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Wyle Laboratories Arithmetic Processor Writeup




Computers & Automation, December, 1964

This is product writeup for the Wyle Laboratories Arithmetic Processor. The Arithmetic Processor was essentially the calculating engine of the Wyle Labs WS-01 Electronic Calculator with inputs (for controlling operation of processor) and outputs (coded outputs that represent the content of the registers of the machine) that can be connected to external equipment. The Arithmetic Processor can serve as the mathematical engine of any system that needs to perform math. The arithmetic processor uses a small magnetic disk for storage of the working registers of the machine, transistorized electronics to manipulate the data on the disk and perform calculations, along with a power supply to run the electronics. Connector sockets on the unit provide input and output connections to external equipment. The unit performs the basic four functions plus Square Root. It operates with 20 digits, and uses a fixed decimal point setting. There are three working registers, and three memory registers.

There were a number of versions of the Arithmetic Processor offered by Wyle Laboratories. The version shown here is likely a very early model or perhaps even the first operating production prototype, as the magnetic disk assembly is visible at the left front of the device. Production versions of the Arithmetic Processor surely provided an enclosure for the disk, as exposure to dust and other contaminants would have caused issues with the disk system. Later versions of the Arithmetic Processor would abandon the disk in favor of a much more reliable magnetostrictive delay line, which was used in the Wyle Labs WS-02 calculator.