I know this is from a project at IBM in 1983 as it’s in a sort of commemorative case, but I know nothing about what it is or where it was used (if ever). On one end of the case it’s inscribed “FCS July 23, 1982” and “Keystone II”
Does anyone have any ideas?
Maybe a prototype for the XT/370 (370 processor on an ISA card)? That should fit roughly with the date codes. The photo shows one Motorola chip and one unpopulated socket; the XT/370 had two Motorola 68000 chips (one running modified microcode implementing part of the 370 ISA, with the other being an unmodified 68000 simulating the missing parts of the ISA).
The ceramic chips at the top may be RAM chips. A search for “intel 8279251” indicates that this is actually two piggybacked chips.
Thanks for your response! Someone on Reddit speculated the same and linked to the same Substack story!
Very strange. The white/silver squares are 1960s SLT modules and the Motorola is much much later. (Looking almost like a 90s Pentium). Maybe it should just show different modules.
I see there’s a board very like this for sale at an unspecified price - the unpopulated socket has another silver IBM module in it. It’s got extractor levers so it’s designed for a card cage or backplane.
Thanks Ed, I’m going to ask them if they know where it came from!
Looking up IBM and FCS in the 1980s, I find
Other products rolled out during 1981 include the 4700 Finance Communication System with compact computer devices for teller and administrative operations
Yes it looks like a 4700
Cards are similar
To me that it’s exactly the same card. I haven’t checked all numbers, but the Motorola chip is the same (SC81150R, I haven’t found anything useful on the web).
So definitely 4700 (or maybe used in similar computers).
Maybe someone should tell them on reddit.
Hi, I asked the Computer History Museum if they had any idea and this was their expert’s very detailed response:
" I’ve been researching vintage IBM systems so the CHM asked me about this. The board looks like an IBM processor board from 1982 (the chips have 1981 or 1982 date codes). The chips at the top of the board are memory chips with parity. The Motorola chip is probably the processor. But the board could also be networking or I/O with a memory buffer. The metal modules are IBM’s MST (Monolithic Systems Technology), i.e. integrated circuits in IBM’s square metal packaging. Unfortunately, the part numbers are mostly IBM’s proprietary numbers so it’s hard to identify the components. (I could open up the chips and take a look, but that would mess up the board so you probably don’t want that.) A couple of the chips have standard 74LS641 part numbers, indicating an octal bus transceiver, which doesn’t narrow things down much.
As far as the text, “FCS” is “First Customer Shipment”, i.e. celebrating shipping the first unit to a customer. “Keystone II” is presumably the internal IBM codename for the product. Unfortunately, the only “Keystone II” product that I could find was from CDC, a data streamer tape transport. Unless someone recognizes the “Keystone II” codename, it’s going to be hard to identify the board.
I took a look at IBM products introduced in 1982, including the 7565 industrial robot, 3800 printing subsystem, IBM personal typewriter, Scanmaster I scanner, 6361 Fastdraft system, and the 3084 mainframe. A board like this one could have been used in almost anything (other than the personal typewriter), so it doesn’t really narrow it down. It’s obviously not the processor for a mainframe, but it could be a processor for a support role. Moreover, if this was “Keystone II”, it was probably an update of the first Keystone and might not show up on a list of new products. So this line of investigation wasn’t too productive.
Link to IBM’s 1982 products: https://web.archive.org/web/20030814191729/http://www-1.ibm.com/ibm/history/history/year_1982.html "
A couple guys on the Vintage Computer Federation forum are very sure this is a 3274 establishment controller.
Must be both, in that case - same board used twice - as yours is an exact match to the Q card in the 4701. You might want to compare the dates.
Edit: although, the FCS connection seems compelling to me.
I did some research on both 4701 and 3274. I found a photo of an open 3274. That large desk also has a cage with many cards.
That exact card is indeed from a 3274 (unless they made a mistake/swapped the cards) there are 2 photos on bitsavers showing it in a wooden case, titled keystone II
Index of /pdf/ibm/3274/pictures
I also found the difference of both card. The silver chips are IBM 22 instead of IBM 52. So different logic and or version. CPU, RAM, card size should be the same.
The 4701 is a small controller for the workstations. The central site processor is a System 370 or 34.
I’m not exactly sure what the Q card is. The 4701 Model 1 has a cluster adapter for 3278 and other display/printers.
As there’s no part number on it it’s probably a prototype.
Here are the cards of the 3274 explained. Not sure if it’s a Q card. Would be a “Control Storage 64 Vol 1” card, so a RAM card (as there’s RAM on it). I haven’t read all manuals. (I earlier thought of some sort of communication, controller or the encryption card)
A RAM card would be plausible for both devices. Page 10, 19 and 150