Electronic Design


Flashback > 10 Years Ago

AUGUST 20, 1992
Despite a sluggish U.S. computer market, companies in some market segments are thriving—those, for example, that wire buildings for local-area networks (LANs). Makers of passive components for data applications are also doing well, as are distributors, installers, and consultants for network gear, according to Frost & Sullivan, New York market researchers.

The market for wiring and components amounted to more than $2.35 billion last year.... That market should climb, to be worth $3.77 billion in 1996. Of the three sectors making up the market—voice, structured (voice and data), and data—wiring for LANs shows the strongest growth.... The network market will become even more competitive...as regional Bell operating companies, electrical contractors, and LAN value-added resellers (VARs) jockey for position in implementing LAN wiring.

By the late nineties, wireless connections for telephones, PBXs, PCs, and LANs will compete with traditional wiring. Unshielded twisted pair ...may edge out fiber-optic cable in installations where the higher cost of fiber makes a difference. ("Market Facts," QuickLook, p. 72)

Flashback > 25 Years Ago

AUGUST 16, 1977
A 240-million-bit-per-second digital tape recorder features three times the data rate of available units. Demonstrated by RCA's Government Recording Systems, Camden, N.J., and under development for five years, the recorder uses two new high-performance 70-track-per-inch magnetic heads to produce a packing density greater than 1.5-million bits per square inch. Two-inch magnetic tape is used.

Dubbed HDMR, for high density multitrack recording, it is the first digital tape recorder device to handle data at such a high rate by itself.... Prior to HDMR, rates in excess of 100-million bits per second could only be handled by using several synchronized tape transports.

Unlike other magnetic head assemblies that are individually fabricated, the HDMR's head assembly is one long unit cut into individual heads. This construction raises the limit of track density from under 50 tracks/in. to 70 tracks/in. Work is under way to increase the density to 100 tracks/in.

The HDMR will make possible the real-time, direct, digital recording of signals from wideband sensors. (News Scope, p. 20)

Flashback > 40 Years Ago

AUGUST 16, 1962
Seven microelectronic functional circuits are parts of a new system of logic called emitter-coupled transistor logic. The circuits—identified as ECLOs (Emitter-Coupled Logic Operators)—are fabricated by the General Electric Semiconductor Products Dept., Syracuse, N.Y.

The individual circuits are produced in batches on a single silicon substrate by planar epitaxial passivated techniques, sliced apart, and packaged in TO-5 cans.

A novel matrix technique permits these seven ECLOs—or a wide variety of other circuits—to be produced from the same basic "uncommitted" wafer on which a pattern of individual resistors and transistors has been fabricated. Circuits on the same wafer need not be identical. In subsequent steps, selected active elements and resistors are formed into complete circuits, by use of deposited aluminum conductive paths. The transistors... also can be used as low-leakage, high-breakdown diodes or reference diodes—or their collector rings can serve as low-resistance crossovers. (Product Feature, p. 134)

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