DBC 1012

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The DBC/1012 Data Base Computer was introduced by Teradata Corporation in 1984, as a back-end data base management system for mainframe computers.[1] The DBC/1012 harnessed multiple Intel microprocessors, each with its own dedicated disk drive, by interconnecting them with the Ynet switching network in a massively parallel processing system.[2][3] The DBC/1012 was designed to manage databases up to one terabyte (1,000,000,000,000 characters) in size; "1012" in the name refers to "10 to the power of 12".[4]

Major components included:

  • Mainframe-resident software to manage users and transfer data
  • Interface processor (IFP) - the hardware connection between the mainframe and the DBC/1012
  • Ynet - a custom-built system interconnect that supported broadcast and sorting
  • Access module processor (AMP) - the unit of parallelism: includes microprocessor, disk drive, file system, and database software
  • System console and printer
  • TEQUEL (TEradata QUEry Language) - an extension of SQL

The DBC/1012 was designed to scale up to 1024 Ynet interconnected processor-disk units. Rows of a relation (table) were distributed by hashing on the primary database index.

The DBC/1012 used a 474 megabyte Winchester disk drive with an average seek time of 18 milliseconds. The disk drive was capable of transferring data at 1.9 MB/s although in practice the sustainable data rate was lower because the IO pattern tended towards random access and transfer lengths of 8 to 12 kilobytes.

The processor cabinet was 60 inches high and 27 inches wide, weighed 450 pounds, and held up to 8 microprocessor units. The storage cabinet was 60 inches high and 27 inches wide, weighed 625 pounds, and held up to 4 disk storage units.

The DBC/1012 preceded the advent of redundant array of independent disks (RAID) technology, so data protection was provided by the "fallback" feature, which kept a logical copy of rows of a relation on different AMPs. The collection of AMPs that provided this protection for each other was called a cluster. A cluster could have from 2 to 16 AMPs.

The product could be integrated with optical disc drives.[5]There were at least four models, marketed through about 1993.[6][7]


  1. ^ Paul Gillin (February 20, 1984). "Will Teradata revive a market?". Computer World. pp. 43, 48. Retrieved March 13, 2017.
  2. ^ J. Page (April 15, 1991). "The benefits of database computers". Second International Specialist Seminar on the Design and Application of Parallel Digital Processors: 112–117. ISBN 0-85296-519-2.
  3. ^ R. D. Sloan (January 7, 1992). "A practical implementation of the data base machine-Teradata DBC/1012". Twenty-Fifth Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences. doi:10.1109/HICSS.1992.183180.
  4. ^ Arthur Trew, Greg Wilson, eds. (December 6, 2012). Past, Present, Parallel: A Survey of Available Parallel Computer Systems. Springer Science & Business Media. pp. 226–231. ISBN 9781447118428. Retrieved March 13, 2017.CS1 maint: Uses editors parameter (link)
  5. ^ N.C. Ramsay (May 7, 1990). "Integration of the optical storage processor and the DBC/1012 database computer". Tenth IEEE Symposium on Mass Storage Systems. IEEE. doi:10.1109/MASS.1990.113576.
  6. ^ "AT&T / NCR Products 1992 & 1993 Catalogue: DBC/1012 Model 4". Website of the UK Retirement Fellowship. Retrieved March 13, 2017.
  7. ^ "Colior image of TeradataDBC/1012 Data Base Computer with front covers removed". Artifact detail. Computer History Museum. Retrieved March 13, 2017.