Electronic Numerical Integrator And Computer

Definition of Electronic Numerical Integrator And Computer

The Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer (ENIAC) was the first large-scale, general-purpose, electronic digital computer, developed during World War II by John W. Mauchly and J. Presper Eckert. Launched in 1946, ENIAC’s purpose was to perform complex calculations, focusing primarily on artillery trajectory calculations for the U.S. military. This groundbreaking machine laid the foundation for modern computer technology and marked the beginning of the computer age.


The phonetic pronunciation of the keyword “Electronic Numerical Integrator And Computer” is:- Electronic: /ɪˌlɛkˈtrɑnɪk/- Numerical: /ˈnuːmərɪkəl/ or /ˈnjuːmərɪkəl/- Integrator: /ˈɪntɪˌɡreɪtər/- And: /ænd/ or /ənd/- Computer: /kəmˈpyuːtər/Note that the phonetics are presented using the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA), and the slashes indicate the pronunciation of the word within those marks.

Key Takeaways

  1. The Electronic Numerical Integrator And Computer (ENIAC) was the world’s first general-purpose electronic digital computer, completed in 1945 at the University of Pennsylvania.
  2. ENIAC was primarily designed for complex calculations in military applications like trajectory computations for artillery and it had a great impact on the subsequent development of computer technology.
  3. Despite its groundbreaking contributions, ENIAC faced several limitations such as its large size and lack of internal storage, which led to the development of more advanced and compact computers later on.

Importance of Electronic Numerical Integrator And Computer

The technology term Electronic Numerical Integrator And Computer (ENIAC) is important because it signifies the birth of electronic computing.

Developed in the mid-1940s, ENIAC was the first general-purpose digital computer, designed to perform complex calculations at unprecedented speeds.

It played a crucial role during World War II for artillery trajectory calculations and laid the foundation for modern computing.

The inventiveness behind ENIAC paved the way for advancements in digital technology, shaping our interconnected world and influencing various aspects of our lives, from scientific research to everyday communication.

Thus, ENIAC represents a monumental breakthrough in the history of technology, making it a significant term in the realm of computing.


The Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer (ENIAC) was a groundbreaking innovation in the field of computing during the mid-20th century, designed primarily to serve as a powerful computational tool for military and scientific research. Its purpose was to address the crucial need for swift and accurate calculations, enabling researchers to solve complex mathematical problems and simulate various scenarios.

During World War II, this revolutionary machine facilitated the swift computation of artillery firing tables used by the military to enhance their combat efficiency. In addition to its military impact, ENIAC also played a pivotal role in creating a foundation for subsequent modern computing technologies, as it revolutionized the concept of electronic computers by employing vacuum tubes, rather than mechanical switches, to perform calculations.

Besides its early contributions to military endeavors, the ENIAC’s capabilities laid the groundwork for numerous scientific and engineering applications in the years that followed. This massive machine, composed of over 17,000 vacuum tubes, was capable of performing thousands of calculations per second—a mind-boggling speed at that time.

Its ability to solve large-scale mathematical problems earned it the recognition of being the first general-purpose electronic computer, and it soon found applications across various fields such as meteorology, nuclear physics, and cryptography. The ENIAC’s innovative design and versatility paved the way for current and future computing technologies, and its profound impact on science, engineering, and cryptography continues to influence the evolution of digital systems today.

Examples of Electronic Numerical Integrator And Computer

The Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer (ENIAC) was the first electronic general-purpose computer, designed and built during World War II to speed up complex calculations. Here are three real-world examples of how it was used:

Ballistics trajectory calculations: ENIAC was initially created to help the U.S. Army determine ballistics trajectories for artillery shells. The complex calculations involved were time-consuming, and ENIAC’s speed significantly improved this process. It allowed scientists to quickly determine the proper firing angles and velocities to accurately hit targets from long distances, aiding the war effort.

Hydrodynamics research: ENIAC was also employed in hydrodynamics research, providing insight into how fluids flow around various shapes. Using its computational power, ENIAC could efficiently solve the partial differential equations governing fluid flow. The results greatly benefited the design of aerodynamic structures, such as wings and airfoils.

Atomic energy research: In the later stages of World War II and after the war, ENIAC was utilized for atomic energy research. It helped scientists perform the complex calculations required to understand the feasibility of building atomic bombs and their underlying nuclear reactions. This research contributed to the development of the atomic bomb and continued to influence nuclear energy development in the following years.

FAQ: Electronic Numerical Integrator And Computer

1. What is the Electronic Numerical Integrator And Computer (ENIAC)?

The Electronic Numerical Integrator And Computer (ENIAC) is known as the first general-purpose electronic digital computer, designed to perform complex calculations. It was developed during World War II by John W. Mauchly and J. Presper Eckert at the University of Pennsylvania.

2. When was ENIAC invented?

ENIAC was invented and built between 1943 and 1945, with its first successful test run taking place on December 10, 1945.

3. What was the main purpose of ENIAC?

ENIAC was originally designed to calculate artillery firing tables for the United States Army’s Ballistic Research Laboratory. However, it was later adapted to solve a variety of other mathematical problems, such as performing calculations for the development of the hydrogen bomb.

4. How large was the ENIAC?

The ENIAC was a massive machine, covering an area of approximately 1,800 square feet, and weighing around 30 tons. It was built using more than 17,000 vacuum tubes, in addition to numerous switches, relays, and resistors.

5. How fast could ENIAC perform calculations?

Although ENIAC was significantly faster than earlier electromechanical computing machines, it was still relatively slow by modern standards. It could perform approximately 5,000 addition operations per second and complete more complex calculations in just a few seconds. At the time, this was a groundbreaking achievement in computing technology.

6. Is the ENIAC still operating today?

No, the ENIAC was decommissioned in 1955 after a decade of use. Its components were disassembled, and some parts were put on display in museums, while others were discarded. In 1996, a team of researchers built a functional replica of one of ENIAC’s 30-ton arithmetic units as part of the ENIAC-on-a-Chip project, to honor the computer’s historical importance.

Related Technology Terms

  • Electronic Circuits
  • Vacuum Tubes
  • Punched Card Reader
  • Machine Code Programming
  • First Generation Computers

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