Thursday, August 28, 2008

Down memory lane of old IT Technology (4) - Today, I will feature solid state storage
Once upon a time... actually it was mid 70's, when solid state memory first became "popular". I remember it was based on "MOS - metal oxide semiconductor" or CMOS technology. When it first came out, it can store an amazing 2Kbit of information, ie, 256 bytes on each chip! There are two major types of memory ... static (CMOS) and dynamic RAM. Eventually, dynamic RAM has evolved into the huge storage capacity on a single chip today. This is partly because of the semiconductor material being use which allows sub-micron fabrication.

This board store an amazing 512K bytes of memory. It was very expensive and I think it must had cost 1000s of dollars. This board was used on HP 3000 computer of the 80's.
The white tiny blocks are capacitor to filter off power spike.

This board was made by Nascom, the very first "personal computer". Oh... I build it myself from kit. It can store an amazing 32Kbytes memory! The brown round disc are capacitor to filter off power spike.

Now compare this with the two strips of memory which can store up to 4GB now. I think that is 125,000 times more capacity and occupy far less space.
The 32KBytes board was made in 1978/79 and the DDR RAM is the current year - 2008!
I have another piece of very interesting "solid state" storage. It is a 512KB of magnetic core memory. Not sure whether I can still find it.

1 comment:

Nil said...

I worked in Texas Instruments semiconductor fabrication plant for 6 years and have literally been involved in the changes in chips over the years. Amazing how certain things have changed by leaps and bound i.e. like computer technology and somethings like cars have improved less. Nevertheless everything changes except for one...