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1951: magnetic core memory patented

Memory is one of the critical components of a computing system. Core Memory Then and Now describes one big technological advance that made modern computing possible. All the way up through the 70’s magnetic core memory was the primary working (random access) memory for mainframe computers. From wikipedia:

Two key inventions led to the development of magnetic core memory in 1951. The first, An Wang’s, was the write-after-read cycle, which solved the problem of how to use a storage medium in which the act of reading erased the data read enabling the construction of a serial, one dimensional shift register of o(50) bits, using two cores to store a bit. A Wang core shift register is in the Revolution exhibit at the Computer History Museum. The second, Jay Forrester’s, was the coincident-current system, which enabled a small number of wires to control a large number of cores (see Description section below for details) enabling 3D memory arrays of several million bits e.g. 8K x 8K x 64 bits.

Look at where it is today!

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