What Was The First Random-Access Memory Device?
Answer: Williams-Kilburn Tubes
A distant cousin to our modern DDR RAM modules, Williams-Kilburn Tubes were the first random-access memory device. Invented in 1946 by Freddie Williams and Tom Kilburn, the memory units were a microcosmic example of computers of the age. They were bulky, terribly sensitive to environmental conditions, had to be hand-tuned, and were housed inside vacuum-sealed cathode ray tube.
The tubes wrote binary data by projecting it onto the front of the tube just like a television CRT tube projects an image, only in the case of the Williams-Kilburn tubes they were creating negative and positive charges that could be read by a plate positioned over the end of the tube, not an image that would readily recognizable to an observer–some rare tubes did had a phosphor coating which allowed computer operators to see where the tube was writing for diagnostic purposes. Each tube was capable of storing 512-1024 bits of data.
The Williams-Kilburn was used in many early computers, most notably the Manchester Small-Scale Experimental Machine–the first computer with electronically stored programs.
In The 1930s A Newspaper Reporter’s Hoax Led To A Longstanding Tradition Of?
The Largest Butterfly In The U.S. And Canada Is The?
Every Year The Earth Grows 40,000 Tons Heavier Thanks To What?
The Word “Fortnight” Is Derived From?
The Eiffel Tower Was Saved From Demolition By What?
Which Video Game Had The Highest Per-Copy Cost?
The Voice Actor Behind Iconic Sesame Street Character Elmo Was Also The Voice Of?
Bathing Machines Were An Integral Part Of What Victorian-Era Activity?