Basic Computing

Macrocomputers: Features, Examples, and More

The mainframes are called computers that have multiple disk drives that allow you to process large amounts of information and data, learn how they work reading this article. Macrocomputers

What are Macrocomputers? Macrocomputers


To know what a macrocomputer is, you should know that the integrated system of hard drives is called that way, which due to their capacity allows to process large volumes of data and information in very short periods of time. The CPU of these computers is the base and center of a secondary system which depends fundamentally on its operation.

The functions of the macrocomputers allow, among other things, to process communications between thousands of users at the same time. This is thanks to a technology called the timeshare system. It is a form of operation in which the processor establishes some dead times. These are assigned to each user to carry out their operations.

Due to the short space between the interruptions between one user and another, then no type of delay is appreciated. The capacity and speed of the memory allows to make this period of time almost invisible. You can expand this information by clicking on the following link ROM Memory

These huge teams have some kind of hierarchy where supercomputers rank above macrocomputers. Those are the largest in the world and they are very expensive to manufacture. It can be said that in the world they do not reach 50.

Origin and history Macrocomputers

The first microcomputers were presented to the world during the 1940s. The first to be created was called ENIAC (Electronic Numerical Integrator And Computer), in Spanish Computer and Electronic Numerical Integrator. It was a general purpose model.

First teams

It was a very susceptible team to be a program and could solve a large number of numerical problems. Its creation was for the purpose of calculating in tables, the artillery shots and was assigned to the Ballistics Research Laboratory of the United States Army.

Its builders were the engineers John Presper Eckert and John William Mauchly. However, the programming was in charge of six women named Betty Snyder Holberton, Jean Jennings Bartik, Kathleen McNulty Mauchly Antonelli, Marlyn Wescoff Meltzer, Ruth Lichterman Teitelbaum and Frances Bilas Spence.


For the year 1951 the Macrocomputer called UNIVAC I was presented, also created by the same created by the ENIAC. But for purely commercial purposes, the marketing firm was run by the Remington Rand company.

It was the successor to the first smaller computer called UNIVAC. Her operations were very short and she was later handed over to Harvard University. These models were a development of the first non-military commercial type computer called the Z3 that was created in 1941. This equipment was not in the category of macrocomputers.

Many equipment needed to be taken to places where there was no excess electricity consumption. To get an idea of ​​the size of these teams we can say that their installation required approximately one space. Where it could be between 1000 to 300 square meters.

60s and 70s Macrocomputers

This period marked the evolution of computers by the IBM company, and also represented a time of changes in computing. It served to see the birth of Microsoft and its MS DOS operating system. It also allowed us to see the appearance of the first IBM desktop computer.

Likewise, it was possible to make the first connections between servers, starting the first steps for the formation of the internet. In short, a time marked even by social changes and that will later determine the future of humanity.

The IBM company dominated the market for newly created computers, and of course it was planning to introduce macrocomputer models. For this reason, it had launched the macro 700/7000 series of equipment.

A few years later it will launch the 360 ​​series, which served to determine the launch and development of desktop computers. The 360 ​​series was conceived primarily as a Macrocomputer. By the late 1960s CDC (Control Data Corporation) dominated the market for large computer equipment.

However, a break on the part of the owners of the company allowed one of its partners to separate and could develop in 1969 the company called Cray Research. This company carried out the project to present various macrocomputer designs during the 1970s and early 1980s.

The use of transistors and later integrated circuits helped the development of higher capacity equipment. On the other hand, in the late 1980s, various manufacturers such as IBM, Burroughs, UNIVAC, NCR, Control Data, Honeywell, General Electric and RCA came out.

They had a macrocomputer production market that competed with other European and Asian brands such as Siemens, Telefunken, Olivetti, Fujitsu, Hitachi and NEC. Over the years the corporations were merging and creating companies in combination with other areas.

80s and 90s Macrocomputers

As the years passed, the development and evolution of computing were taking leaps and bounds in technological advances. In the same way, macrocomputers had been occupying important spaces in the world of computing.

The equipment went from being vector-type processors to parallel-type processors. These included thousands of CPUs that were organized and programmed to carry out various tasks simultaneously. It was the time when manufacturers developed the PowerPC, Opteron or Xeon.

Then and at the end of the 90s, high-capacity processors appeared based on cluster-type technology. These computers combine common CPUs with special connections. Thus, military organizations and some large international companies were used by governments.

In the late 1990s, some corporations depended primarily on macrocomputers. The services were directed to carry out actions of a centralized type; in combination with internet network connections. In other words, the information and data processing was flowing very quickly.

Year 2000 onwards

This era allows to develop equipment that could handle data packets in batches; In other words, complicated and precise processes could be carried out simultaneously in the same amount and period of time. This technology gave way to the so-called electronic commerce and banking.

The processes were carried out by teams where the Japanese were at the forefront in the development of macrocomputers. Among the products featured were the highly sought after MDGrape-3. This equipment was sold to private individuals only and had no commercial reference.

In 2009, equipment such as the Roadrunner, with a processing capacity of 1 petaflops by IBM, was launched on the market and taking as a reference the Japanese MDGrape-3, in China “Milky Way One” was developed with a capacity of 1.2 petaflops.

Then began the war of the macrocomputers that later led developed countries to build supercomputers, you can learn more about these computers by clicking the next article Types of computers .

Then the United States developed the Cray Research and the Jaguar, both 1.7 petaflops. By the end of 2009 it is considered the largest Macrocomputer in the world. As a reference, we can indicate that a petaflops is five times the measurement that in computing is determined to calculate “floating-point operations per second” (Floating-point Operations Per Second).

These measurements determine the speed at which a Macrocomputer or a supercomputer can carry out operations in a given period of time. At present, the IBM company is developing microcomputer equipment together with the Unisys company.

The z10 models, the successor to the z9, from IBM have given rise to the so-called mainframe technology, which is what determines all supercomputer equipment today.

Macrocomputers main features

These supercomputers are a kind of large-scale normal computer. It has very complex specifications that make up its processes; a series of actions that can be carried out in a matter of seconds. When a normal team would take a few minutes and even hours.

Great capacity Macrocomputers

It has the ability to process information quickly and accurately. They handle processes with impressive speed and efficiency. Among them we can name the storage of data and management of large-scale activities. What a common server would take the use and expense of a large amount of resources.

The processes are determined according to the needs of the users. These are seen to be handled on a large scale. So the volume of information overloads the smallest servers. The processes managed tend to vary according to the need of the users.

Likewise, they allow to carry out operations with different applications, virtual machines at the same time. We can say then that its ability to carry out operations simultaneously; it is one of its most important characteristics.

Size and volume Macrocomputers

Although they handle large amounts of information and data, these computers require extremely large memory. However, nowadays they are subject to physically using neither very large spaces. Compared to equipment from 50 years ago, where they had to be located in spaces that even exceed one hectare.

These macrocomputers today can be installed in spaces that do not exceed 75 M2. This has been thanks to the miniaturization of computer circuits and the computer process. Today there are macrocomputers that are the size of a 16-foot refrigerator.

Manufacturers Macrocomputers

Unlike desktop computers, laptops, tablets, cell phones, and other technological equipment. the world of macrocomputer manufacturers is determined by; no more than 10 companies worldwide.

Major manufacturers such as IBM were exclusively dedicated to the manufacture of macrocomputers and supercomputers. Also companies like Hewlett-Packard, Unisys, Fujitsu, Hitachi and NEC; that some years ago came to manufacture desktop computers.

The investments of these companies for the manufacture of macrocomputers are enormous, hence the reason for dedicating exclusively to the development of totally different and superior equipment in capacity.

Terminal types

Macrocomputers contain very different elements from common computer equipment. That is why the connections are made through special terminals that must have specific characteristics. Durability, performance and quality.

The workstations are similar to those of a common computer. However, it does not have its own CPU; They depend on a central terminal that is also a microcomputer that in turn acts as an access point for users.

The Software Macrocomputers

Macrocomputers have operating systems that are different depending on the type of configuration made by the manufacturer. These operating systems are within the so-called mainframe operating process that is currently being developed by companies such as Unix and Linux. Newer versions of older IBM zOs.

Operating systems maintain an interface of capabilities where the need of the user is taken into account. The configuration does not vary much with respect to the smaller teams but it allows to develop faster and more efficient processes.


These equipment are used for various functions, especially if they are aimed at processing large amounts of operations flows. Its development has made it possible to offer services to international corporations that have been growing in volume and expansion.

For commercial purposes  Macrocomputers

Without a doubt, one of the areas that has benefited the most from macrocomputers has been banking and commerce. The growth of some companies during the first years of the 90’s was limited, as they were not able to offer more breadth of operations to their clients.

Some were limited to a certain number of users and activities. With the development of macrocomputers, banking activities became universal, commerce grew in such a way that now it combines digital marketing technology with advertising and online sales.


Although they were the forerunners of macrocomputers, military services around the world require without any excuse, submitting their military processes and managements to macrocomputers. Flight systems, radars, arms control, military information management, among other operations, must be in charge of large processors.

The number of military satellites that are orbiting the planet must be in command of the macrocomputers. The thousands of processes that they carry out daily must be managed by large computers. We can describe many example macrocomputers that meet military requirements, but it would take a long time to describe all of them.

Medicine and health

Today it is required to have an epidemiological control and surveillance system. Which allows to control and supervise the types of diseases that are generated in each country. Locally many corporations maintain records and manage diagnostic support services through large teams.

Research and academic use Macrocomputers

Thanks to macrocomputers, various scientific investigations can be carried out in parallel anywhere in the world. Today projects are supervised and analyzed by high-level specialists.

Universities have a great opportunity to transmit research projects aimed at millions of students. Records, data, information and all kinds of resources can be exchanged and developed without limitations of time and distance.

Exchange in networks Macrocomputers

Macrocomputers have made it possible to streamline processes that could be delayed if they were carried out by common servers. The databases of many websites that accumulate large amounts of information, use the resources of the macrocomputers as storage.

The mainframe system project allows streamlining these processes, they are specifically designed to process large volumes of information emanating from millions of users through various applications. In the following link you can learn more about the topic related to Types of network topologies

Types of macrocomputers

In the world there are many designs of macrocomputers that are scattered in various international corporations and companies, among the most used are the following:

  • Those built by IBM on its IBM zSeries, System z9 and z10 models. These Dominican computers currently market the macrocomputers.
  • Hewlett-Packard develops and markets NonStop equipment. Groupe Bull manufactures the DPS.
  • The Japanese company Fujitsu markets its BS2000 as well as the Fujitsu-ICL VME mainframe projects, which are sold only in Europe.
  • Unisys has commercial development of the ClearPath Libra and ClearPath models, which physically feature innovative colors, shapes and lines.
  • Hitachi develops operating systems called MSP and VOS 3, which IBM claims are a plagiarism of its MVS software models that were made in the 1980s.

Macrocomputer Examples Macrocomputers

Some are included in a variety of servers that we have already talked about previously, among them we find:

  • IBM
  • System z9
  • z10 and zSeries

Of course it is our duty to remind you that IBM is still by far the market leader in mainframe, with an incredible 90% of it.

Who derive an excellent line of macrocomputers that are known worldwide as:

  • System 360
  • System 370
  • System 390

It should be included without a doubt chewing like ClearPath Libra and other mainframes like Fujitsu-ICL VME that today are available in the European continent. As well as there are some very old ones, from the decade of the 80s that still exist.

Also brands like Hitachi and Fujitsu have lines or mainframe computers macro using operating systems they call MSP and VOS3, and at some point plagiarized from IBM operating system called MVS, this year 1980.

There are some whose technology is much more up-to-date and are manipulated through CDS that have a very high reliability, as well as an excellent capacity in service and availability and of course security, which is very important. A macrocomputer model   is the one shown in the following image. Macrocomputers

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