAX ACMS (Application, Control and Management System).

VAX ACMS was DIGITAL’s first transaction processing product. It provided an environment for creating and controlling on-line transaction processing applications on VMS.

1985 VMS V4.4 ships.

VMS V4.4 supported eight new VAX processors: the VAX 8200, 8250, 8300, 8350, 8500, 8550, 8700 and 8800. V4.4 features included ASMP support for VAX 83xx and VAX 88xx systems, cluster packages for VAX 8974 and 8978, disk volume shadowing and HSC support.

1985 May: DIGITAL introduces the MicroVAX II.

The MicroVAX II was based on a single, quad-sized 32-bit processor board and contained the MicroVAX chip (which included memory management). The machine featured a floating-point coprocessor chip, 1MB of on-board memory, Q22-bus interface, Q22-map for DMA transfers, interval timer, boot and diagnostic facility, console serial line unit and time-of-year clock.

1985 May: The MicroVAX chip is announced for the MicroVAX II.

The MircoVAX chip was DIGITAL’s first 32-bit microprocessor and the first manufactured with internally developed semiconductor technology. The revolutionary "VAX-on-a-chip" had the highest level of functionality of any 32-bit processor in the industry. With the MicroVAX chip, DIGITAL became the first company to register a new semiconductor chip under the Semiconductor Protection Act of 1984.

1985 September: DIGITAL is the first computer company to register an Internet domain. was established as a "class B" TCP/IP network. DIGITAL also created the first corporate Internet mail gateway, giving every email user in DIGITAL full access to the Internet.

1985 November: Introduction of the MicroPDP-11/83, the most powerful Q-bus 16-bit-wordlength computer in DIGITAL's history.

Key features of the MicroPDP-11/83 included the new high-performance central processing module (the KDJ11-BF) and a Private Memory Interconnect (PMI) Bus.

1985 December: Introduction of the VAXstation II/GPX, DIGITAL's first technical workstation for the UNIX marketplace.

The VAXstation II/GPX was a MicroVAX II-based workstation featuring hardware-enhanced, high-performance color graphics. The workstation incorporated the new GPX chip set, a graphics co-processor for the MicroVAX, which extended the low-cost/high-performance advantage of the MicroVAX II to color graphics.

1986 DIGITAL creates the first Internet firewall and establishes as a major FTP site on the Internet.
1986 January: Introduction of the top-of-the-line VAX 8800 and the midrange VAX 8300 and VAX 8200.

The VAX 8800, VAX 8300 and VAX 8200 were the first VAX systems to support dual processors. Each machine incorporated a new high-performance I/O bus, the VAXBI. The high performance VAX 8800 achieved application throughput of two to three times the VAX 8600.

1986 February: Announcement of DECconnect wiring strategy and related products and services extends DIGITAL’s networking leadership.

Standard Network Packages combined hardware, software and services into a complete package that provided a simplified way of solving customer interconnect and networking problems.

1986 April: DIGITAL occupies its first built-for-remote services facility in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The building was designed with redundant power supplies, battery backup, emergency generators and multiple telephone lines to assure the highest level of customer service availability.
1986 November: DIGITAL introduces Local Area VAXcluster systems, extending distributed computing to the work group.

Local Area VAXcluster systems extended VAXcluster technology to Ethernet, bringing the software advantages of the VAXcluster environment to the MicroVAX II and VAXstation II systems.

1987 January: Introduction of the VAX 8978 and VAX 8974, DIGITAL's most powerful systems to date, offering up to 50 times the power of the industry-standard VAX-11/780.

The VAX 8978 and VAX 8974 both included DIGITAL’s new 2.5 Gbyte SA582 Storage Array. Combined with the HSC70 I/O processor and the VAXBI bus, the SA482 delivered mainframe-class I/O subsystem performance and large storage capacity.

1987 February: The VAXstation 2000 is introduced.

The VAXstation 2000 was designed as a low-cost, single-user VAXstation based on the MicroVAX CPU and FPU chip set. It was DIGITAL’s first workstation with a cost of less than $5,000 and became the highest volume workstation in the industry.

1987 September: DIGITAL unveils a new generation of its MicroVAX computer family with the introduction of the MicroVAX 3500 and MicroVAX 3600 systems. Both machines are powered by the new CVAX chip.

The MicroVAX 3500 and MicroVAX 3600 were introduced as the higher end complement of the MicroVAX family. The new machines featured more that 3 times the performance of the MicroVAX II and supported 32MB of ECC main memory (twice that of the MicroVAX II). The performance improvements over the MicroVAX II resulted from the increased operating spead of the CVAX microprocessor (90ns) plus a two-level write-through caching architecture.

1987 The CVAX chip was the second-generation VLSI VAX microprocessor, offering 2.5 – 3.5 times the power of its predecessor. It was DIGITAL’s first internally manufactured CMOS microprocessor. High performance came from features such as macro-instruction prefetch, micro-instruction pipeline, 1kb onchip datacache and a 28 entry onchip translation buffer.
1988 January: DIGITAL extends its Network Applications Support (NAS) facilities to integrate MS-DOS, OS/2, and UNIX systems into the open DECnet/OSI network environment.

Network Applications Support was a distributed, enterprise-wide computing capability, allowing users to integrate a mixed set of systems and resources into a single, unified whole. NAS extended DIGITAL’s desktop solutions of networked VAXservers and desktop products by allowing integration of UNIX, MS-DOS, OS/2 and Macintosh.

1988 April: DIGITAL introduces the VAX 6000 system platform, based on the CVAX chip.

The first offering was the midrange VAX 6200 series, which was built on three key technologies: DIGITAL’s CMOS VLSI VAX processor (the CVAX chip), a symmetric multiprocessing hardware and software environment, and the VAXBI I/O interconnect.

1988 April: VMS version 5.0 is released.

DIGITAL released VMS version 5.0 in concert with the VAX 6200. VMS V 5.0 included symmetric multiprocessing, which provided a high degree of parallelism and effective use of multiprocessors.

1988 July: DECtp is introduced.

DECtp was a systems environment that integrated the functions required to build large-scale transaction processing applications, effectively enabling DIGITAL systems to process up to 100 transactions per second.

1988 Digital Storage System Interconnect (DSSI) is introduced for MicroVAX 3300/3400 and higher systems.

DSSI provided a high capacity storage interface similar to the Computer Interconnect (CI) used in VAXcluster systems but at lower cost and in packages suitable for office environments. DSSI became the precursor to the SCSI standard.

1989 January: DIGITAL announces its broadest set of desktop solutions to date.

DIGITAL’s new offerings included DECwindows, its X- based windowing system; the VAXstation 3100 based on the CVAX chip; and the DECstation 3100, its first RISC workstation.

1989 January: Introduction of the VAX 6300 systems, DIGITAL's most powerful and expandable VAX systems in a single cabinet.

Both the VAX 6300 series and the MicroVAX 3800/3900 were based on the CVAX+ chip, manufactured in 1.5-micrometer CMOS technology.

1989 July: The Rigel chip set is introduced.

DIGITAL’s third 32-bit microprocessor design was manufactured in 1.5-micrometer CMOS technology. The chip set shipped in the VAX 6400 system and, somewhat later, in the VAX 4000 system. Rigel was the first implementation of the vector extensions of the VAX architecture.

1989 October: The VAX 9000 mainframe is introduced.

The VAX 9000 incorporated numerous technological advances, including high-density ECL macrocells, multi-chip module packaging and heavily macropipelined architecture. The VAX 9000 was DIGITAL’s last system not based on microprocessor technology.

1990 DIGITAL software engineers begin to participate in USENET newsgroups such as comp.sys.dec to provide informal customer support over the Internet.
1990 February: Adding fault-tolerant technology to the VAX family, DIGITAL introduces the VAXft 3000 system.

The VAXft 3000 was the first fault-tolerant system in the industry to run a mainstream operating system (VMS) and the first system in which every component, including the backplane, was mirrored. In the event of a power failure, the complete in-cabinet system was kept operational for up to fifteen minutes by its own built-in power supply.

1990 March: An operations center is opened in Berlin to prepare for the opportunities created by a unified German marketplace.
1990 May: The 20th anniversary of the introduction of the first PDP-11 computer is marked by the introduction of two new PDP-11 systems: the MicroPDP-11/93 and the PDP-11/94.

Both the MicroPDP-11/93 and the PDP-11/94 offered a performance increase of up to 40% over the previous high-end PDP-11 systems. The new machines were the latest members of the longest-lived family of general-purpose computers. At this point, the series included over 20 members; more than 600,000 had been installed.

1990 May: DIGITAL begins shipment of its second-generation LAN products.

The new LAN products are based on the ANSI/FDDI 100-megabit-per-second token ring standard. DIGITAL is among the first companies to ship products based on FDDI.

1990 October: The Mariah chip set ships in the VAX 6500.

The Mariah chip set, an improvement on the Rigel chip set, is manufactured in 1.0 micrometer CMOS technology and shipped in the VAX 6500 systems. The VAX 6500 processor delivered approximately 13 times the power of a VAX-11/780 system, per processor. The 6500 systems implemented a new cache technique called write-back cache, which reduced CPU-to-memory traffic on the system bus, allowing multiprocessor systems to operate more efficiently.

1990 October: DIGITAL announces its intention to "open VMS."

With Open VMS, VMS now supported the widely accepted POSIX standards of the IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers). The VMS operating system was also "branded" by X/Open, the nonprofit consortium of many of the world's major information system suppliers.

1990 October: VMS V5.4 ships.

VMS V5.4 supported the VAX 6000-510 and 520 processors and featured a vector processing option for VAX 6000-4xx, DCL commands for Fault Tolerant (VAXft) systems, TPU enhancements, DECwindows enhancements, MSCP load balancing and preferred path, and password history, dictionary and site specific password filters.

1991 DIGITAL is the first in the industry to offer an Internet tunnel product.
1991 June: DIGITAL announces Open Advantage, a worldwide corporate strategy to establish DIGITAL as the industry leader in developing open solutions that give customers the freedom to choose and the power to use the highest-quality applications available at the best price.

DIGITAL's Network Application Support (NAS) helped end users achieve the "Open Advantage" of multivendor interoperability. NAS enabled them to use new and existing applications to share information and resources with each other, regardless of which systems they were using.

1991 June: DIGITAL introduces DECnet Phase V, which supports OSI standards and networks of essentially unlimited size.

DIGITAL’s fifth generation "ADVANTAGE" networks integrated OSI, TCP/IP and DECnet network protocols. It expanded and opened the DIGITAL environment by supporting many vendors’ equipment in a unified network, while retaining flexibility and backward compatibility with DECnet Phase IV.

1991 September: The industry’s first implementation of an object request broker is shipped under the name Application Control Architecture (ACA) Services.

ACA was later renamed ObjectBroker. DIGITAL subsequently made significant contributions to the Object Management Group’s Common Object Request Broker Architecture (COBRA).

1991 November: The NVAX chip, DIGITAL’s fourth VAX microprocessor, is implemented in 0.75-micrometer CMOS technology and ships in the VAX 6600.

The NVAX incorporated the pipelined performance of the VAX 9000 and was the fastest CISC chip of its time. The VAX 6610 system delivered 83 transactions per second, boasting better performance than RISC based systems from IBM or HP.

1991 November: DIGITAL and Microsoft announce an alliance allowing Microsoft Windows to retrieve and exchange data with local area network servers running DIGITAL PATHWORKS software.

The DIGITAL and Microsoft development work assured seamless integration between selected office technologies such as Microsoft Word, Excel, Visual Basic, TeamLinks, PATHWORKS and ALL-IN-1 Mail.

1991 November: DIGITAL releases VMS V5.5.

VMS V5.5 supported the MicroVAX 3100, VAX and VAXserver 6000-6xx series, VAX 4000 and VAXstation 4000. V5.5 features included new queue manager, new licensing features, LAT enhancements, host based shadowing, cluster wide tape service (TMSCP), and new RTLs (DECthreads and BLAS fast-vector maths library).

1991 DIGITAL ships the EZ51 high performance Solid State Disk.

The EZ5x family of Solid State Disks (SSDs) extended the power and performance of the technology to encompass SCSI-based systems. SSDs used the speed of DRAMS (the storage media) to provide the fastest access to storage subsystem data by eliminating the latency inherent with magnetic disk. Offering an access time of less than 1ms, EZ5x Solid State Disks maximized systems utilization by balancing the power of the processor with high performance I/O.

1992 DIGITAL installs the industry's first commercial Internet firewall.
1992 February: DIGITAL announces Alpha, its program for 21st century computing.

Alpha was a totally new, open, 64-bit RISC architecture, addressing the needs of a broad range of computer users, engineered to support multiple operating systems and designed to increase performance by a factor of 1000 over its anticipated 25-year life. The first Alpha chip was the 21064, which provided record-setting 200-MHz performance.

1992 May: DIGITAL provides computer systems and software to the America3 Foundation racing team for its defense of the Americas Cup in San Diego, California.

In addition to design engineering and performance analysis applications, DIGITAL provided a speech recognition system to communicate with the on-board computer, allowing navigators to spend more time on the race and less time accessing critical data.

1992 July: DIGITAL announces the VAX 7000.

The VAX 7000 model 600 data center system was DIGITAL’s most powerful VAX system to date. It was the high-end successor to DIGITAL’s VAX 6000 data center systems, the most expandable data center system ever and was field-upgradable to the Alpha 64-bit processor.

1992 September: DIGITAL introduces the DECpc LP series, its first internally designed, internally manufactured, industry-compatible PCs.

The new PCs were based on the Intel 386 and 486 processors and featured SVGA video performance with GUI acceleration, 128KB of writeback cache, 70ns memory and 512KB of video RAM (VRAM).

1992 November: DIGITAL introduces 64-bit computing with five new workstations and servers, the OpenVMS operating system, multiple compilers and networks, and new open business practices.

The first generation Alpha systems included the DEC 3000 Model 400 and Model 500 Workstations, the DEC 4000 Distributed/Departmental System, the DEC 7000 Data Center System and the DEC 10000 Mainframe-Class System.

1992 November: DIGITAL releases OpenVMS/AXP V1.0 as part of its Alpha family of products.

OpenVMS/AXP V1 supported the first generation of Alpha processors including DEC 3000, DEC 4000, and DEC 7000. The new operating system was based on VAX/VMS V5.4 and featured DECmigrate for translating VAX images, and the Macro-32 compiler.

1993 MCS and DIGITAL Consulting Services announce ten new services designed to help customers plan, implement and maintain reliable open client/server systems worldwide.

New MCS offerings included: System Healthcheck, System Management Support, Remote System Management, Asset Management, and Software Publishing. New DIGITAL Consulting Services included: DECathena Management Services, Workgroup/End User Services, Information Architecture Planning, Client/Server Distributed Application Planning, and Rapid Application Prototyping.

1993 DIGITAL announces StorageWorks, a new generation of storage solutions.

StorageWorks was a new generation of storage solutions designed to meet requirements for open, flexible data storage based on the industry's widely accepted SCSI-2 (Small Computer System Interface-2) standard. StorageWorks modular architecture made it easier than ever to add the storage subsystem that meets all application needs - from the desktop to the datacenter.

1993 March: DIGITAL ships OSF/1 UNIX for Alpha systems.

DIGITAL’s native 64-bit DEC OSF/1 product for Alpha supplied greater address space and extremely high-speed RISC processing, which provided the ability to run current applications faster. OSF/1 for Alpha was also designed to support emerging applications such as multimedia, real-time Manufacturing Resource Planning (MRP) and multi-year simulations.

1993 June: DIGITAL ships OpenVMS/VAX V6.0.

OpenVMS/VAX V6 supported the VAX 7000 model 650/660 and VAX 10000 model 650/660 and featured rationalized and enhanced security (level C2 compliance), multiple queue managers across cluster, a HELP/MESSAGE utility, support for ISO 9660 CD-ROM format, Adaptive Pool Management, SYSMAN cluster wide SHUTDOWN and startup logging, cluster wide I/O cache and extended physical and virtual addressing.

1993 September: DIGITAL and Microsoft ship the Windows NT operating system for Alpha systems.

DIGITAL began shipping Windows NT preloaded on the DECpc AXP 150 personal computer just 5 weeks after Microsoft’s initial release. By the end of 1993, over 500 applications from DIGITAL and other software vendors would run on the DECpc AXP 150 under Windows NT.

1993 September: DIGITAL introduces GIGAswitch/FDDI.

The GIGAswitch/FDDI is the world’s first LAN backplane switch for FDDI, with more than 3 gigabits per second of bandwidth.

1993 October: DIGITAL delivers its first video-on-demand system for an early broadband communications trial.

DIGITAL developed a new server platform specifically to address the requirements of an all-digital broadband infrastructure that supports a range of new interactive services such as movies and other video entertainment on demand, multimedia, interactive games, home shopping and more. The platform incorporates DIGITAL’s Alpha AXP processors, StorageWorks disk storage arrays, DIGITAL Linear Tape (DLT) library subsystems, interactive gateway unit, server management unit and GIGAswitch.

1993 October: DIGITAL launches a worldwide initiative for open client/server computing, announcing more than 150 products and services.

Included in the announcement were the second generation of Alpha AXP servers and workstations LinkWorks software, a new framework for workgroups, which enables business to streamline and manage departmental processes.

1993 October: DIGITAL becomes the the first Fortune 500 company with a corporate website on the internet ( Earlier in the year, DIGITAL established its first departmental web server on the Internet.
1994 April: DIGITAL unveils the DIGITAL 2100 Alpha AXP server.

DIGITAL’s 2100 was a single-pedestal, large capacity, secure computing system, supporting up to four processors, the industry-standard PCI bus, and three operating systems; it met engineers’ goals of price/performance leadership.

1994 April - May: DIGITAL ships OpenVMS/VAX V6.1 and OpenVMS/Alpha V6.1.

OpenVMS/VAX and OpenVMS/Alpha versions 6.1 supported the AlphaServer 2100, DEC 3000, DEC 7000 and VAX 7000. V6.1 featured PCSI Product installation utility, shadowing and RMS journaling for Alpha, DECamds bundled with operating system, CLUE crash dump utility, DPML standard maths library, C++ support, and DECnet/OSI extended node names.

1994 August: OSF/1 version 3.0 ships.

OSF/1 V 3.0 featured symmetric multiprocessing, loadable drivers, streams based local area transport, a dataless model and the first wave of cluster capability.

1994 August: DIGITAL describes the 21164, its newest Alpha microprocessor.

This next generation of Alpha chip provided peak processing power of more than one billion instructions per second. The chip was the industry’s first to operate at 300 MHz; performance was estimated at 500 SPECint92 and 600 transactions per second.

1994 September: DIGITAL introduces the Celebris family of performance-oriented desktop PCs.

The Celebris line was tailored for business professionals who wanted a customized and more powerful computing environment that was easily and quickly adaptable to meet their advanced business application needs including management reporting, financial analysis, accounting, market analysis and research, and desktop publishing.

1994 October: DIGITAL introduces the Venturis family of desktop PCs for general business use.

The aggressively priced Venturis line, was aimed at the volume purchaser in medium and large organizations. The Venturis line provided an optimum balance of graphics, disk subsystems and processors for basic office applications such as word processing, transaction processing, e-mail and communications.

1994 November: DIGITAL introduces the GIGAswitch/ATM.

With the introduction of the GIGAswitch/ATM system and the ATMworks 750 adapter, DIGITAL had the highest performance ATM products in the industry.

1994 November: The Network Systems Laboratory at DIGITAL built and deployed the State of California Election Server which delivered the first live election returns over the Internet during a state-wide election.

The California election site recorded over one million hits during a 24-hour period, a record at the time. For the first time, users including TV stations and newspapers were able to get live election returns via internet feeds on down-to-the-wire races and ballot issues.

1994 December: DIGITAL introduces the HiNote Ultra.

Only 1-inch thick and weighing less than four pounds, the Ultra is the first portable computer to combine light weight with desktop functionality. In addition to its elegant size, the Ultra featured built-in infrared for wireless transmission and business audio for sound effects.

1995 March: DIGITAL ships the industry’s first commercial high-performance Fortran compiler in DEC Fortran 90.

Developed to meet the needs of scientific and technical users who must manipulate large arrays of data, DEC Fortran 90 was specifically designed to allow optimum use of parallel and clusters computing resources.

1995 April: DIGITAL introduces the AlphaServer 8400, its most powerful computer system to date.

The new AlphaServer 8400 supported up to twelve 21164 microprocessors and 14 gigabytes of memory. The 8400 created breakthroughs in very large database performance. With a peak throughput of 6.6 GF (gigaflops), the 8400 provided a viable alternative to supercomputers and mainframes.

1995 April: DIGITAL outlines its plan for virtual networking and the integration of LANs, WANs and ATM.

DIGITAL’s plan for virtual networking included enVISN (Enterprise Virtual Intelligent Switched Networks). The enVISN architecture combined virtual LAN technology, distributed routing and high-speed switching with centralized, policy-based administration to create flexible virtual networks.

1995 May: DIGITAL and Microsoft announce the Affinity Program for OpenVMS. The Program helps customers implement the complementary strengths of OpenVMS and Windows NT.

The Affinity Program is an integrated systems environment which brings the bullletproof capabilities of OpenVMS to the world of Windows NT applications. The program includes new software, tools, middleware, and services from DIGITAL and its partners that build on the natural affinity between OpenVMS and Windows NT -- making it increasingly easier to develop, deploy, and manage applications across both platforms.

1995 May - June: DIGITAL releases OpenVMS/VAX V6.2 and OpenVMS/Alpha V6.2.

Open VMS/VAX and OpenVMS/Alpha V6.2 supported new models of the AlphaServer 2100, 8200 and 8400. V6.2 featured automatic foreign commands (like UNIX PATH mechanism), RAID subsystem support, new DEC TCP/IP functions, OpenVMS management station, SCSI clusters, SCSI-2 tagged command queuing, and BACKUP manager - screen oriented interface.

1995 August: DIGITAL and Microsoft announce a strategic alliance to meet growing customer demand for Microsoft-based solutions and support in enterprise-wide computing.

The alliance combines Microsoft client/server products with DIGITAL’s leadership in enterprise systems, service, support and systems integration and enables customers to deploy business solutions on Microsoft operating systems with assurance of integration into the most complex business environments.

1995 November: DIGITAL introduces FX!32.

FX!32 is an advanced software translation and emulation technology that provides Alpha users with transparent access to 32-bit Windows applications. The new software won BYTE Magazine’s prestigious "Best Technology" award at Fall COMDEX ’95.

1995 December: OpenVMS/VAX V7.0 and OpenVMS/Alpha V7.0 are released.

OpenVMS/VAX V7 and OpenVMS/Alpha V7 included features such as process affinities and capabilities from DCL, HYPERSORT High Performance SORT utility (for Alpha), integrated network and internet support, a new MAIL utility, timezone and UTC support, kernal threads, spiralog high performance file system, dump file compression (for Alpha), and Wind/U and Fast Path highly optimized I/O.

1995 December: DIGITAL introduces Alta Vista, the Internet’s first "super spider" software.

AltaVista is the most advanced information search and indexing technology available for the World Wide Web. The software conducts the most comprehensive search of the entire Web text at speeds up to 100 times faster than spiders used in conventional information search services.

1996 January: DIGITAL announces the Prioris ZX 5133MP superserver.

The Prioris ZX5133MP is the premier product in a new line of Symmetric Multiprocessing (SMP) enterprise PC servers. The new server is targeted at enterprise-class applications which require the highest level of performance and reliability.

1996 February: DIGITAL announces the SA-110 StrongARM microprocessor.

The SA-110 StrongARM is the first processor to combine the performance of a supercomputer with power dissipation low enough to run on AA batteries. The new chips will power personal digital assistants (PDAs), electronic organizers, set-top boxes and video games.

1996 March: DIGITAL announces a new release of its industry-leading 64-bit operating system, DIGITAL UNIX Version 4.0.

Among the new features in DIGITAL UNIX V4.0 are ease-of-use enhancements, greater application portability, networking advancements and overall performance and scalability improvements.

1996 April: DIGITAL is the first information technology sponsor for the 100th running of the Boston Marathon.

DIGITAL created and maintained the WWW site sanctioned by the Boston Athletic Association and furnished its latest technology to create a unique information system for the race. An RF chip on every runner’s shoe provided race information that was tabulated and available on DIGITAL’s information system.

1996 May: At a worldwide customer event broadcast live via Internet audio and video, DIGITAL announces its strategy to accelerate the growth of the Internet as the environment of choice for cyberworkers.

DIGITAL launched its entry into the Internet software business with details on an eagerly anticipated family of fast and powerful search products based on AltaVista – the leading search device on the World Wide Web. The first product announced is AltaVista Mail server software. AltaVista Mail provides departments and small enterprises with powerful, low-cost Internet mail capabilities that can be added to a web server or existing electronic mail software -- including the ability to mail multimedia documents over the Internet.

1996 July: DIGITAL announces 500MHz and 433MHz versions of its Alpha 21164 RISC microprocessor, strengthening its four-year claim to the world’s fastest and highest-performance microprocessors.

With peak execution rates of up to 2 BIPS, these top-performing chips push the performance envelope for visual computing applications such as video conferencing, 3-D modeling, video editing, multimedia authoring, image rendering, and animation. Performance of the new Alpha 21164-500MHz chip is estimated at 15.4 SPECint95 and 21.1 SPECfp95, making it the industry’s highest-performance RISC or CISC microprocessor for both integer and floating point operations.

1996 July: DIGITAL becomes the first computer company to operate an Internet Network Access Point (NAP) when it opens the DIGITAL Internet Exchange in Palo Alto, California.

The DIGITAL Internet Exchange is the Internet's first combined switching and commercial data center. The exchange offers Internet service providers and their customers mission-critical "lights-out" operation, a full range of Internet services, and a choice of telecommunicaitons carriers. DIGITAL is the first major computer maker to design and build an Internet exchange.

1996 July: The General Services Administration (GSA) of the Federal Government awards DIGITAL MCS the contract for the remarketing, recycling, and environmentally-safe disposal of approximately one million pounds of obsolete computer equipment from Government agencies.From DIGITAL's Resource Recovery Center in Contoocook, New Hampshire, outdated electronic equipment is re-used, recycled, converted from waste to electric energy, or disposed of in an environmentally-responsible manner. DIGITAL processes 30 million pounds of electronic materials per year. Less than one-half of one percent of that goes to landfills.
1996 November: DIGITAL unveils the new Prioris HX 6000 series of 200 MHz Pentium Pro-based application servers.

The Prioris HX 6000 series was designed to deliver unequaled enterprise-quality manageability, availability, performance and scalability at compelling new price points. The new Prioris HX 6000 series is targeted at users of value-driven, business-critical applications in departmental or geographically dispersed sites.

1996 December: OpenVMS/VAX V7.1 and OpenVMS/Alpha V7.1 are released.

OpenVMS/VAX and OpenVMS/Alpha V7.1 supported the AlphaServer 800 models 5/333 and 5/400. Features included pipes, Windows NT affinity, PPP protocol, internet product suite, dump off system disk for Alpha, external authentication, 100BaseT fast ethernet support (Alpha), memory channel high performance cluster interconnect, Very Large Memory (VLM) support, BACKUP API, CDE interface for DECwindows, 64 bit system services, and scheduling system services.

1997 January: DIGITAL announces Client Support Service, a set of unique service plans that combine hardware support, software support, and personalized information services to meet the user's complete information-related needs.

DIGITAL's Client Support Service addresses knowledge workers' ongoing information needs and provides the technology-enabled tools they need to do their jobs. Specific service plans are available to meet the support needs of the four types of clients typically found in today's business environment -- Enterprise, Knowledge, Mobile, and Power Clients. These plans are unique because they focus on the needs of these users, not just the devices employed.

1997 January: DIGITAL announces a 9GB disk drive for use with the company’s high-performance StorageWorks RAID arrays for OEMs. The drive, configured in a single cabinet, provides OEMs with more than a terabyte of storage in only 7.75 square feet of floor space – the industry’s highest storage density.

The 9GB drive is ideal for data-intensive applications such as data warehousing, video-on-demand, imaging and the Internet because it more than doubles the storage capacity available in the same physical space, lowering overall costs associated with large configurations. The 9GB drive is part of the "StorageWorks for OEMs" family of products that offers the most scalable storage solutions for OEMs and integrators on the market.

1997 February: DIGITAL AltaVista Internet Software, Inc. announces a major new technology enhancement to the AltaVista Search service on the World Wide Web.

The new enhancement gives users a personal search assistant that dynamically categorizes the results from an AltaVista search, making results more accurate and current than competing services.

1997 March: DIGITAL announces "Millicent," the first cybercommerce system that will allow millions of users to buy and sell information profitably down to fractions of a cent.

Millicent represents a completely new way to buy and sell content in very small amounts over the Internet. The new system makes it possible for online publishers to sell newspapers by the article, cartoons by the strip or music by the song. Software providers can use Millicent to sell Java applets and host-based applications on a per-use basis.

1997 June: With more than one million Microsoft Exchange seats under contract, DIGITAL becomes the world’s leading provider of mail and messaging solutions to large global accounts.

Key advantages offered by DIGITAL in migrating companies to Exchange include DIGITAL AlphaServer systems with the industry’s highest throughput, availability, and reliability for mail and messaging, and a services division with more than 1,700 specialists trained to deploy Exchange in enterprise environments.

1997 July: DIGITAL's Mars Landing website provides the world's first live streaming webcast to over 1,000,000 viewers.

In what the New York Times heralded as a "defining moment in Multimedia Internet history," DIGITAL delivered audio and video coverage of the Mars Pathfinder mission. The live webcast, using video streaming technology, constituted the first large-scale introduction of video without plug-ins and all in Java.

Burgundy bar
Digital Home Feedback Search Sitemap Subscribe Help

DIGITAL Internal Use Only

Content Certified