plated wire memory

Jon Elson elson at
Sun Oct 20 12:22:50 CDT 2019

On 10/20/2019 09:45 AM, Nigel Johnson via cctalk wrote:
> I remember an IBM engineer talking about this at our ham 
> radio club. The wire was coiled inside a drum and pulses 
> were sent down the wire.  The 'read head' was  a magnetic 
> pickup at the other end of the coil - and access time was 
> however long it took the pulse to arrive at the other 
> end.  Therefore storage capacity was inversely 
> proportional to data quantity, however at that time I was 
> working with 660kB Univac FH330 drums for swapping and the 
> 2-ton Fastrand for 164kB of long-term storage, so it has 
> to be taken in context!
No, that is acoustic delay line memory, and is a serial 
access type of data storage  All data is lost if the 
equipment is powered down. Plated wire memory is a 
random-access type of memory using principles similar to 
core memory, except the magnetic material is a magnetic film 
plated onto the copper wires.  There are a few other forms 
of NDRO such as Biax that use cores with two holes in them, 
one for the sense/inhibit wire and one for the select wires.


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