The following are text extracts from the IBM "Tucson Dedication 1980" booklet.
The Tucson site's products are all associated in some way with the input, storage and retrieval of data/word processing information. At the same time, they reflect the striking variety of GPD's [General Product Division] product line. A rundown of these products underscores the common bond and the diversity.
IBM 3420/3803 magnetic tape subsystem
3420 magnetic tape drive and the 3803 control unit. Depending on the model, the 3420/3803 offers recording densities up to 6,250 characters, or bytes, per inch and data rates of up to 1.25 million characters per second. That's equivalent to recording an entire edition of The Wall Street Journal in less than half a second. Users of IBM's larger data processing systems usually select one or more models of the 3420/3803 to meet their magnetic tape needs.Production and reconditioning of the 3420/3803 was among the first assignments given GPD Tucson. The subsystem is made up of the
IBM 3410/3411 magnetic tape subsystem
3410, and a control unit, the 3411, to which multiple satellite 3410s may be attached. The 3410/3411's features include compact, low-cost design and seven- or nine-track operation at recording densities of up to 1,600 bytes per inch. Resulting data rates range from 2,500 to 80,000 characters per second. The subsystem is most commonly used with small-to-medium-sized data processing systems. Like the 3420/3803, the 3410/341 was among GPD Tucson's first manufacturing responsibilities.This tape subsystem consists of a primary tape unit, the
IBM 3851 Mass Storage Facility
The 3851 may be described as a library that stores information in cartridges instead of books. Each fist-sized cartridge holds a roll of magnetic tape capable of bearing 50 million characters of information -- about as much as contained in 13 Webster's dictionaries. Cartridges are stored in honeycombed walls inside the MSF. The number of honeycombs depends on the user's storage needs, but total capacity ranges from 35 billion to 472 billion bytes of information.
3850 mass storage system, which is designed for users requiring high storage capacities. The 3851 represents a global responsibility for GPD Tucson, since the site manufactures the MSF for customers worldwide.That's equivalent to the number of words you would find in 27 million pages of a daily newspaper. The MSF forms the heart of the
IBM 3800 printing subsystem
The 3800 represents a dramatic technological departure from the traditional impact computer printer. Instead of a mechanical process, it blends laser technology with electrophotography to provide speed, versatility and economy. Capable of producing printouts at rates up to 20,040 lines per minute, the 3800 is IBM's fastest computer printer. The printer is capable of producing 1.7 miles of paper per hour. A key feature of the 3800 is its ability to simultaneously produce text and form designs on plain paper, thereby reducing the need for preprinted stock.
IBM 3310 direct access storage device
3310 is a twofold mission. For, in addition to the manufacture of this storage device, GPD Tucson produces the 62PC integrated disk storage subassembly, which forms the heart of the 3310. Each 3310 contains one or two 62PCs. The compact subassembly, with its 210-mm vertically mounted disks, makes the 3310 a product compatible with the trend toward smaller computer systems. Available in four models, the 3310 offers storage capacities of 64.5 megabytes (million characters of information) or 129 megabytes. Up to four strings of two 3310s (four 62PCs) each may be attached to an IBM 4331 processor. Maximum capacity of a string of units is 258 megabytes. A 4331 with four full strings offers 1,032 billion bytes of online storage.This product stores information on disks, rather than magnetic tape. It is significant to GPD Tucson because, like the 3800 printer, it represents a product responsibility not related to flexible magnetic media. In effect, the
IBM 8809 magnetic tape unit
The 8809 is IBM's lowest-cost magnetic tape unit. Distinguishing it from earlier half-inch tape units are its reel-to-reel drive and its ability to operate at either of two speeds. The 8809's reel-to-reel drive feature eliminates the need for capstan, or vacuum columns. Tape tension and velocity is controlled electronically. The unit is used with IBM's 4331 processor and the IBM 8100 information system. It was the first new product announced by the GPD Tucson Laboratory (though development originated in San Jose). While Tucson does not manufacture the 8809 -- that job belongs to IBM's plant in Fujisawa, Japan -- the site is responsible for ordering and scheduling all units destined for U.S. customers.
Without programming, a computer system would be a useless collection of hardware. A program is a series of instructions, usually written in any one of number of symbolic languages and later translated into machine language, that tells computer devices what to do. Developing programs for various GPD products is an important part of the Tucson lab's responsibilities. Programmers work closely with engineers who design and build new products to ensure that "hardware" has the "software" it needs to function properly. A recent example of a Tucson-developed program product is Release 3 of the Hierarchical Storage Manager, which provides improved automation storage management functions.
The site's manufacturing role is not confined to the assembly of finished products. Its responsibilities also cover the production of many different subassemblies used on products manufactured here and at other IBM locations. Major subassemblies include motors and power supplies for tape drives, the 3800 printer and the 3851 mass storage facility; laser print heads and optical mark-sensing heads for the 3800; and read/write heads for the MSF. A key responsibility is the manufacturing of logic cards used in GPD products. By the end of 1981, the division's entire logic card production operation will be consolidated in Tucson.