other French Companies (before 1966)
Some other French companies that did not merge
eventually in Groupe Bull are not described in this page. Among them should be noted
Logabax, Intertechnique and Electronique Marcel Dassault.
A full history of the French informatique industry should also mention the
role of government agencies DRME, DMA, DGRST, DIELI...
|SEA Société d'Electronique
appliquée à l'Automatisme
||Creation of SEA
(Société d'Electronique appliquée à l''Automatisme) par François-Henri
Raymond to build analog and digital computers (CAB binary arithmetic computers).
SA is installed in Courbevoie, NW of Paris
||SEA enters the simulators market with the
analog computer OME12. It also enters the telephone business with the Généphone (using
The Genephone business
transferred in 1966 to SILEC, then a Thomson company.
||Development of CUBA Calculateur Universel
Binaire de l'Armement, the first SEA digital computer
||Installation of CAB1011 a cryptography
||SEA becomes a company of Schneider group
as a subsidiary of SW Schneider-Westinghouse. The manufacturing of computers is assigned
||A marketing and sales subsidiary is
created with SW, named SEPSEA Société d'Exploitation des Procédés
||Specification of CABAN, later known as
3900 a tape computer, between SEA and Credit Lyonnais
||Development of CAB500, a
small scientific computer, using a magnetic cores technology (SYMAG)
||First shipment of CAB500, a single user
||Introduction of CAB3900
||Introduction of analog computer NADAC20
||Creation of CERCI,
Compagnie d'études et de réalisation de cybernétique industrielle, a process-control
engineering company part of Schneider group.
this company uses industrial version of CAB500, then it will use Digital
Micral computers. It will be merged into SEMA group in 1982
||Agreement with Bull: Compagnie des
Machines Bull starts marketing the CAB500 and absorbs some SEPSEA activities. Bull
transfers Les Andelys plant to SEA.
This agreement, part
of the government supervised attempt to consolidate the French industry, left over the
3900 fate. Sales of CAB500 by Bull fell well under expectations and soon Bull was taken
over by General Electric.
||Introduction of CAB 1500
||Signature of a memory of
understanding with Control Data to use the technologies and the peripheral of CDC.
This MoU was not implemented, due to implementation of French Plan Calcul.
||Settlement of a suit against Bull's
default in CAB500 sales agreement
||"Axe 2" architecture research,
sponsored by France's DRME military research arm.
||Merge into CII. François-Henri Raymond
left the Company and takes a position of professor at Conservatoire des Arts et Métiers.
Raymond will die in November 2000
SEA had developed a possible alternative
to Compagnie des Machines Bull at the end of the 1950s. The CAB500 has been a
successful desk computer that, unhappily, did not got a successor when SEA was dissolved into CII.
Compagnie d'Automatisme Electronique
||Jean Auricoste leaves SEA for
Intertechnique, after having contacts with Ramo-Wooldridge.
Intertechnique gets a marketing and manufacturing license for Ramo-Wooldridge process
|1 Jul 1960
||Creation of CAE by CSF,
Intertechnique and Ramo Wooldridge.T he headquarters and plant are located in an ex-CSF
plant at Boulogne-Billancourt
Robert Remillon is named PDG
||Introduction of RW300, a drum-memory
process control computer
||The core-memory RW530 is selected by
Electricité de France for its national dispatching center.
||Introduction of CAE 510, a derivative
from Ramo-Wooldridge RW530
||Delivery of first RW-130 missile control
computer This TRW designed computer was evolved by CAE into the silicon-technology RW-133
for the first generation French nuclear submarines.
||Creation of CITEC , a
holding company, by CGE, CSF and Intertechnique.. CITEC holds CAE, Analac and some
CIT, a French telephone company
subsidiary of CGE, had just developed a computer CITAC 210. However, CGE its parent
company was not ready to invest in that field and was exploring the American market for
license acquisitions. It brought -through another subsidiary named CECIS (Compagnie
Européenne de Calculateurs industriels et Scientifiques) - to CITEC a license of SDS
Scientific Data Systems, a young American computer company, that is substituted to Bunker
Ramo that just quit the computer market
||Introduction of CAE 90-10, 90-40 and
90-80 under SDS (Scientific Data Systems) licenses
|24 Jun 1965
||Inauguration of les Clayes sous Bois
plant (12 000 sq.m.)
||Prolongation of CAE-SDS agreement for
Agreement with SDS and ICS (a subsidiary of the British GEC group) for cross-licensing and
repartition of markets.
SETI Société européenne de Traitement de l'Information
||Jean Gaudfernau leaves SEA for the
Compagnie des Compteurs
||Creation of SETI, under Jean Gaudfernau,
as a subsidiary of CdC Compagnie des Compteurs. The headquarters are located in
The initial product of SETI is the minicomputer PB250, manufactured under license of
||The planned Packard Bell PB440 is
cancelled after the desertion of its designers for SDS. CdC buys back shares of PB in
||Development of a genuine French computer
PALLAS by Yves Harrand, contributor of Bull Gamma 60 and Louis Bosset, an ex-Bull software
Pallas is repositioned as a business computer
||Delivery of first Pallas. However only a
dozen was built.
||SETI computer activities are stopped with
the creation of Plan Calcul and the company revamped as a process control department of
Compagnie des Compteurs
CIT (Compagnie Générale d'Electricité group)
||Introduction by the subsidiary CIT
Compagnie Industrielle des Téléphones of the digital computer CITAC 210B.
CITAC 210B is a genuine French computer designed by Didier Brue for
Electricité de France nuclear plants
||creation of CECIS a
subsidiary of CIT directed by Pierre Esdrom ex-SEPSEA, with Didier Brue.
||License agreement with Scientific Data
Systems for SDS9x0 process control computers
||CGE and CSF sign an agreement that
includes the absorption of CECIS by CAE under the umbrella of CITEC a joint-venture
Compagnie Française Thomson-Houston
||The technical involvement of Thomson
in CAE was just capitalistic. Thomson had General Electric process control licenses
||acquisition of RBV-Radio Industrie by
CFTH. The division is headed by Emile Labin (ex-ITT)
||SNERI delivers a genuine computer KL901
for Météorologie Nationale, the French Weather Bureau
||CFTH in 1964 approaches
Bull-General Electric, specially in the teleprocessing area. However, its computer
related business is regrouped in 1966 into SPERAC, part of Plan Calcul.