UNIVAC 1100/2200 series

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UNIVAC 1100/80

The UNIVAC 1100/2200 series is a series of compatible 36-bit computer systems, beginning with the UNIVAC 1107 in 1962, initially made by Sperry Rand. The series continues to be supported today by Unisys Corporation as the ClearPath Dorado Series. The solid-state 1107 model number was in the same sequence as the earlier vacuum-tube computers, but the early computers were not compatible with the solid-state successors. The model numbers are based on the binary number system.[1]


Data formats[edit]

  • Fixed-point, either integer or fraction
    • Whole word – 36-bit (ones' complement)
    • Half word – two 18-bit fields per word (unsigned or ones' complement)
    • Third word – three 12-bit fields per word (ones' complement)
    • Quarter word – four nine-bit fields per word (unsigned)
    • Sixth word – six six-bit fields per word (unsigned)
  • Floating point
    • Single precision – 36 bits: one sign bit, eight-bit characteristic, 27-bit mantissa
    • Double precision – 72 bits: one sign bit, 11-bit characteristic, 60-bit mantissa
  • Alphanumeric
    • Fieldata – six-bit code (no lower case characters) six characters in each 36-bit word
    • ASCII – nine bits per character (right-most eight used for an ASCII character) four characters in each 36-bit word

Instruction format[edit]

Instructions are 36 bits long with the following fields:

f (6 bits) - function designator (opcode),
j (4 bits) - partial word designator, J-register designator, or minor function designator,
a (4 bits) - register (A, X, or R) designator or I/O designator,
x (4 bits) - index register (X) designator,
h (1 bit ) - index register increment designator,
i (1 bit) - indirect address designator,
u (16 bits) - address or operand designator.
Address Register Contents
000 Unused Unused
001 X1 Increment Modifier
... ... Increment Modifier
013 X11 Increment Modifier
014 X12/A0 Overlap (X or A)
... ... Overlap (X or A)
017 X15/A3 Overlap (X or A)
020 A4 Accumulator
... ... Accumulator
033 A15 Accumulator
034 A15+1 Unassigned (A)
... ... Unassigned (A)
037 A15+4 Unassigned (A)
... Executive Protected Executive
101 R1 Special (R)
... ... Special (R)
117 R15 Special (R)
... Executive Protected Executive
177 Executive Protected Executive


The 128 registers of the high speed "general register stack" ("integrated circuit registers" on the UNIVAC 1108 and UNIVAC 1106 models), map to the current data space in main storage starting at memory address zero. These registers include both user and executive copies of the A, X, R, and J registers and many special function executive registers.

The table on the right shows the addresses (in octal) of the user registers.

There are 15 index registers (X1 ... X15), 16 accumulators (A0 ... A15), and 15 special function user registers (R1 .. R15). The 4 J registers and 3 "staging registers" are uses of some of the special function R registers.

One interesting feature is that the last four index registers (X12 ... X15) and the first four accumulators (A0 ... A3) overlap, allowing data to be interpreted either way in these registers. This also results in four unassigned accumulators (A15+1 ... A15+4) that can only be accessed by their memory address (double word instructions on A15 do operate on A15+1).

Vacuum tube machines not mutually compatible[edit]

These machines had different architectures and word sizes and were not compatible with each other. They all used vacuum tubes and many used drum memory as their main memory. Some were designed by Engineering Research Associates (ERA) which was later purchased and merged with the UNIVAC company.

The UNIVAC 1101, or ERA 1101, was a computer system designed by ERA and built by the Remington Rand corporation in the 1950s. It was never sold commercially. [2] The UNIVAC 1102 or ERA 1102 was designed by Engineering Research Associates for the United States Air Force. The 36-bit UNIVAC 1103 was introduced in 1953 and an upgraded version (UNIVAC 1103A) was released in 1956. This was the first commercial computer to use core memory instead of the Williams tube. The UNIVAC 1105 was the successor to the 1103A, and was introduced in 1958.

The UNIVAC 1104 system was a 30-bit version of the 1103 built for Westinghouse Electric, in 1957, for use on the BOMARC Missile Program. However, by the time the BOMARC was deployed in the 1960s, a more modern computer (a version of the AN/USQ-20, designated the G-40) had replaced the UNIVAC 1104.

UNIVAC 1100 compatible series[edit]

These machines had a common architecture and word size. They all used transistorized electronics and integrated circuits. Early machines used core memory (the 1110 used plated wire memory) until that was replaced with semiconductor memory in 1975.


The UNIVAC 1107 was the first solid-state member of Sperry Univac's UNIVAC 1100 series of computers, introduced in October 1962. It was also known as the Thin-Film Computer because of its use of thin-film memory for its register storage. It represented a marked change of architecture: unlike previous models, it was not a strict two-address machine: it was a single-address machine with up to 65,536 words of 36-bit core memory. The machine's registers were stored in 128 words of thin-film memory, a faster form of magnetic storage. With six cycles of thin-film memory per 4 microsecond main memory cycle, address indexing was performed without a cycle time penalty. Only 36 systems were sold.

The core memory was available in 16,384 36-bit words in a single bank; or in increments of 16,384 words to a maximum of 65,536 words in two separately accessed banks. With a cycle time of 4 microseconds, the effective cycle time was 2 microseconds when instruction and data accesses overlapped in two banks.

The 128-word thin-film memory general register stack (16 each arithmetic, index, and repeat with a few in common) had a 300-nanosecond access time with a complete cycle time of 600 nanoseconds. Six cycles of thin-film memory per core memory cycle and fast adder circuitry permitted memory address indexing within the current instruction core memory cycle and also modification of the index value (the signed upper 18 bits were added to the lower 18 bits) in the specified index register (16 were available). The 16 input/output (I/O) channels also used thin-film memory locations for direct to memory I/O memory location registers. Programs could not be executed from unused thin-film memory locations.

Both UNISERVO IIA and UNISERVO III tape drives were supported, both of which could use either metallic (UNIVAC I) or mylar tape.

The FH880 drum memory unit was also supported as a spooling and file-storage media. Spinning at 1800 RPM, it stored approximately 300,000 36-bit words.

Univac provided a batch operating system, EXEC I. Computer Sciences Corporation was contracted to provide a powerful optimizing Fortran IV compiler, an assembler named SLEUTH with sophisticated macro capabilities, and a very flexible linking loader.


The 1108 was introduced in 1964. Integrated circuits replaced the thin film memory that the UNIVAC 1107 used for register storage. Smaller and faster cores, compared to the 1107, were used for main memory.

In addition to faster components, two significant design improvements were incorporated: base registers and additional hardware instructions. The two 18-bit base registers (one for instruction storage and one for data storage) permitted dynamic relocation: as a program got swapped in and out of main memory, its instructions and data could be placed anywhere each time it got reloaded. To support multiprogramming, the 1108 had memory protection using two base and limit registers, with 512-word resolution. One was called the I-bank or instruction bank, and the other the D-bank or data bank. If the I-bank and D-bank of a program were put into different physical banks of memory, a 1/2 microsecond advantage accrued, called "alternate bank timing."

The additional hardware instructions included double precision arithmetic, double-word load, store, and comparison instructions. The processor could have up to 16 input/output channels for peripherals.

Just as the first UNIVAC 1108 systems were being delivered in 1965, Sperry Rand announced the UNIVAC 1108 II (also known as the UNIVAC 1108A) which had support for multiprocessing: up to three CPUs, four memory banks totaling 262,144 words, and two independent programmable input/output controllers (IOCs). With everything busy, five activities could be going on at the same moment: three programs running in the CPUs and two input/output processes in the IOCs. One more instruction was incorporated: test-and-set, to provide for synchronization between the CPUs.

Although a 1964 internal study indicated only about 43 might sell, in all, 296 processors were produced.

When Sperry Rand replaced the core memory with semiconductor memory, the same machine was released as the UNIVAC 1100/20. In this new naming convention, the final digit represented the number of CPUs (e.g., 1100/22 was a system with two CPUs) in the system.

It was the first multiprocessor machine in the series, capable of expansion to three CPUs and two IOCs (Input/Output Control Units). To support this, it had up to 262,144 words of eight-ported main memory: separate instruction and data paths for each CPU, and one path for each IOC. The memory was organized in physical banks of 65,536 words, with separate odd and even ports in each bank. The instruction set was very similar to that of the 1107, but included some additional instructions, including the "Test and Set" instruction for multiprocessor synchronization. Some models of the 1108 implemented the ability to divide words into four nine-bit bytes, allowing use of ASCII characters.


The UNIVAC 1106 was introduced in December 1969 and was absolutely identical to the UNIVAC 1108 in instruction set. Like the 1108, it was multiprocessor capable, and it was not supplied with any IOCs. Early versions of the UNIVAC 1106 were simply half speed UNIVAC 1108 systems. Later Sperry Univac used a different memory system which was inherently slower and cheaper than that of the UNIVAC 1108. Sperry Univac sold a total of 338 processors in 1106 systems.

When Sperry Rand replaced the core memory with semiconductor memory, the same machine was released as the UNIVAC 1100/10.


The UNIVAC 1110 was the fourth member of the series, introduced in 1972.

The UNIVAC 1110 had enhanced multiprocessing support: sixteen-way memory access allowed up to six CAUs (Command Arithmetic Unit, the new name for CPU and so called because the CAU no longer had any I/O capability) and four IOAUs (Input Output Access Units, the name for separate units which performed the I/O channel programs). It also had 'extended memory' cabinets accessible in a 'daisy chain' arrangement to augment main storage. The larger configurations, 6x4+ were used by NASA. It also introduced an extension to the instruction set, of 'Byte Instructions'.

When Sperry Rand replaced the plated wire memory with semiconductor memory, the same machine was released as the UNIVAC 1100/40. In this new naming convention, the final digit represented the number of CPUs in the system. The 1110 had four base and limit registers, so a program could access four 64k banks. New instructions were added to allow a program to change the contents of the banks, rather than the banks being fixed when the program was prepared

Sperry Rand sold a total of 290 processors in 1110 systems.

Semiconductor memory series[edit]

In 1975, Sperry Univac introduced a new series of machines with semiconductor memory replacing core, with a new naming convention:

An upgraded 1106 was called the UNIVAC 1100/10. In this new naming convention, the final digit represented the number of CPUs or CAUs in the system, so that, for example, a two-processor 1100/10 system was designated an 1100/12. An upgraded 1108 was called the UNIVAC 1100/20. An upgraded 1110 was released as the UNIVAC 1100/40.

The UNIVAC 1100/60 was introduced in 1979. The UNIVAC 1100/70 was introduced in 1981. The UNIVAC 1100/80 was introduced in 1979. Intended to combine 1100 and 494 systems. The UNIVAC 1100/90 was introduced in 1982. It was liquid-cooled.

UNIVAC 1100/80 Operations Room at University at Albany - SUNY, Albany, New York, 1981

The 1100/80 introduced a cache memory - the SIU or Storage Interface Unit. It incorporated a mini-computer, based on the BC/7 (business computer) as a maintenance processor. This was used to load microcode, and for diagnostic purposes. Power was 400 Hz, to reduce large scale DC power supplies.

SPERRY 2200 series[edit]

In 1983 Sperry Corporation discontinued the name UNIVAC for their products.

  1. SPERRY 2200/100 introduced in 1985
  2. SPERRY Integrated Scientific Processor introduced in 1985

UNISYS 2200 series[edit]

In 1986 Sperry Corporation merged with Burroughs Corporation to become Unisys, and this corporate name change was henceforth reflected in the system names. Each of the systems listed below represents a family with similar characteristics and architecture, with family members having different performance profiles.

  1. UNISYS 2200/200 introduced in 1986
  2. UNISYS 2200/400 introduced in 1988
  3. UNISYS 2200/600 introduced in 1989
  4. UNISYS 2200/100 introduced in 1990
  5. UNISYS 2200/500 introduced in 1993
  6. UNISYS 2200/900 introduced in 1993
  7. UNISYS 2200/300 introduced in 1995
  8. UNISYS ClearPath IX4400 introduced in 1996
  9. UNISYS ClearPath IX4800 introduced in 1997
  10. UNISYS 2200/3800 introduced in 1997
  11. UNISYS ClearPath IX5600 introduced in 1998
  12. UNISYS ClearPath IX5800 introduced in 1998
  13. UNISYS ClearPath IX6600 introduced in 1999
  14. UNISYS ClearPath IX6800 introduced in 1999
  15. UNISYS ClearPath Plus CS7800 introduced in 2001[3] (renamed Dorado 180 in 2003)[4]
  16. UNISYS ClearPath Plus CS7400 introduced in 2002 (renamed Dorado 140 in 2003)[4]
  17. UNISYS ClearPath Dorado 100 introduced in 2003
  18. UNISYS ClearPath Dorado 200 introduced in 2005
  19. UNISYS ClearPath Dorado 300 introduced in 2005
  20. UNISYS ClearPath Dorado 400 introduced in 2007[5]
  21. UNISYS ClearPath Dorado 4000 introduced in 2008
  22. UNISYS ClearPath Dorado 700 introduced in 2009
  23. UNISYS ClearPath Dorado 4100 introduced in 2010
  24. UNISYS ClearPath Dorado 800 introduced in 2011[6]
  25. UNISYS ClearPath Dorado 4200 introduced in 2012
  26. UNISYS ClearPath Dorado 4300 introduced in 2014[7]
  27. UNISYS ClearPath Dorado 6300 introduced in 2014
  28. UNISYS ClearPath Dorado 8300 introduced in 2015[8]

UNISYS ClearPath IX series[edit]

In 1996 Unisys introduced the ClearPath IX series. The ClearPath machines are a common platform that implement either the 1100/2200 architecture (the ClearPath IX series) or the Burroughs large systems architecture (the ClearPath NX series). Everything is common except the actual CPUs, which are implemented as ASICs. In addition to the IX (1100/2200) CPUs and the NX (Burroughs large systems) CPU, the architecture had Xeon (and briefly Itanium) CPUs. Unisys' goal was to provide an orderly transition for their 1100/2200 customers to a more modern architecture.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Lundstrom, David (1987). A Few Good Men From Univac. MIT Press. p. 6. ISBN 0262121204. 
  2. ^ See Engineering Research Associates and the Atlas Computer (UNIVAC 1101) at wiki.cc.gatetech.edu
  3. ^ "Unisys Introduces ClearPath Plus Servers". https://esj.com. Enterprise Systems Journal. 2001-04-24. Retrieved 2015-06-10.  External link in |website= (help)
  4. ^ a b Swoyer, Stephen (2003-05-20). "Unisys Touts New Mainframe Systems". https://esj.com. Enterprise Systems Journal. Retrieved 2015-06-10.  External link in |website= (help)
  5. ^ "ClearPath Next-Generation Server Architecture Debuts on OS 2200". http://www.app3.unisys.com/offerings/ClearPathConnection/archive.htm. Unisys. January 2008. Retrieved 2015-06-09.  External link in |website= (help)
  6. ^ Morgan, Timothy Prickett (2011-05-10). "Unisys revs up big ClearPath mainframes". www.theregister.co.uk. TheRegister. Retrieved 2015-06-09. 
  7. ^ Bryant, Christian (2014-06-20). "Unisys' ClearPath Line Adds Intel Based Mainframes". Tom's IT Pro. Retrieved 2015-06-09. 
  8. ^ Diana, Alison (2015-05-20). "New Unisys ClearPath System Outperforms Mainframe Offerings". www.enterprisetech.com. EnterpriseTech. Retrieved 2015-06-09. 

External links[edit]