Thin-film memory

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Thin-film memory is a high-speed alternative to core memory developed by Sperry Rand in a government-funded research project.

Instead of threading individual ferrite cores on wires, thin-film memory consisted of 4-micrometre thick dots of permalloy, an ironnickel alloy, deposited on small glass plates by vacuum evaporation techniques and a mask. The drive and sense lines were then added using printed circuit wiring over the alloy dots. This provided very fast access times in the range of 670 nanoseconds, but was very expensive to produce.

In 1962, the UNIVAC 1107, intended for the civilian marketplace, used thin-film memory only for its 128-word general register stack. Military computers, where cost was less of a concern, used larger amounts of thin-film memory. Thin film was also used in a number of high-speed computer projects, including the high-end of the IBM System/360 line, but general advances in core tended to keep pace.

External links[edit]

  • "Thin Film". Digital Computer Basics (Rate Training Manual). Naval Education and Training Command. 1978. p. 106. NAVEDTRA 10088-B.
  • Harloff, H. (1963). "Operating speed of thin-film memories". 1963 IEEE International Solid-State Circuits Conference. Digest of Technical Papers. pp. 8–9. doi:10.1109/ISSCC.1963.1157473.
  • Bates, A.; D'Ambra, F. (1964). "Thin-film memory drive and sense techniques for realizing a 167-Nsec read/write cycle". 1964 IEEE International Solid-State Circuits Conference. Digest of Technical Papers. pp. 106–107. doi:10.1109/ISSCC.1964.1157545.
  • Ravi, C. G.; Koerber, G. G. (March 1966). "Effects of a Keeper on Thin Film Magnetic Bits". IBM Journal of Research and Development. 10 (2): 130–134. doi:10.1147/rd.102.0130.
  • Mo, R. S.; Rabinovici, B.M. (1968). "Internal Field Distribution in Keepered and Nonkeepered Permalloy Film Memories"". Journal of Applied Physics. 39 (6): 2704–2710. doi:10.1063/1.1656657.