Saturday, July 11, 2009

Timeline of Computer Memory

1834
Charles Babbage begins build his "Analytical Engine", precursor to the computer. It uses read-only memory in the form of punch cards.
1932
Gustav Tauschek invents drum memory in Austria.
1936
Konrad Zuse applies for a patent for his mechanical memory to be used in his computer. This computer memory is based on sliding metal parts.

1939
Helmut Schreyer invents a prototype memory using neon lamps.

1942
The Atanasoff-Berry Computer has 60 50-bit words of memory in the form of capacitors mounted on two revolving drums. For secondary memory it uses punch cards.
1947
Frederick Viehe of Los Angeles, applies for a patent for an invention that uses magnetic core memory. Magnetic drum memory is independently invented by several people.
* An Wang
An Wang invented the magnetic pulse controlling device, the principle upon which magnetic core memory is based.

* Kenneth Olsen
Kenneth Olsen invented vital computer components, best known for "Magnetic Core Memory" Patent No. 3,161,861 and as being the cofounder of Digital Equipment Corporation.
* Jay Forrester
Jay Forrester was a pioneer in early digital computer development and invented random-access, coincident-current magnetic storage.
1949
Jay Forrester conceives the idea of magnetic core memory as it is to become commonly used, with a grid of wires used to address the cores. The first practical form manifests in 1952-53 and renders obsolete previous types of computer memory.

1950
Ferranti Ltd. completes the first commercial computer with 256 40-bit words of main memory and 16K words of drum memory. Only eight were sold.
1951
Jay Forrester files a patent for matrix core memory.

1952
The EDVAC computer is completed with 1024 44-bit words of ultrasonic memory. A core memory module is added to the ENIAC computer.
1955
An Wang was issued U.S. patent #2,708,722 with 34 claims for magnetic memory core.
1966
Hewlett-Packard releases their HP2116A real-time computer with 8K of memory. The newly formed Intel starts sell a semiconductor chip with 2,000 bits of memory.

1968
USPTO grants patent 3,387,286 to IBM's Robert Dennard for a one-transistor DRAM cell. DRAM stands for Dynamic RAM (Random Access Memory) or Dynamic Random Access Memory. DRAM will become the standard memory chip for personal computers replacing magnetic core memory.
1969
Intel begin as chip designers and produce a 1 KB RAM chip, the largest memory chip todate. Intel soon switch to being notable designers of computer microprocessors.
1970
Intel releases the 1103 chip, the first generally available DRAM memory chip.
1971
Intel releases the 1101 chip, a 256-bit programmable memory, and the 1701 chip, a 256-byte erasable read-only memory (EROM).
1974
Intel receives a U.S. patent for a "memory system for a multichip digital computer".
1975
Personal consumer computer Altair released, it uses Intel's 8-bit 8080 processor and includes 1 KB of memory. Later in the same year, Bob Marsh manufacturers the first Processor Technology's 4 kB memory boards for the Altair.
1984
Apple Computers releases the Macintosh personal compututer. It is the first computer that came with 128KB of memory. The one-megabyte memory chip is developed.

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