Electronic Design

Micromin Digital Computer Uses Semiconductor Net

A microminiature digital computer, using semiconductor logic networks, rather than individual components, has been built by Texas Instruments Inc., Dallas, for the Air Force.

The experimental model, having a total volume of 6.3 in3 and weighing 10 oz, uses 587 digital solid circuits, each formed within a small bar of silicon material. The binary computer is a serial, fixed-point machine with an operand word length of 10 bits, plus sign. The computer uses synchronous logic, being timed from an internal 100-kc clock.

Three types of semiconductor networks are used in the tiny computer: flip-flops, NOR gates, and logic drivers. The individual hermetically sealed semiconductor networks, measuring 0.250 × 0.125 × 0.030 in, are assembled by welding eight to 16 of them together in a stack, and then encapsulating the stack to form a rigid module.

The computer consists of 47 modules. Each module contains an average of 12 networks, occupies approximately 0.057 in3, and weighs about 0.04 oz. Total power dissipation of the computer is 16 W, according to the company.

The experimental computer was developed as a part of a molecular electronic program under the technical guidance of the Electronic Technology Laboratory, Aeronautical Systems Div. (Electronic Design, Nov. 22, 1961, p. 19)

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