Standards Western Automatic Computer ("SWAC" 1950)

("Standards Western Automatic Computer")

The SWAC was developed by the National Bureau of Standards Institute for Numerical Analysis at the University of California at Los Angeles.

The SWAC concept was developed in October 1948 and the project was started in January 1949. At one point it was called the ZEPHYR. It began operation on August 17, 1950 and continued in service for 17 years, finally being retired in December 1967.

The SWAC differed from the NBS's other main computer the SEAC, in that the SWAC operated in a parallel fashion rather than serially. The SWAC used 37 CRTs (Williams-tube memory units). Magnetic Drum storage was added in 1953. Some of those who worked on the SWAC project and its later enhancements included: Harry D. Huskey, H. Larson, R. Thorensen, M. Melankoff, D. Lehmer, and others.


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