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Definition: Amdahl

(Amdahl Corporation, Sunnyvale, CA, www.amdahl.com) A computer manufacturer founded in 1970 by Dr. Gene Amdahl, chief architect of the IBM System/360. In 1975, Amdahl installed its first IBM-compatible mainframe, the 470/V6. In 1979, Amdahl left the company he founded to form Trilogy, which tried without success to make the world's largest chip based on wafer scale integration.

Although not the first to make IBM-compatible mainframes, it succeeded where others failed. Amdahl also introduced a line of Solaris-based servers and evolved into a software and services organization.

In 1997, Amdahl became a wholly owned subsidiary of the Fujitsu Limited family of companies, with whom it had a long-standing business relationship, including significant financial investment from the beginning. Its servers, software and consulting services were eventually absorbed into the U.S. division of Fujitsu Computer Systems. See Trilogy and CDS.

Amdahl's First Computer
In 1975, Dr. Amdahl stands beside the Wisconsin Integrally Synchronized Computer (WISC), which he designed in 1950. It was built in 1952. (Image courtesy of Dr. Gene M. Amdahl.)

A Little More Modern
Amdahl made its reputation early on for its IBM-compatible mainframes. Although no longer manufactured, models such as this Millennium server are still in use and being supported. (Image courtesy of Amdahl Corporation.)