August 1962 Electronics World
Table of Contents
Wax nostalgic about and learn from the history of early electronics. See articles
Electronics World, published May 1959
- December 1971. All copyrights hereby acknowledged.
You can see by the news
items in this 1962 issue of Electronics World "Recent Developments in Electronics"
column that electronics was make a big transition in the early 1960s from vacuum
tubes to semiconductors. As covered in other magazine articles of the era, the tiny
nuvistor triode tube
was a last-ditch effort to keep vacuum tubes relevant as transistors were making
a move into the industry. Computers, with the increasing availability of semiconductor
elements, were beginning to no longer be the purview of universities, government
agencies, and large corporations. Rather than requiring hundreds of square feet
of floor area and massive cooling systems, newer designs could fit in an office
space. Thin film microcircuits took up a small fraction of the volume needed by
traditional printed circuit assemblies (get a load of the silver Mercury dime used
for size comparison). A "high-speed" serial binary adder had been built using tunnel
diode and coaxial delay lines that blazed along at 125 MHz. The Nippon Electric
NEC-1 TV broadcast satellite looks a bit like an
Recent Developments in Electronics
To demonstrate the low noise factor of a new half-watt
developed by RCA for the U.S. Navy, engineers constructed this 1000-mc. coaxial
r.f. amplifier. The tiny tube, one-half the size of commercial nuvistors, is expected
to find use in miniaturized battery-operated u.h.f. equipment. Tubes delivered to
the Navy have a transconductance of 11,000 micromhos at a plate dissipation of 1/3
watt and a noise factor of 7.5 db at 700 mc. in a cathode-drive circuit. There are
8 full-size industrial and entertainment nuvistor types.
Dubbed the "shotgun" by Washington newsmen, this 7-foot-long microphone has been
used regularly in President Kennedy's televised press conferences. The mike's ultra-directional
characteristics permit pickup of questions from reporters, even though they may
be in the rear of the huge auditorium. The unit, an Electro-Voice Model 643, is
a dynamic line type that combines a cardioid pickup pattern for frequencies up to
100 cps with a much more highly directional pickup pattern at higher frequencies.
This latter pattern is produced by distributed front openings in the long tubular
New thin-film microcircuits being developed by Sylvania are formed on high-strength
ceramic wafers smaller than a postage stamp and 1/100 inch thick. The wafers are
stacked and interconnected through vertical, ceramic interwiring boards containing
fused-on wiring-a method that packages the circuits in a small volume. The microcircuit
package at the top of the photo contains the equivalent of 2 of the printed board
High-Speed Computer Element
This experimental computer element, a full serial binary adder, has been operated
at a 125-mc. rate, one of the highest yet recorded. The adder is composed of fourteen
matched-pair tunnel diode circuits. The wire loops above the circuit board are coaxial
cable delay lines, an important feature of the new tunnel diode computer circuit
developed at IBM's Research Center. Ordinarily, one of the more serious problems
that arises with tunnel diode logic circuits is the tendency of one circuit to influence
the switching of other circuits connected to the same power supply. This problem
is eliminated by the delay lines, since the power supply does not "see" the switching
of any given element until one nano-second (1/1000 μsec.) has elapsed. This is
much longer than the possible difference in time between the switching of any two
circuits on the same power-supply terminals.
Japanese TV Satellite
Research leading to the development of three or four Japanese satellites, to
be used for planned television coverage of the 1964 Tokyo Olympic Games, is now
under way. The 105.5-pound cylindrical satellites, equipped with solar batteries,
are under development by the Nippon Electric Co., Ltd. NEC-1, as the firm's satellite
will be known, is to be mounted on either an American "Scout" or "Thor-Delta" type
rocket. Selection of the vehicle to be used will probably be made by NASA. Choice
of launching sites will also be left up to the discretion of the United States.
Complex electronic computer which will give new assurance of accuracy to the
Navy's longest-range, 2500 nautical mile "Polaris" missiles, is given a final checkout
by Sperry Gyroscope Co. technician prior to installation aboard the newest "Polaris"
submarine "Lafayette." The computer is an improved version of a system developed
three years ago by the company and produced for the navigations systems of the submarines.
A unique combination of high-capacity and ultra-fast memory devices enables the
computer to solve a navigational "fix" problem in spherical trigonometry in less
time than it takes an operator to push the buttons on the console.
Posted June 10, 2021