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Approved for public release, distribution 


Distribution authorized to U.S. Gov't, 
agencies and their contractors; Critical 
Technology; JAN 1967. Other requests shall 
be referred to Rome Air Development 
Center, AFSC, Griffiss AFB, NY. 


RADC ltr, 24 Jun 1969 



Find Report 


C. Chong 
R. Mosenkis 
D. K. Hanson 

IJnivac Division, Sperry Rand Corp. 


January 1967 

This document is subject to special 
export controls and each transmittal 
to foreign governments, foreign na¬ 
tionals or representatives thereto n.ay 
be made only with prior aporoval of 
RADC (EMLi), GAFB, N Y. 13440 


Rome Air Development Center 
Research and Technology Division 
Air Force Systems Command 
Griffiss Air Force Base, Nev. Yurk 

When US Government drnwings, specifications, or other data are used for any purpose other 
than a definitely related government procurement operation, the government thereby incurs 
no responsibility nor any obligation whatsoever; c/id the fact that the government may have 
formulated, furnished, or in any way supplied the said drawings, specifications, or other 
data is not to be regarded, by implication or otherwise, as in any manner licensing the 
holder or any other person or corporation, or conveying any rights or permission to manu¬ 
facture, use, or sell any patented invention that may in any way be related thereto. 

Do not return this copy. 
Retain or destroy. 


C. Chong 
R. Mosenkis 
D. K. Hansen 

Univac Division, Sperry Rand Corp. 

This document is subject to special 
export controls and each 'ransmiftal 
to foreign governments, foreign na¬ 
tionals or representatives thereto may 
be made only with prior approval of 
RADC (EMLl), GAFB, N Y. 134 40 

UlC, OAJB, K.Y., 7 M»r 67-ll»3 


This final technical report was prepared by C. Chong, R. Mosenkis, 
and D. K. Hanson of Univac Division, Sperry Rand Corporation, Univac 
Engineering Center, Blue Bell, Pa., under contract AF 30(602)-3825, 
Project 5581. The RADC project engineer was Mr. Robert F. Long, 

The work, covered by this report, was accomplished during the 
period 30 June 1065 through 1 October 1°66. 

This document contains information embargoed from release to 
Sino-Soviet Bloc Countries by APR 1*00-10, 'Strategic Trade Control 

Mr. W. Bartik, Director, Defense Research and Development, 
Philadelphia, provided technical guidance and general management of 
the contract. Messrs 0. Reid, A. Schultz, R. Mosenkis, and 
D. K. Hanson participated in the research and cooperated in writing 
this report. 

This report has been reviewed and is approved. 


Chief, Irfformantion Processing Branch 

Approved: / JAMES J. DIMEL, 




Chief, Intel and Info Processing Division 


(need Studies Group 

1 1 


The concept of a nonir*.?. r, mass, random access, plated-wire mem¬ 
ory has been validated in this phase of the continuing 13. S. Air Force 
program. The memory model fabricated for this contract has 10^-hit posi¬ 
tion* housing over 2.3 megabits of plated wire. Of these bits, 32,768 
4-bit. words have been exercised with a memory exerciser. The following 
characteristics of the plated-wire mass memory have been demonstrated: 

Nondestructive readout (NDRO), 

Selection in the bit dimension to minimize electronics costs. 
Simple mechanical plane configuration, 

Random access. 

Electrical alterability. 

The final test of the plane revealed some defective areas which re¬ 
sulted from the large surface area. Making a smaller plane would easily 
eliminate this condition. 

All the objectives of the program have been achieved, including the 
projected production cost of less than $0.01 per bit. The contractor feels 
that as a result of this program, the building of a mass (lO^-bit), random 
access, plated-wire memory is economically feasible and well within the 



Heading Title Page 


1-1. General. 1 

1-2. Summary of Progress . 2 

1- 3. Report Organization . 2 


2- 1. The Plated-Wire Memory Element. 3 

2-2. Memory Organization . 6 

2-3. Construction and Packaging of Memory. ... 8 

2-3.1. Memory Plane Modules.. . 11 

2-3.2. Interconnections. 13 

2- 3.3. Casework. 13 


3- 1. Word Line Configuration. 15 

3-2. Plated-Wire Sparing . 15 

3-3. Bit-Line Arrangement. 17 



5-1. Introduction. 23 

5-2. Word-Current Circuits . 23 

5-2.1. System Description. 23 

5-2.2. Word-Current Regulator. 25 

5-2.2.1. Circuit Criteria. 25 

5-2.2.2. Circuit Design. 25 

5-2.3. B-Switch. 27 


Heading Title Page 

5-2.4. A-Driver. . 28 

5-2.5. A-Switch. 28 

5-2.6. Word-Line Selection Matrix. 30 

5-3. Bit-Path Circuits . 30 

5-3.1. Bit-Sense Matrix. 30 

5-3.1.1. Use of Hybrid Integrated Circuit. 30 

5-3.1.2. Circuit Description . 30 

r—3.1.3. Circuit Fabrication . 32 

5-3.2. Bit-Sense-Matrix Driver (BSMD). 32 

5-3.3. Bit Driver. .... 33 

5-3.4. Sense Amplifier . 34 

5-3.4.1. System Goa i s. 34 

5-3.4.2. General Description . 35 

5-3.4.3. Circuit Description . 35 

5-4. Logic Circuits. 37 


6-1. General. 3 < > 

6-2. Exerciser Organization. 41 

6-3. Operation Modes . 41 

6-4. Worst-Case Test Patterns. 42 




A-I. Experiments to Determine Word-Line Con¬ 
figuration . 17 

Equipment Used and Parameters Monitored . . 17 

Results. 1'* 

Adjarent-Wire Coupling. 52 

v t 



Figure Title Page 

I. Wire Plater and Tester. 3 

2 Information Storage on Plated Wire. 4 

3. Read and Write Operations. 5 

4. Phase-Modulated Write . 6 


5. Arrangement 3nd Organization of 10 -Bit 

Memory . 7 

6. Organization of 10^-Bit Memory Module .... 8 

7. Modified Word-Select Memory Organization. . . 9 

8. Word-I.ine Selection Matrix. .. 9 

9. General Layout of the Proposed 10®-Bit 

Memory. 10 

10. 10^-Bit Module Layout . 12 

II. Plated-Wire Selection Scheme. 17 

12. Memory Model and Exerciser. 19 

13. Diagram of Memory Model. 21 

14. Word-Current Circuits, Bloc Diagram. 24 

15. Basic Current-Regulator Circuit . 26 

16. Word-Current-Regulator Circuit. 26 

17. B-Switch, Schematic Diagram . 27 

10. A-Driver, Schematic Diagram . 28 

19. A-Switch, Schematic Diagram . 29 

20. Bit-Sense-Matrix Package. 31 

21. Bit-Sense-Matrix Driver, Schematic Diagram. . 33 

22. Bit-Driver Design . 34 

23. Block Diagram of Sense Amplifier. 35 

24. Sense Amplifier, Schematic Diagram. 36 

25. Memory Exerciser Control Panel. 39 

26. Memory Exerciser, Back View. 40 

27. The UNIVAC Plated-Wire Tester . 48 

vi i 





Word-Current (a) and Output (b) as Functions 
of Line Width, for One-Turn Copper Word 



Word-Current (a) and Output (b) as Functions 
of Line Width, for Half-Turn Mu-Metal- 
Copper Word Lines. 



Word-Current (a) and Output (b) as Functions 
of Line Width, for Half-Turn Copper 

Word Lines with Mu-Metal Keepers .... 



Word Current as Function of Number of Adja- 
cent Wires . 



E 0 (a) and Switching Time to) as Functions 

of Word-Current Rise Time. 



Word Current as Function of Separation of 

Word Lines from Mu-Metal Keeper. 



Waveforms Showing Adjacent-Wire Coupling, 

Viewed from Sense Amplifier. 






vi i i 


1. Contract AF30(602)-3325 for the Development of a Medium-Speed Mass 
Random-Access Memory was successfully completed by Univac Division of 
Sperry Rand Corporation. A working feasibility model of the plated 
wire memory was demonstrated at the Univac plant in 3lue Bell, 
Pennsylvania. The model contained 2.3 million biiws, approximately 
131,000 of which were accessible by electronics. 

2. The operation of this feasibility model represents a milestone in 
the development of solid-state militarized mass memories. Many command 
and control data processing systems now in development will operate in 
an adverse environment, including temperature extremes, high humidity, 
shock, an! vibration. No foreseeable moving media type of memory will 
be suitable for use in this environment. Both EMII0 engineers and 
Univac geel that as a result of this program, the building of a militar¬ 
ized 10 ° bit plated wire random-access memory is economically feasible 
and well within the state-of-the-art. Thus, the Air Force's capability 
will be proportionately enhanced as these memories are used with future 
Air Force data processing systems. 

3 . The subject contract complements a continuing program in the explora¬ 
tory development of computer techniques and devices for computer memories 
User requirements range from small capacity, ultra high-speed memories to 
extremely large capacity bulk storage devices. The Univac plated-wire 
effort is aimed to goals in the middle region of the hierarchy of storage 
The results of this effort will be brought to tne attention of all 
potential users and recommended for future systems. 

Sys Infor Sciences Section 




This volume is the final report on work performed under contract AF 
30(602)3825 during the period 30 June 1965 through 1 October, 1966. The 
objective of the continuing program was to develop a low-cost, medium- 
speed, mass, random-access, plated-wire memory. The memory was to possess 
the following characteristics as a minimum goal: 

Capacity expandable to 10^ bits. 

Production cost of a 10®-bit memory of less than $0.01 per bit. 

Random-access cycle time of 50 microseconds or less. 

Nonvolatile, nonmechanical, electrically alterable, bi-stable 



Physical dimensions permitting construction of a complete 10 -bit 

memory in a volume of no more than 30 cubic feet. 

The Univac Division employed magnetic plated wire as the basic mem¬ 
ory element. Plated wire was chosen for low cost and for other character¬ 
istics suitable for such an app 1 ieation. The feasibility of a plated-wire 
mass memory was demonstrated under a study contract AF 30(602)3430. The 
study indicated that such a memory would have the listed requirements, i 

alony with the following improved characteristics: i 



Potential production cost of $0,001 to $0,005 per bit. 

Random-access cycle time as low as 1 microsecond. 

Projected volume of 20 cubic feet for a 10^-bit memory. 

The objective of contract AF 30(602)3825 was to further the program 
by developing and building a breadboard memory that houses at least one 


million storage bits, of which at least one hundred thousand are exer¬ 
cised. The basic module is 10^ bits, ten of which are used to make a 10®- 
bit memory. 


The project was divided into three phases, each approximately of a 4- 
month duration. During Phase I, experimental and theoretical investigations 
were conducted to determine word-line configuration, width, and spacing; 
bit-line spacing; and memorv-plane design. During Phase II, the memory 
model was constructed. At the same time, a memory exerciser was designed, 
built, and tested. During Phase III, the memory model was tested. 


Section II of this final report describes the plated-wire, the memory 
system, and the packaging and construction of the memory. 

Section III gives a description of the word line and bit line config¬ 
uration including the final parameters selected for each configuration. 

Section IV describes the memory model. 

Section V details the memory circuits. 

Section VI contains the description of the memory exerciser. 

Section VII comprises the final test results. 

Section VIII gives the conclusions and recommendations based on the 
results of the work completed. 




The memory element consists of a wire substrate made of beryllium- 
copper drawn to a 0.005-inch diameter and electroplated with a magnetic 
thin film. The magnetic film is the same 81-percent-nickel, 19-percent- 
iron alloy widely used in planar thin-film memory elements.. The coating is 
continuous and is plated in the presence of a circumferential magnetic field 
that establishes a magnetic anisotropy axis, or preferred magnetization di¬ 
rection, circumferentially around the wire. Figure 1 is a simplified dia¬ 
gram of the plating apparatus and the electrical test that provides immediate 
control of the process. The magnetic material is electroplated on a contin¬ 
uously moving wire ir. room environment. The continuously moving wire is 
electrically tested with a complete operating memory pulse program. 

2M-4-M rinse rinse rinse rinse 

Figure 1. Wire Plater and Tester 

Information is stored according to the sense of the circumferential 
magnetization in the portion of the plated wire encircled by the word strap; 
clockwise magnetization represents a stored 1; counterclockwise magnetization 
represents a stored 0. Figure 2 shows a sketch of the plated wire and the 
word drive line which forms a one-turn solenoid encircling many plated wires 
(only one is shown). To read the stored information, a word current is ap¬ 
plied to the word strap which encircles the plated wire at right angles. 


e-half-turn line denotes a word line consisting of a top strap over a 
ound plane. 

Bit current: 

±32 miiliamperes. 

Output voltage: ±10 millivolts nominal, 5 milliv ts 

worst-case with off-nominal currents. 

Switching time: 80 nanoseconds (for a 40-nancscccnd fall 

time word current). 














221-14 R1 

Figure 3. Read and Write Operations 

It is important to note that the word-drive current used for reading is of 
the same amplitude as that used for writing. The word-drive current in the 
drive line must not adversely affect the information stored in the non- 
selected words. Similarly, the bit-write current that flows in the plated 
wires must control the magnetization direction in only the one selected bit 

The magnetic plating is continuous and, if more than 20 to 25 bits per 
inch along the wire are u-ed, there is a tendency for interference between 
bits. This inteU'erence is reversible. If 0 is written millions of times 
on each s^de of a 1, with the program shown in Figure 3, the signal read 
from the 1 will be diminished. If 1 is written on each side of the center 

test bit, the signal read from the test bit will be increased. This effect 
is eliminated by the use of the writing technique shown in Figure 4. 


Figure 4. Phase-Modulated Write 

This method of writing, called phase-modulated writing, depends upon the re¬ 
versibility of the adjacent-bit interference. It eliminates this interference 
by always writing an equal number of i's and 0's independent of the stored 
information. It also eliminates any magnetic histciy effect. Most magnetic 
storage elements exhibit a sensitivity to the polarity of the information 
stored in the preceding write operations. Phase-modulated writing means that 
every storage location experiences equal numbers of l’s and O's in the pre¬ 
ceding write operations. 


The 10®-bit memory is achieved by stacking ten 10^-bit modules into one 
unit. Figure 5 shows the arrangement and organization of such a memory. 

Each module has its own set of driving circuits and sense amplifiers. This 
arrangement leads to a fast random-access memory, readily realizable mechani¬ 
cally, and is justified from the viewpoint of modularity and cost because 
the electronic circuits are still shared by a large number of bits. All 
modules share one set of auxiliary circuits, which include the address de¬ 
coders, timing circuits, information registers, and power supplies. 

The organization of the 10^-Lit memory module is shown in Figure 6. 

The memory plane contains 2048 word lines and 4608 plated wires. The word 
lines are spaced at 0.045-inch centers, while the bit lines are spaced at 
0.015-inch centers. This results in a storage density of approximately 
1500 bits per square inch. 

The nondestructive readout property makes rewrite circuitry for each 
stored bit unnecessary. A word line may be made many machine words in length, 



(72 BITS) 

(72 EITS) 

Figure 5. Arrangement and Organization of 
100-Bit Memory 

and each time all the bits in such a word-group line are interrogated, only 
the bits belonging to the selected word are routed by a set of gates to the 
sense amplifiers. After interrogation, all the originally stored information 
at each bit location along the word line is left unchanged. Correspondingly, 
the same set of gates is employed to route the bit drivers to the proper bit 
lines of the memory. This particular feature is illustrated in Figure 7. 

This property is very important because it allows a memory configuration to 
be chosen which leads to a minimal number of bit and word drivers and sense 

Ai illustrated in a simplified version in Figure 8, the word-line 
selection is done by means of a transformer-diode matrix and a set of tran¬ 
sistor switches called the A- and B-switches. The word-line matrix contains 
2048 transformers whose primaries are driven by 32 A-selector and 64 B- 


9,437,164 BIT 



Figure 6. Organization of 10^-Bit Memory Module 

selector switches by way of a diode matrix. The bit-sense matrix consists 
of 4608 circuits, each containing two transistors. 

The word-line matrix, bit-selection matrix, and selector switches are 
included physically in the memory stack; as a result, the number of connec¬ 
tions between the memory-access circuitry and the module is reduced to a 


A sketch of the projected 10®-bit memory is shown in Figure 9. The 
memory stack will consist of 10 modules, with a bit capacity of 10^ bits per 
module. Each of the 10 modules will consist of a hinged memory plane, approxi¬ 
mately 4 feet by 5 feet in the closed position. The bit-sense matrix, sense 
amplifier, word-line diode, and A-switch and B-switch circuitry will be in¬ 
corporated as an integral part of the individual modules. The framework 




which supports the memory planes will also serve as a base for mounting 
those circuit modules, such as the power supply, common to all the memory 

The packaging may be divided into the following categories: 

Memory Plane Module. 




Each memory module consists of the equivalent surface of a planar memory 
plane with approximately a 7-foot-by-91j-foot surface. (See Figure 10.) One 
actual module is approximately 4 feet by 5 feet, and consists of two double¬ 
sided planes hinged along one edge. Each module consists of the following 
i terns: 

Base substrate. 

Plated-wire carriers and plated wires. 

Word line straps. 

Bit-sense matrix, sense amplifier, A- and B-switch circuitry, and 

word-line diodes. 

The base substrate for the planes is 0.25-inch-thick aluminum honeycomb with 
0.005-inch-aluminum facings. This struc’ure provides high ratios of strength- 
to-weight end rigidity-to-weight. 

The prefabricated Kapton-type-HF* plated-wire carriers are bonded direct¬ 
ly on the honeycomb substrates. These carriers provide 4.896 8-foot-long 
tunnels capable of accepting and positioning the plated wires on 0.015-inch 
centers and are capable of operating at 100°C. The 8-foot dimension is the 
sum of the tunnel length or ihe front end rear surfaces of the base substrate. 
Plated wires on these two surfaces are interconnected along one edge of the 
honeycomb substrate. The plated wires a -e grounded at one end and connected 
to the bit-sense-matrix circuitry at the other end. 

•Trademark of the du i* 0 !'t Company. 



these areas 

The word-line straps are formed from a prefabricated flat conductor 
cable. The word straps, each 8 to 12 inches wide, contain 2088 parallel 
copper conductors. Each conductor, 0.033 inches wire u.045-inch centers, 
is approximately 6 feet long and is bonded to one side of a 0.022-inch-thick 
insulating plastic film. The other side of the film is covered with a solid 
mu-metal shield, 0.001 inch thick. These word straps are copoer conductors 
bonded to the plated-wire carrier so that the word line conductors are or¬ 
thogonal to the plated wires. Each word line is grounded at one end and 
connected to the secondary of a transformer at the other end. The return 
path for the word lines is through the ground plane. 

The bit-sense-matrix circuitry is contained in 792 flat packs mounted 
on the front surface of the base substrate along one end of the plated wires. 
The sense-amplifier circuitry consists of 144 flat packs and 144 toroids 
mounted alongside the bit-sense-matrix circuitr*. The A- and B-switch cir¬ 
cuits consist of flat packs mounted on the front and rear surfaces of the 
base substrate along one end of the word lines. 


Interconnection of the integrated-circuit flat packs is accomplished by 
the use of multilayered printed wiring. Multilayer boards have beer used in 
various Univac projects and are reasonably priced. The flat packs are con¬ 
nected in place directly to the surface of the multilayered board, by re¬ 
sistance soldering techniques. 

Connection's between plated wires at the edge of the honeycomb are made 
oy mass soldering techniques. Plated wires are soldered to the multilayer 
boards to connect to the bit-sense-matrix circuitry. 

2-3.3. CASEWORK 


The framework which holds the 10 -bit memory is made of reinforced 
aluminum-alloy plate. An aluminum skin, which is easily removable to allow 
access to the modules, is fastened to the aluminum framework. Each 10^-bit 
module, although firmly held in the framework, is easily removable. 




The word line configuration chosen is a half-turn copper line with a 
mu-metal keeper on the opposite side of the line insulation. The word lines 
are 0.033 ±0.002 inch wide on 0.045 ±0.003 inch centers. The half-turn line 
is chosen over the one-turn configuration to eliminate the registration of 
the top half and bottom half, required by the one-turn line. Ease of mech¬ 
anical fabrication is also the reason for choosing the copper lines with mu¬ 
metal backing, rather than using copper lines completely plated with mu¬ 
metal . 

The characteristics of the word line, measured by sinusoidal and time 
domain reflectometry (TDR) techniques, are shown in Table I, Two values of 
characteristic impedance (Z q ) are shown for the TDR measurement, represent¬ 
ing the initial and final values of a rising impedance characteristic. 

Appendix A describes the experiments that were preliminary to determin¬ 
ing the word line configuration and the bit line spacing. 


The plated wires (bit lines) are 0.005 inch in diameter and are located 
on 0.015 inch centers.. Each bit line consists of two plated wires mounted 
on the two sides of the memory plane and connected with a transition strip 
around the edge of the plane. One end of the bit line is grounded and the 
other end is connected to the sense amplifier and bit driver via the bit- 
sense matrix. Two copper cancellation wires are used with every bit group 
of 64 plated wires. This arrangement is described in more detail under head¬ 
ing 3-3. The bit line characteristics are given in Table II. 


Table I. Measured Word Line Parameters 


Method of 

Word Line 

Physical Length 


6.0 feet 

Electrical Delay 


9.7 nanoseconds 


D-C Bridge 

1.4 ohms 



General Radio 

Bridge, 2 megacycles 

1.2 microhenries 


Wayne-Kerr Bridge, 

1 megacycle 

370 picofarads 




57 ohms 




35, 70 ohms 

Table II. Measured Bit Line Parameters 


Method of 

Bit Line 

Physical Length 


8.0 feet 

Electrical Delay 


10.8 nanoseconds 


D-C Bridge 

13.5 ohms 


General Radio 

Bridge, 2 megacycles 

1.75 microhenries 


Wayne-Kerr Bridge, 

1 megacycle 

460 picofarads 




62 ohms 




75, 140 ohms 



In selecting the bit lines there are 2 dummy wires associated with every 
64 plated wires. The dummy wires are used for noise cancellation. They are 
nonmagnetic wires and do not switch. The use of a plated dummy wire is re¬ 
quired for allowing a uniform magnetic field to be developed by the word 
line. If the dummy wire is not magnetically plated, the adjacent regular 
plated wire will experience more field than those regular plated wires spaced 
more distantly from the dummy wire. The bit line selection scheme for a bit 
group is shown in Figure 11. 

Figure 11. Plated-Wire Selection Scheme 

When information is written into the memory, bit current is driven down 
the selected wire and down a dummy wire in order to minimize the effect of 
a large bit-transient voltage in the differential sense amplifier, which 
would occur if current flowed only in the plated wire. When information is 
read from the memory, identical noise is coupled into the dummy and plated 
wires by the word current and hence can be rejected by the differential 
sense amplifier. 

The dummy wire associated with bit-group 1A is selected when bit lines 
in group IB are being interrogated, and vice-versa. Such a symmetrical situ¬ 
ation reduces the noise in the sense amplifier due to capacitance coupling 
of word-line noise through the unselected P-switches. To explain further, 
if all the regular plated wire were assigned to one differential input of 
the sense amplifier, and only the dummy plated wire to the other differen¬ 
tial input, noise coupled to the sense amplifier through the off-impedance 


of thj bit-sense matrix switches would cause a noise imbalance. The sym¬ 
metrical assignment of plated wires and dummy wires allows these off- 
impedance coupled noises to be in balance and to be rejected by the Differ¬ 
ential amplifier. 

The bit driver is arranged so that the bit current in half of the bit 
group is of opposite polarity to the current in the other half. Therefore, 
within the memory plane, a 1 or 0 stored in bit-group 1A is of the opposite 
polarity of a 1 or 0 stored in bit-group IB. Since the output signals from 
bit-group 1A are not inverted by the differential sense amplifier, while 
those of bit-group IB are inverted, the output of the sense amplifier is the 
same for the same information stored in both bit groups. This arrangement 
eliminates additional logic circuitry outside the sense amplifier. 





The memory model consists of a mechanically complete 10 -bit stack, 
which is the basic module required to build the 10®-bit memory. Figure 12 
shows the model and its exerciser. The lower left-hand corner of the model 
contains half of the diode-transformer matrix for word line selection. Above 
that is the flatpack bit-sense matrix for bit line selection. The memory 
model contains 48% bit line tunnel structures and 2088 word lines providing 
10? possible bit locations. Of these, 32,768 four-bit words a*e addresrable 

Figure 12. Memory Model and Exerciser 


at the intersection of 512 word lines and 256 magnetic plated wires located 
at the four corners of the memory stack. (See Figure 13.) These intersec¬ 
tions are the "four corner" locations of the bit-line and word-line. 

The memory stack consists of two hinged planes with addressable bits in 
each of the four sides. The remaining tunnel structures contain nonaddress- 
able plated wires in the area directly beneath the addressable word lines. 
This is done to obtain a worst-case loading condition on all selected word 

Each addressable word line contains 64 four-bit words. The word line 
is a 6-foot-long, 0.033-inch-wide, copper conductor on 0.045-inch centers. 
The bit line consists of two 4-foot plated wires in series. A flexible con¬ 
ductor transition piece allows the interconnections between two sides of a 
plane. The plated wire is 0.005 inch in diameter, on 0.015-inch centers. 







<28 1 

















The electronic circuits described in this section are those designed 
for the memory model. The majority of these circuits can be employed in the 
full memory. Care was taken in the design of the electronic system to ensure 
that worst-case noise situations are encountered when the model is exercised. 
For example, each B-switch services 32 word lines. The noise generated by 
selecting a B-switch in the model would be identical to the noise in a full 
memory. The same concept was employed in the choice of a bit-sense matrix 
that matrixes 64 plated-wires into one sense amplifier and one bit driver. 

Bv adding logically parallel circuits, the memory can then be expanded to 
10 2 3 * * * 7 -bit module. 

The electronic circuits can be divided into the following three cate¬ 

1. Word-Current. Circuits . These circuits are used to select 1 of 5i2 
word lines and to pulse a regulated word current of 1 ampere with 
a maximum fall time of 50 nanoseconds. 

2. Bit-Path Circuits . These cir nits control the data in and out of 
the memory as well as perform jg bit selection. They include the 
bit drivers, sense amplifiers, and bit-sense matrix. 

3. Logic Circuits . These consist of timing and control circuits. 



Two-dimensional matrixing is used as a means of reducing the number of 
circuits required for selecting the word lines. A block diagram of the sys¬ 
tem is shown in Figure 14. One out of 512 word lines is selected by 



Figure 14. Word-Current Circuits, Block Diagram 

addressing 1 of 32 A-switches and 1 of 16 B-switches connected to a diode- 
transformer selection matrix. The transformer is used to isolate the stack 
capacity from the B-switch. It is a simple, 1:1, No. 1041 T-060 toroid trans¬ 
former, consisting of 17 turns on Ferroxcube 3E2A material. To further re¬ 
duce the number of circuits, the addressing to the A-switches and B-switches 
is also done by means of two-dimensional selection. 

The A-switch is turned on in two stages. First, the desired switch is 
selected by the appropriate logic levels on its address lines. Then, a cur¬ 
rent pulse from the A-driver flows through the selected A-switch and "primes” 
this switch to pass the output of the word-current regulator, which is turned 
on shortly thereafter. The current from the A-driver flows through the word- 
line selection matrix and forms a significant portion of the word current. 

The current from the A-driver must, therefore, be of well-regulated amplitude 
and also be of limited duration so as not to saturate the word-line trans¬ 
former. The A-driver fulfills both these -equirements by being a pulsed cur¬ 
rent regulator. Since the current which turns on the B-switch does not flow 
through the word-line transformer, it need not be well regulated. 


It is possible to design a word-current system without a separate word- 
current regulator. In such a system, if the A-switch is turned on, full 
word current will flow. However, each A-switch must be capable of very good 
regulation of the full word current as well as very fast fall times. This 
would result in an A-switch being much more complex than the present one. 

Use of a single word-current regulator to serve a large number of A-switches 
provides a simpler and more economical system. 


5-2.2.1. CIRCUIT CRITERIA: The word-current regulator must supply well- 
regulated pulses of current to the primary winding of a 1:1 transformer 
whose secondary winding is connected to a word line. The amplitude of this 
current is about 1000 milliamperes, and the equivalent inductance of the 
word line and the associated wiring is on the order of 2 microhenries. For 
maximum signal amplitude on readout, it is important that the word-current 
pulse have a fast switching time and a sharp top corner. Attempts io achieve 
this on the leading edge of the pulse cause ringing and, hence, an overshoot 
of the desired amplitude. If uncontrolled, this overshoot could lead to de¬ 
structive readout. Furthermore, the supply voltage from whicn the circuit 
operates must be at least L where Lis the word-line inductance. Sub¬ 
stituting 2 microhenries and 50 nanoseconds into this expression yields 40 
volts. The regulating transistor would have to withstand this voltage plus 
that generated during the fall time of the current. For these reasons, it 
was decided to use the trailing edge of the word current for reading informa¬ 
tion out of the memory. 

Reading on the trailing edge provides the following advantages: 

a. A sharp top corner on the word current is more easily obtained. 

b. Word-current overshoot may be controlled by slowing the leading 

c. A lower supply voltage is needed to ease the semiconductor require¬ 

5-2.2.2. CIRCUIT DESIGN: The circuit presently being u^ed is a variation 
of a zener d ode current regulator. This type of circuit is shown in its 
basic form in Figure 15. The current through R1 is designed to depend on 
the breakdown voltage of xeiter diode Dl, on the base-emitter drop of Ql, and 
on the resistance itself. The output current is thus a function of the 


Figure 15. Basic 
Current-Regulator Circuit. 

aforementioned quantities and of the alpha of transistor Ql. Since all these 
quantities are quite stable, an output current independent of power supply 
and of load impedance variations can be obtained. 

Adapting this basic regulator to the proposed memory results in the 
circuit design shown in Figure 16. Design goals in this adaptation include 
the following considerations: 

a. No standby power. 

b. Slow, controlled rise time, and very fast fall time. 

c. Remote current-amplitude adjustment. 

d. Accurate pulse-width control. 

Figure 16. Word-Current-Regulator Circuit 


The use of complementary stages biased off quiescently achieves the aim 
of no standby power. By design, transistor Ql does not saturate; anti¬ 
saturation diodes D5 through DIO in the two other high-level stages eliminate 
storage time; thus, good pulse-width control is achieved. Inductor L2 slows 
the current rise time, and LI stores clean-up current for Ql to speed turn¬ 
off. Transistor Q2 is turned on momentarily at the trailing edge of the 
pulse and diverts the current flowing through resistor Rl. This, too, speeds 
the fall of the word current. Voltage is a floating power supply which 
serves to vary the word current. The voltage adds to the zener diode volt¬ 
age. This supply is remotely adjustable by means of a variable resistor in 
the exerciser and is used to demonstrate the operating range of the model. 
This variable supply will not be used in a final memory. This circuit yields 
a rise time of about 150 nanoseconds and a fall time of approximately 30 

5-2.3. B-SWITCH 

The B-switch uses a Univac-designed monolithic logic gate for selection. 
The output of this gate drives a modified Darlington pair in order to provide 
the necessary high-level output. A schematic of the circuit is shown in Fig¬ 
ure 17. The B-switch is selected when both address inputs are low (ground); 
in this case, transistors Ql and Q2 are enabled. From system noise consider¬ 
ations, it is desirable to drive the collector of Q2 as close to ground as 



+ 12V + 5V +12V 

Figure 17. B-Switch, Schematic Diagram 







possible. It is for this reason that a direct Darlington connection of Q1 
and Q2 was not used. Such a configuration would have raised the output 
voltage to Vg^, plus V^. The NOR gate is available as four gates in a 
flat pack. 

When a B-switch is unselected, its output is referenced to +12 volts. 
This back-biases the unslected matrix diodes. 

5-2.4. A-DRIVER 

The A-driver, shown schematically in Figure 18, is a current regulator 
very similar to the basic circuit described under heading 5-2.2. Its out¬ 
put current is limited to I^ x = (Vg- - - v gE2^4 ^ m i 11 i am P eres * 

The term "limited to" is used here since the driver will deliver less cur- 

+ 5V 

Figure 18. A-Driver, Schematic Diagram 

rent than this, should the voltage across the load be higher than 

12 - Is,. v 8.• In other words, a current regulator will deliver no more than 
MAX 4 

its maximum design current but will deliver less than this if less is de¬ 
manded by the load. This will be discussed further under heading 5-2.5. 
Diode D4 was added to improve the transient behavior of the driver. 

5-2.5. A-SWITCH 

A schematic of the A-switch is given in Figure 19. The switch is 
selected when both address inputs are high: Q1 is turned on and thus pro¬ 
vides a path for the base current of Q2. This base current flows when the 
A-driver turns on; thus, Q2 operates in the ccnmon-base mode. The current 








Figure 19. A-Switch, Schematic Diagram 

from the A-driver flows through Q2 of the selected A-switch into the base of 
Q3 ( through one of the matrix diodes D7 through D23, into its word-line 
transformer, and then to ground by way of the selected B-switch. Once this 
current flow has reached equilibrium, the word-current regulator is pulsed. 
Its output current flows through Q3 of the A-switch and adds to the current 
from the A-driver, the two thus comprising the word current. 

When the word current regulator is turned on, it attempts to build up 
word current at a rapid rate. Since the word line is inductive a high back 
emf appears at the emitter of Q3. This emf (plus several semiconductor 
voltage drops) is seen at the output of the A-driver and lowers the amount 
of current which the driver can supply, as described under hesding 5-2.4. 
With a reduced base current, Q3 in the A-switch can no longer pass the full 
amplitude of the word-current regulator output. The rate of word-current 
rise is thus slowed; the back emf drops slightly, the A-driver current in¬ 
creases, and the word current rises. In this manner, the 12-volt supply 
used in the A-driver serves to control the rise time of the word current by 
limiting the back emf across the word-line transformer. 

Since variations in the base current of Q2 of the A-switch reflect di¬ 
rectly in the word current, a high-gain transistor was selected for Q2. 


Resistor R5 serves to reference the anodes of the word-line diodes to 


A 1:1 word-line selection transformer was used since either a current 
or a voltage step-up would have caused semiconductor problems in the word- 
current circuits. Furthermore, since a bifilar winding is used to minimize 
leakage, a 1:1 turns ratio simplifies the fabrication of such a transformer. 
The number of turns was based on a calculation of transformer saturation for 
the pulse width and lead to be encountered. 

To prevent noise induced in unselected transformers connected to a 
selected B-switch from coupling to the plated wires, the phasing of the 
transformer secondaries are alternated on alternate word lines. In this 
manner, any coupled noise from one unselected word line will be approximately 
balanced by an equal and opposite noise on the adjacent line. 



5-3.1.1. USE OF HYBRID INTEGRATED CIRCUIT. The bit-sense matrix is the 
circuit which permits one bit driver and one sense amplifier to serve many 
plated wires. One circuit is required for each wire. Since the wires are 
located on 0.015-inch centers and since the bit-sense matrix must pass the 
low-level sense signals, it is highly desirable to make the matrix circuits 
as physically compact as possible. Indeed, for the number of wires proposed 
in the total memory, it becomes imperative to depart from discrete component 
circuitry to avoid inordinately long wiring paths. 

To achieve compactness, a hybrid integrated circuit has been designed 
and fabricated by the Physics and Materials Section at the univac Engineering 
Center, Blue Bell, Pennsylvania. It contains thin-film resistors, conductors, 
and chip transistors. Six circuits are contained in a l/4-inch-by-3/8-inch 
flat pack having 14 leads. 

5-3.1.2. CIRCUIT DESCRIPTION. A schematic drawing of the bit-sense-matrix 
package is shown in Figure 20. Three bidirectional switches in a package 
are selected by applying positive and negative potentials to the proper pair 



NOTES i».-j 



Figure 20. Bit-Sense-Matrix Package 

of select terminals. This creates a low impedance across the three pairs 
of transistors. They thus pass a bit current of either polarity from the 
bit drivers to the wires, or a sense signal of either polarity from the 
plated wire to the sense amplifiers. The sense amplifiers have differential 
inputs; one input comes from a plated wire and the other from a dummy wire. 
Both wires have associated bit-sense-matrix switches. Bit current is like¬ 
wise driven through both wires to prevent a large overload on the sense 
amplifier. The 135-ohm resistors serve to terminate the wires. 


Desired characteristics of the transistors include low capacitance in 
the cutoff state, so that signals generated in unselected wires during a 
read instruction are not coupled to the sense amplifiers. At least one of 
the transistors in each pair must have a low dynamic impedance at low signal 
levels to avoid excessive attenv-ation of the sense signals. During a read 
instruction, base current flows from the NPN transistor to the PNP transis¬ 
tor, with only the difference between the two base currents flowing else¬ 
where. To achieve a balance, it is important that the 2.36-kilohm resistors 
be of close tolerance. Also during a read operation, any difference between 
the collector-emitter voltages (offset voltage) of the matrix switches con¬ 
necting the plated wire and the dummy wire to the sense amplifier appears 
as a d-c signal to the amplifier. The offset voltage of the transistors 
must therefore be minimized. These requirements, tight complementary tran¬ 
sistor specifications and close resistor tolerances, are beyond the present 
capabilities of monolithic silicon technology. Hybrid thin-film circuitry 
is well-suited to this application. 

5-3.1.3. CIRCUIT FABRICATION. The hybrid circuits are fabricated on a glass 
substrate. Onto this a layer of tantalum and a layer of gold are sputtered. 
Through the use of precise photographic masks, the proper resistor and con¬ 
ductor patterns are etched. The substrate is then heated to develop a pro¬ 
tective layer of oxide on the newly exposed tantalum resistors. By passing 
a current through the resistors and thus further oxidizing the tantalum, they 
are trimmed to their final value. The substrate is then diced into indi¬ 
vidual groups of three bidirectional switches, and the transistor chips are 
attached. The circuits are then mounted in flat packs, and leads are at¬ 
tached between the package and the circuits and between the transistor ele¬ 
ments and their pads. The package is then sealed and tested. 


The bit-sense-matrix driver selects the bit-sense matrix. The bit- 
sense-matrix driver is shown in Figure 21. Logical inputs are received from 
the memory exerciser to produce, via the BSMD, bipolar outputs required for 
driving the bit-sense-matrix switches. Each output drives 4 matrix switches 
in parallel while providing a back bias of 3 volts for the matrix switches 
when they are not selected. There ere 64 bit-sense-matrix drivers (the same 
number as in a full 10^-bit module) in the model. 




01 03 04 

•3V 43V 



Figure 21. Bit-Sense-Matrix Driver, Schematic Diagram 

Diodes D1 and D2 form an input AND gate, whereas D3 and D4 produce 
level shifting. Resistor Rl limits the collector current through Q1 to pre¬ 
vent its burnout in the event that there is a fault and Ql is maintained in 
an on condition. During normal operation, capacitor Cl provides a bypass 
for Rl so that the full supply voltage would appear across the transformer. 
The turns ratio of the transformer provides a 9-volt output swing. 

5-3.3. BIT DRIVER 

The bit driver is shown in Figure 22. The phase-modulated-write method 
used in this memory system requires the writing of the complement informa¬ 
tion first, followed by the writing of true information during the writing 
of a bit. Therefore, if a 1 is to be written in a bit location, a 0 is 
written first, followed by the writing of the 1. Transistors Ql and Q2 
(see Figure 22) are pulsed sequentially on and off by the information gen¬ 
erator in the memory exerciser during a write-1 instruction. This generates, 
in turn, a negative and then a positive current in the secondary windings of 
the transformer. The sequence of pulsing Ql and Q2 is reversed for a write-0 


Figure 22. Bit-Driver Design 

With a nominal collector-supply voltage (V ) of +12 volts, resistor 
R1 limits the current in the primary winding to 64 mi 1liamperes. Thij allows 
the secondary to deliver 32 milliamperes to the plated wires and 32 milli- 
amperes to the dummy wires. In order to provide a means of varying the bit 
current and thereby determining the operating margins of the memory, V 

c c 

is adjustable from the front panel of the exerciser. This arrangement of 
the bit current prevents the injection of a large, differential, bit-transient 
signal in the sense amplifier, thereby minimizing the recovery time. This 
arrangement of the bit driver allows a cycle time of a few microseconds. 

The transformer consists of two 6-turn bifilar windings located on op¬ 
posite sides of the core corresponding to the primary and secondary windings. 
These windings are intraconnected to produce the proper phase. 


5-3.4.1. SYSTEM GOALS. An integrating sense amplifier is used for the mem¬ 
ory. This detects the time integral of its input rather than its peak ampli¬ 
tude. Such an amplifying system has several advantages in a large memory, 
including the following: 

a. Crosstalk from readout signals in adjacent wires is cancelled. 

Since all plated wires under a word line are read out simultane¬ 
ously, crosstalk from wires adjacent to the one being interrogated 
can subtract from the peak of the desired signal. It can be shown, 
though, that the net area under this crosstalk is zero so that an 
integrating sense amplifier minimizes its effect. 

b. Word line noise coupled to the plated wire has, to a first order, a 
zero time integral. It, too, is cancelled out in the amplifier. 


c. Dependence on the fall time* of the word current is minimized. 

Si nee the area of the plated-wire readout signal is a function of 
word current amplitude but not of speed, use of an integrating sense 
amplifier relaxes the requirements on the word circuitry. 

d. Approximately equal output area results from readouts at all posi¬ 
tions along the plated wire. A readout from the grounded end of 
the wire yields a single pulse, while transmission line behavior 
causes the readout from the other end of the wire to reach the 
sense amplifier as two like-polarity pulses of lower amplitude. 

If line attention is neglected, the total area of both readouts 
is the same, so that the integrating amplifier gives identical 

e. Strobe timing is less critical with an integrating sense amplifier. 

A peak-detecting amplifier must have as narrow a strobe as possible 
to prevent its triggering on noise. With the signal delays along 
an 8-foot bit line, narrow strobing would be difficult. The inte¬ 
grator, however, holds its maximum output sufficiently long to per¬ 
mit a wide strobe and looser tolerances on its timing. 

5-3.4.2. GENERAL DESCRIPTION. A block diagram of the sense amplifier is 
shown in Figure 23. The transformer input to the preamplifier is required 
to allow the proper d-c biasing of the preamplifier. It also provides 
common-mode noise rejection. The gate is a low-'mpedance shunt which is 




Figure 23. Block Diagram of Sense Amplifier 

normally closed. This provides a d-e zero reference at the integrator out¬ 
put. During the interval when the wire signal is to be sensed, this gate 
is opened. The integrator then charges up, and the gate is closed. Next, 
the strobe is energized, and the detector provides an output pulse for one 
polarity of plated-wire signal and no pulse for the other polar* ty. 

5-3.4.3. CIRCUIT DESCRIPTION. A complete schematic of the sense amplifier 
is shown in Figure 24. As can be seen, the major components are 



Figure 24 . Sense Amplifier, Schematic Diagram 

off-the-shelf integrated circuits. To achieve versatility, these circuits 
generally omit input biasing networks. Coupling capacitors must also be 
added. The transistor which serves as the gate is operated as a chopper in 
the inverted mode. This technique provides very low impedance to ground 
when the transistor is on and could not have been achieved with a standard 
integrated circuit. The strobe circuit, while available as an integrated 
circuit, was more readily built from discrete components. 

A Texas Instruments SN 5510 serves as the preamplifier. It has a band¬ 
width of 40 megacycles, more than adequate for the purpose, and a voltage 
gain of about 60. Only one-half of its differential output is used. A 
feedback capacitor was added to the RCA CA-3002 linear amplifier to convert 
it to an integrator. The Fairchild 711 is a high-gain amplifier with 
strobe provisions. It has a very small linear range, about 3 millivolts at 
the input, and is thus useful as a pulse shaper. The bias adjustment is 
used to set toe desired trigger level. When the signal input exceeds this 
level, the output follows the strobe pulse. 

Tests of the sense amplifier indicate that it achieves all design 


The logic circuits used in the memory and the exerciser are TTL inte¬ 
grated circuits, designed by Sylvania and designated SUHL-I. It was found 
that a saving can be realized by buying these chips already mounted on module 
cards. These cards, containing SUHL-I circuits, are purchased from Control 
Logic Company. 


Figure 2"). Memory Exerciser Control Panel 

The memory exerciser is designed co simulate the effects of a random- 
iccess computer operation on the memory circuits and elements. The exerciser 
generates various information patterns which are sent to ihe memory, and then 

Figure 26. Memory Exerciser, Back View 

checks that this information is properly written and read from the memory. 
If a malfunction should occur in any of the memory circuits or the plated- 
wire elements, the exerciser would stop. The exerciser indicator lights 
then would give a complete analysis of the error condition. 



The exerciser is designed to check 131,072 bits of information divided 
into 32,768 4-bit words. Information is sent to and received from the mem¬ 
ory in a 4-bit parallel mode at a rate of 20 kilohertz or faster. 

The exerciser is divided into four main logical blocks consisting of 
the binary address counter, information generator, bit information paths 
and detection circuits, and the timing and control circuits. 

The binary address counter supplies the 15-bit address to the memory, 
determines whether information is to be written into or read from the memory, 
and supplies inputs to the information generator. 

The information generator supplies the values of 1 or 0 at each memory 
address to the bit information path. It is controlled by the address counter 
and the front panel controls, in this way, various patterns of l's and O's 
can be written throughout the memory at various addresses. 

The bit information path and detection circuits control the information 
between the exerciser and the memory. Information is transmitted to the mem¬ 
ory during a write command in accordance with the output from the information 
generator. During a read command, the detection circuits compare the infor¬ 
mation readout to that stored at a given bit location and indicate the error, 
if any should occur. 

The control circuits provide timing and miscellaneous control signals 
for the tester and memory. 


The tester is capable of supplying various information patterns and 
modes of operation. These modes are WRITE (W), READ (R), WRITE/READ (W/R), 
WRITE/READ/SUBSCAN (W/R/SS). The W and R modes simply allow information to 
be written into or read from the memory. The W/R mode allows the exerciser 
to exercise each address (four bits) by writing information into the bit 
position and immediately reading it out a predetermined number of times. 

The W/R/SS mode permits the exerciser to write information into all bit 
positio.s once, until the memory is filled, and then allows the information 
to be consecutively read out a preset number of times. 


The simplest information pattern that can be checked is all l's or all 
O's. Also the information can be varied so that each bit contains the oppo¬ 
site information from the preceding bit, which will produce a 1-0 test pat¬ 
tern either down each word line, down each bit line (plated wire), or down 
both word and bit lines to produce a checkerboard pattern throughout the 
memory plane. 


The memory exerciser is capable of generating several information pat¬ 
terns. These patterns have been designed with worst-case plated-wire tests 
in mind. 

One test is designed to ensure the nondestructive readout property of 
the plated wire. This test is implemented by writing into the memory cer¬ 
tain information patterns and then repeatedly reading the memory without re¬ 
writing. This test is also implemented in combination with other tests. 

Another test is to check adjacent-bit disturb. The plated wire, being 
a continuous-storage medium, is susceptible to adjacent-bit-disturb phenome¬ 
non. This is tested by writing l's once into alternate bits in the memory, 
and then writing O's repeatedly into all other bits. The l's are then read 
out and checked. This information is then complemented, the O's read out 
and checked, and then the roles of the disturbing bits and test bits are 
reversed and the test procedure is repeated. An added feature of this test 
allows reading the test bits repeatedly while writing into the disturbing 
bits. This procedure then checks NDRO as well as adjacent-bit-disturb 

As described in Appendix A, the plated wire is subject to disturbing due 
to adjacent-wire coupling. This effect is tested by writing into adjacent 
wires the same information as that stored in the bit under test. The infor¬ 
mation in the bit under test is then read out. Next, information opposite 
to that stored in the bit under test is written into the adjacent wires, and 
again the bit under test is read out. This last, test is also used to check 
the diminution of the output signal from the test bit, as seen by the sense 
amplifier, by the information of opposite polarity stored in the adjacent 
wires feeding through the off-impedance of nonselected bit-sense matrix 




Final testing of the memory on 31 October, 1966, demonstrated the 

7 5 

feasibility of the 10 -bit plated-wire memory module. Approximately 10 

-bits, located in the four corners of the plane, were tested. Thus the 

four limiting physical locations of the bits were investigated. 

The only problem which prevented a completely successful worst-case 
testing arose from irregularities in the memory plane construction. These 
irregularities produced bumps on the surface of the plane, thus allowing 
uneven spacing between the word lines and the bit lines and/or the mu-metal 
keeper and the word lines. This problem was noted during the construction 
of the plane, and was due to word lines and keeper being put on the plane 
in a "wallpaper-hanging" fashion. Because of the size of the plane (4 feet 
by 5 feet), it was not possible to press a plane of this size in a hydraulic 
press available to us. 

Evidence of these irregularities were noted in the electrical testing, 
as some areas of the plane did not work well electrically. 

During initial debugging, system noise was reduced to ±1 millivolt 
which is a reasonable value. 

If the areas with irregularities are neglected, the remaining portion 
cf t.he plane worked excellently. The good areas operated with a ±5 percent 
margin on the bit and word currents. 

In the easier-pattern test (see heading 6-3) with 128 wires tested in 
two bit-groups, 99 percent of the wires operated with more than 90 percent 
good bits. 

When the worst-pattern test , (see heading 6-4), was run on these same 
bits, 20 wires operated with 100 percent good bits while 90 wires operated 
with more than 95 percent good bits. 


Because of a time limitation thorough testing and debugging was not 
done on bit-groups 3 and 4. However, in preliminary tests it was noted that 
these bits worked generally as well as the other bit groups. The fact that 
all bits did not work is attributed to the following reasons: 

1. Even in "good" areas of the plane there are some mechanical 
irregularities. As mentioned previously, the mechanical irregular¬ 
ities are due to the large size of the plane with the accompanying 
inability to press such a plane. 

2. The original wires had occasional bad bits along their length. 

This point is not fundamental 




A 10^-bit-position memory plane has been built, and populated with 2.3 

x 10^ bits of plated wire, 131,000 of which were exercised. The mechanical 


configuration of this plane allows for the modular construction of a 10 -bit 
mass random access memory with a volume of 20 cubic feet. The full memory 
would be composed of ten 10 -bit memory modules. 

The module is composed of two planes, each approximately 4 feet by 5 
feet by 1/4 inch in size. Mounted on these planes are 2100 6-foot-long word 
lines and 5000 8-foot-long sense lines. A mu-metal shield, or keeper, covers 
* all the word lines. There is space for mounting the bit-sense-matrix cir¬ 
cuits, word line diodes, and A- and B-switch circuits on the planes. 

Because of the physical size of the planes, the techniques used for 
bonding the tunnel structure and the word lines were restricted to hand¬ 
rolling and room-temperature-curing adhesives. Electrical connections to 
the word lines and plated wires were made by soldering. 

The design of the plane was such that there would be a total of 15,000 
individual plated-wire solder connections and 5000 plated-wire ground con¬ 
nections for each 10*^-bit module, were the entire module to be populated. 

After the module was built and operated, several improvements in future 
design became apparent. One area of improvement is the size. The large 
physical size of the module makes it difficult to maintain consistent spac- 
ings between the base support and the tunnel structure, the tunnel struc¬ 
ture and the word lines, and the word lines and mu-metal shield. Other dis¬ 
advantages arising from the large size are the difficulty in using stand¬ 
ard laminating and pressing techniques and the difficulty in the physi¬ 
cal handling of the memory and the plated wire because of the awkward 
form factor. 


To improve the mechanical design of the memory plane it is proposed 
that the 10^-bit module be composed of smaller memory planes about 3 feet 
by 3 feet in outside dimensions. Thickness could be reduced from 0.25 inch 
to 0.125 inch. Such a plane would contain 1000 3-foot-long word lines and 
2500 4-foot-long sense lines. Four planes would make up a 10^-bit module 
housing 4000 word lines (3 feet long) and 2500 sense lines (16 feet long). 
Bit-sense-matrix circuits would be mounted on a fifth plane; A- and B-switcn 
components could be mounted on each plane. The dimensions of a 10^-bit 
module would be approximately 3 feet by 3 feet by 1.5 inches. The form 


factor for a 10 bit memory would be approximately 3 feet by 3 feet by 
1.25 feet, or 12 cubic feet. Allowing space for power supplies and for 
some circuits not mounted on these planes, the overall volume would be 
about 3 feet by 3 feet by 2 feet or 18 cubic feet. 

There would be a 2:1 increase in the number of solder joints, but the 
total number of these would be only 30,000, which is not large for a module 
of this size. The increase in the physical and electrical length of the 
bit/sense line is reasonable. The use of the smaller plane size would 
result in easier and better control of the memory construction. Standard 
pressing equipment used in laminating the planes would permit the close con¬ 
trol of plane thickness. 






The UNIVAC Plated-Wire Universal Tester (UPWUT) (see Figure 27) was used 
to measure various plated-wire parameters for different word-line config¬ 
urations. The UPWUT consists of five high-current drivers (word current 
drivers), four low-current drivers (bit current drivers), and various con¬ 
trol circuitry. Jigs containing different word-line configurations are 
connected to the current drivers. Current amplitudes and plated-wire out¬ 
puts are monitored by oscilloscopes. The pulse program of UPWUT is divided 
into five parts; each one can operate independently, or in any combination 
of the others. These are: 

Part i - History: 0's are written in the bit under test, and the 
right and left adjacent bits. 

Part 2 - Single Write: 1 is written into bit under test once. 

Part 3 - Adjacent felt Disturb. The adjacent bits are exercised by 
writing O's. 

Part 4 - Nondestructive Readout. Bit under test is read out many 

Part 5 - Readout. Bit under test is read out twice. 

The above program is for a 1 test; the opposi'e information is written 
into the plated wire for a 0 test. History. ABD, and NDRO can be repeated 
up to 10,000 times. The current-generation can be adjusted to give worst- 
case tolerances ir, the program. The write scheme used is the phase-modulated 


The following jigs are used in the experiments for this project: 

EPl - contains groups of one-turn copper word lines on 0.045-inch 
centers. The word lines are 0.025 inch, 0.030 inch and 
0.035 inch wide. 

EP3 - contains both copper word lines and mu-metal-plated-copper word 
lines on 0.045-inch centers using aluminum as the ground return. 
These are called half-turn word lines, and are 0.015 inch to 
0.040 inch wide. 

The parameters that were monitored are shown in Table III. 


Figures 28, 29, and 30 show I^p, I wD , 1^ and E q as functions of width 
of word lines. Curves in Figure 28 are for EPl (one-turn copper word lines). 
Those in Figure 29 are for EP3 (half-turn mu-metal-copper word lines), while 
those in Figure 30 are for EP3 (half-turn copper word lines with a mu-mttal 
keeper, 1-mil shield-mu 30 from Magnetic Metals, Camden, N. J., 0.004 inch 
away from the word lines). The curves indicate that the keeper has the 
following effects: 

The mu-metal reduces I wA , or the effect of adjacent-bit spreading, 
and also reduces the word-current requirement. 

The mu-metal also reduces the dependence of word-current require¬ 
ment on word-line width. 

Putting a sheet of mu-metal on top of the word lines is almost as 
effective as making a combination mu-metal-copper word line. 

Figure 3l shows I wp and I wQ for half-turn mu-metal-copper word lines 
as functions of the number of pairs of plated wire inserted next to the test 
wire. The results show that the current increases as the number of wires is 

Figure 32 shows E^ and switching time as functions of the word-current 
rise time. Results are for 0.035-inch and 0.025-inch half-turn mu-metal 
copper word lines. Different plated wires are used for the two sets of word 
lines. E q and switching times are fairly linear functions of word-current 
rise time. Figure 33 shows I^ p and for half-turn copper word lines with 
mu-metal keepers as functions of separation oi the word lines and the mu¬ 
metal sheet. For close separation, I^ p and vary about 2 percent per 
0.001 inch of separation. Based on the above results, the decision has 
been made to use half-turn copper word line with mu-metal keeper. 


Table III. Parameters Monitored in Plated-Wire Test 







Figure 28. Word Current (a) and Output <b) as functions 
of Line Width, for One-Turn Copper Word Lines 

The half-*urn is favored over the one-turn configuration because the re¬ 
quirement to register the top half with the bottom Waif of the cne-turn line 
is eliminated. base of mechanical fabrication is also the retscn for 
choosinq the copper lines with au-meta) barking rather than the mu-metol- 
copper lines. The word lines will be 0.033 i 0.002 inch wide on 0.045 t 
0.003-inch centers. The arcumulativ* tolerance of the word-line centers is 
♦0.005 inch for a given word strap. The nominal current is expected to be 
aiiout BOO mi i liamperes, end the nominal bit current will be *35 nidi- 
amperes. The nominal output for *5 percent current worst-case variation 
wilt be 10 millivolt pcak-to-peak. 




Figure 29. Word Current (a) and Output (b) as Functions 
of Line Width, for Half-Turn Mu-Metal-Copper Word Lines 


Adjacent-wire coupling is the phenomenon whereby a fraction of the sig¬ 
nal appearing on one plated wire i:; coupled into adjacent wires. It is 
caused by the mutual impedance between a pair of closely spaced plated wires. 
When the current pulse is applied to a word line during a read instruction, 
signals are generated in all wires passing under that word line. Signals 
generated in wires adjacent to those being sensed will couple unwanted 
voltages into the sensed wires. It is important that the nature and extent 
of this coupling be understood for a memory of this size. 

The experimental technique used to measure the adjacent-wire coupling 
has been designed to make the observations meaningful and accurate. Since 
it is impractical to construct a full-size memory plane of every type of 
construction under consideration, small test planes are used. These have a 



0 . 

10 20 30 40 50 60 TO 


K »»-» 

Figure 32. E (a) and Switching Time (b) as Functions 
0 of Word-Current Rise Time 

group of 1-foot-long word lines bonded over a plated-wire carrier with tun¬ 
nels for plated wires on O.Olfi-inch centers. The entire assembly is bonded 
to a ground plane. It is possible to simulate a long length of plated wire 
by a series connection of shorter lengths. Ten feet of plated wire are 
evenly spaced throughout the test plane and connected in '.his fashion. Simi¬ 
lar 10-foot lengths are placed in grooves adjacent to the first one. One 
end of each 10-foot run is grounded, and the other is terminated in the 
characteristic impedance of the wire, about 50 ohms. 

Coupling is measured by injecting a signal into one of the 10-foot wires 
and viewing the resultant signal in an adjacent wire either 15 or 30 mils 




Figure 33. Word Current as Function of Separation of 
Word l.ines from Mu-Metal Keeper 

away. Injecting a signal is accomplished in the following manner. The 10- 
foot wire is broken at a point and an additional 2-inch length inserted in 
series with it. This short length is located on a small fixture about 2 V> 
inches square, and is crossed by several 1-inch-long word lines. Writing on 
this short segment is accomplished by passing through it a d-c current whose 
amplitude exceeds the of the wire. It is read out by driving word 
current down one of the short worn lines. The readout signal then travels 
down the 10-foot plated wire following transmission-line laws, and the cou¬ 
pled signal is viewed in the adjacent wire. 

System noise is minimized by using a differential amplifier whose dummy 
input is another 10-foot length of wire running through the test plane about 
0.2 inch from 'he wire being sensed. Noise is thus reduced to well below 1 
millivolt peak-to-peak. 

The signal delay through 10 feet o' plated wire is about 30 nanoseconds. 
This means that there is a significant difference between a signal generated 
at the sense amplifier end of the line and one generated at the grounded end. 
For this reason, adjacent-wire coupling is checked at both ends ef the wire 
and in the middle. The wire was terminated in the characteristic impedance 
at the sense amplifier. While a higher resistance might be used in the final 

memory system to raise the sense signal amplitude, it is believed that char- 
acteristic impedance termination represented the most general case. 

Waveforms are shown in Figure 34 for a test plant of the construction 





d,«,f 1MV/OIV 

Figure 34. Waveforms Showing Adjacent-Wire Coupling, 

Viewed from Sense Amplifier tnd of line 

contemplated for the final system. Word lines are 0.33 inch wide, on 0.045- centers. A magnetic keeper is placed 0.001 inch above the word lines. 
Only one polarity of output signal is shown; the other polarity gives similar 
waveforms. They are shown for signals injtcted at the terminated (sense 
amplifier) end of the line, in the middle of the line, and at the grounded 
end. the first group 'f igures 31a, b, c > are waveforms of the signal seen 
at the terminated end of the wire in which the signal is injected. Since 

the sense amplifier used was linear but its exact gain was not measured, 
the output amplitudes shown are all relative. 

From these waveforms several points, all related to the transmission¬ 
line nature of the plated wire over a ground plane, chculd be noted. When 
a signal is injected at the grounded end of the wire, the sense amplifier 
sees a single signal. But when the signal is injected near the amplifier, 
there is an initial signal end »hen a delayed one caused by the reflection 
at the grounded end. The area under ;-3<T. output is essentially constant, 
however. This fact suggests the use of a sense amplifier which integrates 
the signal, rather than one which merely detects the peaks. In this manner, 
full use is made of the output signal regardless of shape. 

Examination of the coupled signal (Figures 34d, e, f) provides a further 
reason for usiny an integrating sense amplifier. The coupled signal swings 
to both sides of ground. Thus, by integrating this signal, the effect is 
minimized. Data has been taken of coupling for wires on 0.030-inch centers, 

and it appears to be very close to half that of wires on O.Ol5-inch centers. 

Table IV indicates the percentage of coupling into a wire 0.015 inches 
away for three poir.'s of signal injection. The figure given represents the 

ratio of the highest peak of the coupled signal to the highest peak of the 

injected signal, viewed at the terminated end of the wire. Comparative data 
is also given for the same olane without the magnetic keeper. 

Work is scheduled for the near future to develop a greater understand¬ 
ing of the nature of adjacent-wire coupling. 


Table IV. Percentage of Coupling, 0.015-inch 
Wire Spacing 

Point of Signal 

Coupling Percentage 



35 ns* 

With Magnetic Keeper: 

Terminated end 



Middle of line 



Grounded end 



Without Magnetic Keeper: 

Terminated end 



Middle of line 


Grounded end 


■"Word-current rise time. 


Security Cl«»»l(ie«tlon 


(Socurity ciaaalticatlon 0 / titla, body ot abstract and indaatng annotation mu at b» on to rod wdion #m ovorott ropon la claaalilod) 

1 ORIGINATING ACTIVI 'V I’Corpof.l. m.ifiorJ 

Rone Air Developne nt Center 

Griffiss AFB NY I 3 W 0 


14 (HOUR 




4 OSICRIPTIVt MOTH (Trpn at npott tn4 l-ichj./r. it!,.) 

Final 30 June 19^5 through 1 October 1966 

f AUTitOKflJ (Laat nan me, Urol nemo, Initial' 

C. Chong 

fl. Mosenki" 

D. K. Hens< n 


January 196? 







• tR (t> 


• 4 ? T i H.R . |T ,o. t HOflj (A nr •SKikiRtM a* taut, 4* a. 



This document is subject to specie! export controls end each transmittal to foreign 
governments, foreign nationals or representatives thereto may be made only with 
prior approval o' ?**’*• (EMLI), OAFB, NV 13‘thO. 

it lueei .cmcntamv noth [ u ironiorino military activity 

Rome Air Pevelopeter.t Center (EMIIO-1) 
j Griffis* Air Force Base, Hew York 131*1*0 

IS abstract 

The concept of a nonnecbanical, mass, randan access, plated-wire memory has 
been validated in this phase of the continuing U.S. Air Force program. The memory 
model fabricated for this contract has 10^-bit positions housing over 2.3 megabits 
of plated wire, of these bits, 32,768 4-bit words have been exercised with a 
memory exerciser. The following characteristics of the plated-wire mass memory 
have been demonstrated. 

Nondestructive readout (NDRO), 

Selection in the bit dimension to minimise electronics costs. 

Simple mechanical plane configuration. 

Random access. 

Electrical alterability. 

The final test of the plane revealed sene defective areas which resulted from 
the large surface area. Miking a smaller plane would easily eliminate this 

All the objectives of the program have been achieved, including the projected 
production coat of less than $0.01 per bit.. The contractor feels that as a result 
of this program, the building of a mass (10 -bit), random access, platad-wire 
memory is economically feasible and wall within the state-of-the-art. 



1 JIN •« 



Security CUtstftcaboa 


69-17 1 SEPf P lBEB 1969 

AD-8G9 200 
Sperry Rand Corn., 
Blue He3.1, Pa. 

Univac Djv. 

Pinal rept. 30 Jun 
65-1 Oct 66. 

Kept. no. RADC TR-66- 

Jan 67 

Contract Ar' 30(602)- 


No Foreign without 
approval of Rome 
Air Development 
Center, Attn: 


Griff isr. AFR, K. Y. 

No limitation 

RADC ltr, 
2h Jun 69