UNIVERSITY of PENNSYLVANIA
Tuesday, February 6, 1996
Volume 42 Number 19
Countdown to February 14...please see pages 10-13
Fifty Years Smaller
In 1946, the 30-ton ENIAC took up a gymnasium-sized room (part of one wall is shown above). Even the portion of the original that is on display at SEAS (right), dwarfs the laptop computer of today. And the capacity of ENIAC, with its 18,000 vacuum tubes, has now been reproduced via 300,000 transistors in the tiny chip that can barely be seen on the student's forefinger (lower right photo).
Above: Two of the women who worked on ENIAC, Frances Bilas and Elizebeth Jennings, with a portion of the giant "electronic brain" of 1946.
Center: Undergraduate students Roger Wallace, Jenni Marquiss and Jesse Leung with surviving ENIAC components and a laptop computer.
Below: James Tau and Lin Ping Ang with test models of the chip they designed, replicating the architecture and capacity of ENIAC as a teaching tool. (See pages 12-13 for more on their project.)
Upper photograph from the University of Pennsylvania Archives
Center and lower photographs by Mark Garvin