It does not materialize typically that we report on new vacuum tube dependent laptop styles. Now nevertheless, we’re pleased to introduce to you the Rapidly Dependable Digital Electronic Dot Pc, or Fred.Personal computer for brief. It is the brainchild of [Mike] who also introduced us ENA, which we featured before.
Fred is a new style and design that reuses the areas that created up ENA. It has an 8-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 full provide current of about 200 A it also offers a honest little bit of heating to [Mike]’s research. The primary logic is carried out as a result of NOR gates, built from 6N3P dual-triode tubes sourced from Eastern Europe. These NOR gates are combined into far more intricate structures like latches, registers and even a full ALU. A complete of sixteen device code recommendations can be used to publish programs clever layout makes it possible for Fred to complete 16, 32 or even 64-bit calculations with its 8-bit ALU.
An intriguing addition is a new RAM style based mostly on reed relays. [Mike] realised that relays are basically incredibly very similar to digital transmission gates and can as a result be used to make a easy static RAM cell. If you thought relays have been way too sluggish for RAM cells, consider yet again: these reed relays can toggle at a head-boggling 700 Hz, making them much more than speedy ample for Fred.
The most important I/O gadget is a console that incorporates a number of pushbuttons as very well as a 12 x 8 LED display. All of this helps make Fred a entirely-functional common-goal personal computer that is even capable of taking part in Pong (movie, embedded below). [Mike]’s site is whole of interesting detail on all areas of vacuum tube computer structure, and would make pleasant looking at for anybody tempted by the strategy of constructing their have.
Simply cannot get more than enough of vacuum tube desktops? Have a look at this 1-little bit MC14500 implementation, marvel at this modern day interpretation of an introducing machine, or come across out how IBM intended its logic in the 1950s.