Mainframe or central unit: what are they and what are they for? How does it work and what has been its evolution?

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Shane Conder
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The term Mainframe, or central unit, refers to computational elements who do important work globally. They have a large capacity to store millions of data per second.

In turn, this central unit is capable of performing mathematical operations. These computers have the ability to work with large volumes of data.

They are designed to work with the information processing and storage, in addition to mathematical data. This unit has powerful memory and processors. They are an extremely efficient team.



Historical evolution of mainframe or central unit

In 1944 the first mainframe was created, in order to improve the performance of computers. This ingenious invention was placed in an entire room and worked with calculator algorithms to be able to perform basic mathematical operations.

This machine had 60 constant physical registers and 72 counters, which gave the results. It should be noted that this great invention initially it consisted of 800 km of cabling. All this process is due to the fact that this unit worked with punch cards, but it could also function as a mechanical typewriter.

Subsequently, in the following decade, IBM launched the so-called SSEC on the market, equipped with embedded electronic parts. This ingenious invention was used to calculate the distance of the moon to the planets of the system and the result was 6 months.

The mainframe with digital information processing, called the IBM 701 but which only sells 19 units and gives the first step to the modern age of computing. This was done to work for the United States.

Thanks to these advances, the engineers continued to work with the aim of improving this device, both physically and in its components, so that in this way no errors were obtained.



This mechanism is currently used in the banking sector, in most public organizations to get jobs done quickly, and in many companies. Thanks to the large volume of data they store, they save on having to use multiple computers.

The beginning of mainframes in the digital age

THE IBM 7000 is was the first mainframe created in the digital age in 1964. Subsequently, the S / 360, which is the first configurable mainframe. So was created the S / 370, which remained on the market for two decades, as it had 32 bits.

IBM has always been focused on improving its unit and not launching another model, noting that it has designed its own operating system. Likewise, new processors were created and LINUX was included in these mainframes.

The first to make history with the creation of the central units was IBM, which continued to prevail in the creation of mainframe with the z / Architecture which had 64 bits and this was its advantage, since in the components it continued to have that of the existing models.


At the moment, mainframes are still in use, as there are companies that refuse to put this platform aside. Taking mainframes as a long-term tool.

These units have a large volume hardware which has special facilities, are safer. This new invention simplifies tasks and maintenance is low cost. They also control a large number of input devices and output peripherals.


This drive works with data volumes in millions of seconds thanks to the software, has a large capacity and transfers files as far as external memory is concerned.

I mainframe have a processor, memory and I / O channels, which are connected to disks, terminals, printers, among others. All of these devices are connected via fiber optic channels, which means they are a powerhouse and their process is high.

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