ICT 1900

ICT 1900

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ICT 1900

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ICT 1900 is the name given to a series of mainframe computers released by International Computers and Tabulators (ICT) and later International Computers Limited (ICL) during the 1960s and '70s. The 1900 series was notable for being one of the few non-American competitors to the IBM System/360, enjoying significant success in the European and Commonwealth markets.

Creation of the ICT 1900 series

In early 1963 ICT was in negotiations to buy the computer business of Ferranti. In order to sweeten the deal Ferranti demonstrated the Ferranti-Packard 6000 (FP6000) machine, developed by its Canadian subsidiary Ferranti-Packard to ICT.

The FP6000 was considered advanced for the day, notably including hardware support for multiprogramming. ICT considered using the FP6000 as their medium sized processor in the 1965-1968 timeframe, replacing the ICT 1302. Another plan being considered was to license a new range of machines being developed by RCA, probably compatible with the expected IBM 8000.

On 7 April 1964 IBM announced the System/360 series, a family of compatible machines spanning nearly the complete range of customer needs. It was immediately obvious that ICT would need a coherent response. Two paths were available: develop a range of machines based on the FP6000, using the flexibility of its design to produce smaller or larger machines, or cooperate with RCA who were re-targeting their development to a System/360 compatible range to be known as the......
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