Artifact Details


ILLIAC IV computer

Catalog Number



Still Image


Illinois, University of (Urbana-Champaign)

Identifying Numbers

Other number 1453
Other number A73-5240


8 x 10 in.


Photographic print


This is a black and white image of the ILLIAC IV control unit and the rest of the system. All the ILLIAC's panels are closed. There is a test machine resting in front of the control unit. Light is coming from the overhead ceiling lights. Written on the verso side in pencil is "#1453" and stamped in black ink is "NASA Ames Research Center Moffett Field, California A73-5240". Written in red ink on the yellow post it notes is "Enlarge 20 x 25 1/4 P.31 ILLIAC B2/F5" and "Caption on seperate [sic] sign".

Parallel Processing appeared in the huge ILLIAC IV, the first computer to abandon the classic one-step-at-a-time scheme of John von Neumann. ILLIAC IV had sixty-four processors, each with its own memory, all operating simultaneously on separate parts of one problem. Designed at the University of Illinois and built by Burroughs, the computer took six years to complete at a cost of $40 million. It was the fastest machine then in use, but ahead of its time. Plagued by technical ills and very difficult to program, ILLIAC IV was one of a kind.


Identification photograph; Publicity photograph


Illiac IV (Computer); Burroughs Corporation; Computers--History; Computer industry--History

Lot Number