The Data General Nova was a popular 16-bit minicomputer released by the American company Data General in 1968. The Nova was packaged into a single rack mount case and had enough power to do most simple computing tasks. The Nova became popular in science laboratories around the world. It was succeeded by the Data General Eclipse, which was similar in most ways but added virtual memory support and other features required by modern operating systems.
DG released the Nova in 1969 at a base price of US$3,995, advertising it as "the best small computer in the world." The basic model was not very useful out of the box, and adding RAM in the form of core memory typically brought the price up to $7,995. Starting in 1969, Data General shipped a total of 50,000 Novas at $8000 each. The Nova’s biggest competition was from the new DEC PDP-11 computer series, and to a lesser extent the older DEC PDP-8 systems. The Nova became popular in scientific and laboratory uses.