Computers: Do-All Thinkmachine

With the fanfare of a royal birth, International Business Machines Corp. last week ushered in a new tribe of supercomputers called System/360. Some of the many sweeping claims that IBM makes for System/360 were promptly disputed by rival manufacturers. Nonetheless, its introduction spotlighted important trends in design and application. The system's basic working parts are "microminiaturized modules": complicated circuits formed by printing with electro-conductive ink on thin ceramic plates half an inch square. To the tiny metal networks are attached transistors and diodes so small that 5,000 of them fit into a...

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