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Revision Date Username Comment
1101 Dec 2014 - 15:50ThomasMisa 
1001 Dec 2014 - 15:47ThomasMisa 
903 Oct 2013 - 15:40norqu036? 
819 Apr 2013 - 11:25NicLewis 
719 Apr 2013 - 10:13NicLewis 
618 Apr 2013 - 10:21NicLewis 
517 Apr 2013 - 11:21NicLewis 
412 Mar 2013 - 09:51NicLewis 
304 Mar 2013 - 10:01NicLewis 
225 Feb 2013 - 10:28NicLewis 
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The B5000 was the first large-scale computer system developed by the Burroughs Corporation. Released in 1961, the B5000 was a large mainframe system optimized for running ALGOL 60. The B5000 architecture and instruction set were developed taking the needs of software into consideration, a level of integration between hardware and software design now considered ahead of its time. Among the B5000's unique features were hardware designed to support high-level programming languages exclusively, and an attempt at creating a secure architecture that prohibited unauthorized access of data, or disruptions to system operations.(1)(2)

The B5000 was known for its fast compiler, being able to compile a program as fast as its readers could import punch cards. This was due to Burroughs' implementation of ALGOL allowing for a one-pass compiler, which needed to read the source code only once before compiling the program. While the B5000 architecture was not carried over into the subsequent B6500 and B7500 systems, the B5000 was highly influential on future system architecture design, with many of its features found in computers today. The B6500 and B7500 architectures survive in Unisys Intel Xeon-based systems today.(3)


1 : lock Elliott I. Organick, Computer System Organization: The B5700/B6700 Series, New York (Academic Press, 1973), vii-viii, 1-2. (Login required)

2 : oh098b5c.pdf - 1985 CBI oral history, "The Burroughs B 5000 Conference, OH 98," 9.

3 : lock William Lonergan, and Paul King, "Design of the B 5000 System," Annals of the History of Computing 9, no. 1 (November 1, 1987), 16 (Login required)

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Topic revision: r5 - 17 Apr 2013 - 11:21:33 - NicLewis
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