The ultra-high speed computing circuits used in the 502 are similar to those used in the Elliott 503 computer, which is complementary to the data-processer.
Whereas the 502 is specifically intended for use in advanced on-line control applications, the 503 is designed as a comprehensive machine for performing major scientific and engineering computations.
The 502 works with short words and computes in fixed-point arithmetic. The 503 word length is nearly double that of the 502, and many floating point[print] arithmetic functions feature in its instruction code.
The 502 normally runs under the control of a complex of interrealted programmes which require to be altered only infrequently. An extensive library of programmes is at the disposal of the 503 user, in order to maintain flexibility by reducing new programme composition costs to a minimum.
the 502 is designed to act as the keystone in a control structure which embraces the entire system under surveillance. This may include many simpler process controllers operating under the overall control of the 502. The 503, similarly, is intended to operate within a net of smaller computers of the 803 type.
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