The CPU's of Unigraphics
Here in the Hall of Hardware's CPU exhibit you will find photos of the various types of CPU's that Unigraphics was supported on. The items are placed in roughly chronological order.
General Automation SPC-16 (circa 1973-76)
The General Automation SPC-16 was the first CPU that Unigraphics was available on. The first model (shown above) was able to support only a single user workstation. The later model #65 was able to support 2 user workstations. Note that the device on the left was a teletype unit and was used as the system console where the operator entered the commands to boot the system and where error messages were printed out.
Data General Eclipse "S" series CPU (circa 1976-83)
The Data General Eclipse "S" series CPU was the next family of systems on which Unigraphics was available. There were several models sold including the S200, S230 and S250 (shown above) and anywhere from 3 to 6 workstations were supported depending on the model and the available memory (128 KB to 512 KB). Main storage was a CDC style removable disk drive unit (shown above to the right of the CPU) capable of storing either 96 MB in single density or 190 MB in double density mode. Note that a later model, the S140, was the CPU at the heart of the A-100 stand-alone workstation.
Digital Equipment model PDP-11/70 CPU (circa 1977-82)
The PDP-11/70 was the first CPU from DEC (now Compaq Computer) that supported Unigraphics (note that UniAPT had been available earlier on the mediumer PDP-8 systems). This CPU was normally configured to support from 4 to 6 workstations.
Digital Equipment model VAX-780 CPU (circa 1981-85)
The DEC VAX was the first 32-bit mainframe that Unigraphics was supported on. The model 780 (shown above) was the most popular and could be configured to support up to 8-10 workstations depending on the disk and memory configurations. There were other models, 730 and 760, that were also sold with Unigraphics just that they supported a mediumer number of workstations.
Data General MV8000 CPU (circa 1982-85)
The Data General MV series of 32-bit CPU's were very popular due to their good value (high performance combined with modest cost). The first model introduced was the MV8000 (shown above) and it could be configured to support up to 10-12 workstations. Other MV models available were the MV4000, the MV10000 and a few of our customers even purchased the very powerful MV12000 (some running as many as 20 or more workstations). As a side note for those interested, there is a Pulitzer Prize winning book available ("The Soul of the New Machine", by Tracy Kidder, copyright 1981) that follows the history of the development of the MV8000, or as it was then code named, the "Eagle".
Data General MV4000 CPU
While the Data General MV4000 was sold as a medium mainframe that could run 4 to 6 workstations, the most significant thing about this system was that it was the core of the last private-labled system manufactured by McAuto, the M-250. The M-250 was sold as a department level system that could run multiple Unigraphics workstations and included built-in disk, tape back-up and optional paper tape punch/reader units. They were never a big seller as they were introduced about the time the DEC VaxStations were coming onto the market and our mediumer customers no longer needed to purchase a standalone mainframe as the centerpiece of a Unigraphics system.