Electronic Discrete Variable Automatic Computer

What Does Electronic Discrete Variable Automatic Computer Mean?

The Electronic Discrete Variable Automatic Computer (EDVAC) was one of the earliest large mainframe computers to be built in the 1940s. It was the first mainframe computer that represented binary systems rather than decimal systems.


Techopedia Explains Electronic Discrete Variable Automatic Computer

EDVAC was designed in 1944 and built in the 1940s, before being installed in the U.S. Army’s Ballistics Research Laboratory in Maryland in August of 1940.

As a binary serial computer, EDVAC processed mathematical operations with a serial memory capacity of roughly 5.5 kB. EDVAC used magnetic tape as a data media and could run over 20 hours a day.

EDVAC was replaced in 1961 by the Ballistic Research Laboratories Electronic Scientific Computer (BRLESC) which had a larger memory and faster response times.


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Margaret Rouse is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical, business audience. Over the past twenty years her explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…