MECIPT - Electronic computing machine of the Polytechnic Institute of Timisoara

MECIPT (Electronic Computing Machine of the Polytechnic Institute of Timisoara)

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MECIPT-1 was designed and made at the Polytechnic Institute of Timisoara, in 1961. The computer was made with electronic tubes and represented the first electronic computer built in the university environment.

The computer was designed by Iosif Kaufmann and Wiliam Lovenfeld, and the team included Dan Farcas, Baltac Vasile, Ionel Munteanu, Iosif Hartmann, Gavril Gavrilescu, Alexandru Ciortas. Later, Victor Meghesan, Mircea Fildan, Ioan Nafornita, Ilie Oprea, Ion Mihaescu were added to the team.

Technical specifications of MECIPT

The processing unit performs 50 operations per second in fixed point, interprets 32 instructions and addresses a memory of 1k words.

The instruction set included 32 instructions, and the address part was 10 bits, which ensures a 1K word address. Floating point numbers were represented using two consecutive addresses.

The memory was implemented on a magnetic drum with a capacity of 1K words of 31 bits each. The rotation speed of the drum was 50 rpm. To represent numbers, the complement of one is used.

Initially it was programmed in the machine code and later a translator was written for the assembly language.

Calculations for the Vidraru dam and the redesign of the dome at Romexpo

Technologically, the computer contained 2000 electronic tubes, 20000 resistors and capacitors.

The power consumed was approx. 10 kW. Computer registers consisted of logic gates and flip-flops made with triodes. The control panel allowed step-by-step programs, provided access to the contents of registers and indicators through light bulbs and switches.

It had a perforated tape reader and a typewriter to print the results. MECIPT-1 has been used in various industrial projects, among which are the calculations for the Vidraru dam and the redesign of the dome at Romexpo.

MECIPT-1 control panel

Currently, MECIPT-1 has returned to the Polytechnic University of Timisoara, being the central piece of the UPT Museum, along with other exhibits that highlight the pioneering role of the Timisoara Polytechnic in the development of computer technology in Romania.

MECIPT-2 (1963)

MECIPT-2 was developed under his guidance Baltac Vasile, in 1963. Represents a second generation computer that uses transistors and memory with ferrite rings.

It was used for CAD applications. The main memory, with a capacity of 4 words, was on a drum with ferrites. The calculation speed was 10000 operations / second.

MECIPT-3 (1965)

MECIPT-3, was made in 1965, completely transistorized. It was made using 10000 transistors, and the main memory was implemented with ferrite, and had a capacity of 4 K words of 38 bits each. It had a perforated tape reader, a typewriter and a printer.

Nicolae Tapus, Information Science and Technology in Romania, Romanian Academy, Romanian Academy Publishing House - Bucharest, 2018

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