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Corporate information

Digital Equipment Corporation, later acquired by Compaq (who subsequently merged with Hewlett-Packard), was a pioneer in the American computer industry. They are generally referred to within the computing industry as DEC, despite rebranding themselves as Digital.

The company was founded in 1957 by Ken Olsen, a Massachusetts engineer who had been working at Lincoln Labs. In 1961 the company was making a profit, and started construction of their first computer, the PDP-1.

Through the 1960s DEC produced a series of machines aimed at a price/performance point below IBM's mainframe machines. True success followed with the introduction of the famous PDP-8, today regarded as the first minicomputer. Last of the famous machines in the PDP series was the PDP-11.

In 1976 DEC decided to move to an entirely new 32-bit platform, which they referred to as the super-mini. They released this as the VAX 11/780 in 1978, and immediately took over the vast majority of the minicomputer market.

At its peak in the late 1980s, Digital was the second-largest computer company in the world, with over 100,000 employees. In the early 1990s DEC found its sales faltering, and the first layoffs followed. Their response was to design a single microprocessor that could be used both in the VAX series, as well as a Unix workstation line of their own. The result was the Alpha processor, which held the performance crown for much of the 1990s. DEC also tried to compete with Unix by marketing the VAX VMS operating system as "OpenVMS".

  • The first versions of the C programming language and the UNIX system ran on Digital's PDP-11
  • Digital produced the popular VAX computer family, the first commercially available 64-bit microprocessor (Alpha AXP), the first commercially successful workstation (the VT-78), the first laptop computer and the first MS-DOS computer to use 3 1/2" floppy disks.
  • They produced top-line operating systems, like OS-8, RT-11, RSX-11 and VMS
  • Digital was the first commercial business connected to the Internet, being one of the first of the .com domains
  • The popular AltaVista, created by Digital, was one of the first comprehensive Internet search engines
Chip markings:
  add/correct DEC info  
14 DEC chips in collection: hide thumbnails
   PDP-11 F-11
   PDP-11 J-11
 Alpha AXP
   Alpha AXP 21-35023-13 (21064-AA, 150 MHz)
   Alpha AXP 21-35023-21 (21064, 190 MHz)
   Alpha AXP 21-35023-21 (21064, 200 MHz)
   Alpha AXP 21-35023-12 (21064, 200 MHz)
   Alpha AXP 21-40532-03 (21064-BB, 233 MHz)
   Alpha AXP 21-40532-04 (21064-DB, 275 MHz)
   Alpha AXP 21-40532-08 (21064-P1, 275 MHz)
   Alpha AXP 21-40532-06 (21064-EB, 300 MHz)
   Alpha AXP 21-40658-17 (21164-BA, 300 MHz)
   Alpha AXP 21-43918-45 (21164-P8, 533 MHz)
   Alpha AXP 211PC-03 (21164PC, 533 MHz)
   StrongARM SA-110S