1972 Univac 8008 Micro - an early 8-bit system

craig at solomonson.net craig at solomonson.net
Sun Jan 11 17:21:59 CST 2015

A few years ago I inquired about an early 8-bit micro in my collection that
I did not know the background on. Recently I found out the background of the
computer and thought I would share it with the history buffs here.


It was built by the Univac R&D Division in St. Paul, Minnesota in 1972. They
were carefully monitoring the developments at Intel with regard to their
4004 and 8008 microprocessors being developed. Part of their research was to
construct actual computer systems to research and then build an application
using the 8008. They started by building a 4-bit system similar to the one I
have using the SIM4-01 and MP7-01 boards. That unit was completed and being
demonstrated by March of 1972. They ordered the 8-bit system (SIM8-01 and
MP7-02) when it was announced in April of 1972 and construction took place
during the summer of 1972. Univac designed and built their own interfaces
for these systems and used a Teletype for I/O. The Univac 8008 "8-Bit Micro
Computer System" in my collection was complete and being demonstrated to
various Univac divisions and military organizations by early fall of 1972. 

I visited with one of the Univac engineers that did some of the programming
and he said that only very simple programs were used in demonstrations--like
doing simple math operations or it asked for your name, you typed it in on
the teletype and it printed some phrase using your name. 

Univac spared no expense in developing this system as seen in the
construction and fabrication of the cases which are thick, deep red
translucent plastic. Not only is it a very aesthetically designed, but it
has to be one of the very first 8-bit computers fully assembled and

Here is a photo of the system:

I have also done a You Tube video telling more about the system:


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