It does not come about typically that we report on new vacuum tube centered personal computer models. Today having said that, we’re pleased to introduce to you the Fast Dependable Digital Digital Dot Pc, or Fred.Laptop or computer for quick. It is the brainchild of [Mike] who also introduced us ENA, which we featured previously.
Fred is a new structure that reuses the areas that produced up ENA. It has an 8-little bit CPU, 16 bytes of RAM, 256 bytes of NVRAM, and operates at a clock pace of 11.3 kHz. With its 560 tubes drawing a complete supply present-day of about 200 A it also gives a reasonable bit of heating to [Mike]’s study. The principal logic is executed as a result of NOR gates, crafted from 6N3P twin-triode tubes sourced from Jap Europe. These NOR gates are mixed into far more complicated structures like latches, registers and even a finish ALU. A full of sixteen equipment code recommendations can be made use of to generate programs intelligent design and style lets Fred to perform 16, 32 or even 64-little bit calculations with its 8-little bit ALU.
An intriguing addition is a new RAM style and design primarily based on reed relays. [Mike] realised that relays are truly incredibly very similar to electronic transmission gates and can for that reason be employed to make a simple static RAM mobile. If you believed relays had been far too gradual for RAM cells, imagine once again: these reed relays can toggle at a thoughts-boggling 700 Hz, producing them extra than speedy adequate for Fred.
The principal I/O unit is a console that has many pushbuttons as very well as a 12 x 8 LED display. All of this would make Fred a totally-purposeful general-goal personal computer that’s even capable of playing Pong (video, embedded under). [Mike]’s web-site is entire of appealing element on all elements of vacuum tube computer structure, and tends to make pleasant looking through for any individual tempted by the plan of building their own.
Cannot get ample of vacuum tube computer systems? Have a glimpse at this 1-bit MC14500 implementation, marvel at this present day interpretation of an introducing equipment, or come across out how IBM made its logic in the 1950s.