Chapter 3Minicomputers, Microcomputers,and Programmable Controllers

3.1 Introduction

During the mid-1960s, small computers began to appear on the market. To distinguish them from the larger mainframes of that period, they were called minicomputers. The appearance of these minicomputers reflected an ever-continuing trend of miniaturization in computer technology that has now reached the point where a CPU, together with a small main memory and input/output circuitry, can be contained on a single LSI (large-scale integrated) circuit chip several millimeters square. Such a chip, when combined with input and output devices, is called a microcomputer.

In this chapter we describe the minicomputer and microcomputer, which are frequently used in CAD/CAM ...

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