It does not transpire generally that we report on new vacuum tube based mostly computer models. These days on the other hand, we’re happy to introduce to you the Fast Trustworthy Digital Digital Dot Personal computer, or Fred.Computer for small. It is the brainchild of [Mike] who also brought us ENA, which we showcased previously.
Fred is a new layout that reuses the elements that built up ENA. It has an 8-little bit CPU, 16 bytes of RAM, 256 bytes of NVRAM, and runs at a clock velocity of 11.3 kHz. With its 560 tubes drawing a whole provide current of about 200 A it also gives a reasonable little bit of heating to [Mike]’s study. The most important logic is applied by means of NOR gates, developed from 6N3P dual-triode tubes sourced from Japanese Europe. These NOR gates are put together into much more complex constructions like latches, registers and even a comprehensive ALU. A overall of sixteen equipment code recommendations can be applied to publish programs intelligent design lets Fred to complete 16, 32 or even 64-little bit calculations with its 8-little bit ALU.
An exciting addition is a new RAM structure dependent on reed relays. [Mike] realised that relays are essentially really related to digital transmission gates and can consequently be utilised to make a easy static RAM mobile. If you imagined relays had been much too gradual for RAM cells, feel yet again: these reed relays can toggle at a brain-boggling 700 Hz, making them additional than rapid plenty of for Fred.
The primary I/O system is a console that is made up of quite a few pushbuttons as nicely as a 12 x 8 LED screen. All of this helps make Fred a completely-practical basic-purpose pc that is even capable of taking part in Pong (movie, embedded beneath). [Mike]’s site is total of interesting element on all facets of vacuum tube pc design, and helps make pleasant looking through for anyone tempted by the notion of setting up their very 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 incorporating machine, or uncover out how IBM designed its logic in the 1950s.