Nanodata was a Buffalo, New York company that was formed in 1971 and seems to have sold its first products in 1973. They filed for bankruptcy in 1982, though they may have carried on business for a couple of years after that.[1]

They seem to have manufactured two computers, the QM-1 (possibly also known as the "MultiMicroMachine") and the QMX. According to a 1978 brochure The QM-1 could emulate many other computers and peripherals: "A 'typical' customer configuration sells for $280K and includes emulators of the PDP-11, Data General Nova, IBM 360, etc." The only documentation I've seen related to any of this is this Bitsavers archive.

What's the history of this company? How well did their computers sell, and who used them? Has anybody (outside of the company itself) provided reviews of their systems describing their good and bad points, and how they compared to other systems of the day?

  • 3
    There seems to be quite a lot of information on the Internet Archive about it: archive.org/search.php?query=nanodata%20QM-1&sin=TXT
    – Alan B
    Mar 20, 2020 at 11:04
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    @AlanB There's a fair amount of documentation, including everything from the Bitsavers archive to which I linked, but I don't see anything on company history, or what kind of relationships it had with the IT community.
    – cjs
    Mar 20, 2020 at 12:29

2 Answers 2


I know they sold one system to the Mitre Corporation, a big defense contractor; I believe it was for research into new computer architectures.

The March 1978 edition (vol.3, iss.3, No.23, p.17) of Dr. Dobb's Journal says a group at UCSD had the UCSD PASCAL system running on a QM-1.

A San Diego CA office is listed on the cover of several manuals.

The Williamsville NY (suburb of Buffalo) address is listed as "One Computer Drive" on some manuals, instead of 2457 Wehrle Dr.

Dr. Gideon Frieder of the Computer Science Dept. at the State University of New York at Buffalo was a principal in the company (possibly the founder). A number of other people are listed on patents assigned to Nanodata, but their names are not familiar. (I worked in the same building as some CompSci folks so I probably met Dr. Frieder at some point.)


Kemal Ebcioglu was responsible for significant work on the technical designs, both on the QM-1 and the QMX. It was an interesting co, I worked there for ~3 months on the QMX project, based on AMD 2900 bitslice circuits. After it went Chapter 11 some of us tried to carry on with a design for a distributed fault tolerant system, but it never jelled. (Some parts of it showed up in other fault tolerant work).

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