Emulators of Classic Computers

From: Tom Jennings <tomj_at_wps.com>
Date: Thu Jan 22 19:20:59 2004

On Tue, 2004-01-20 at 22:04, William Donzelli wrote:

> In theory, computing tubes would not use much power at all, so one could
> space the cathode-grid-plate structure very close, and get the super
> speeds due to the very short distances involved.

Well with gate::emitter separated by fractions of a micron, I don't know
how any theoretical tube would improve on that. I know the path an
electron or hole travels is somewhat brownian, hence longer, still, it's
pretty small!

Also, you need a source of electrons; in semiconductor stuff it's done
at the factory (more or less) by creating doped materials with low
quantum thresholds, such that mere voltage difference is enough to move
them around. With tubes, you gotta heat the miserable things up to fling
electrons loose, and to get enough electrons, yuo need a lot of metal
(though as you point out part this would scale very well).

> So, in a perfect world, with no capacitance or power problems, tubes
> would be great.

Another way to think of tubes is big delicate airy capacitors with heat
in the middle. They sure look cool though, and things like big 811's,
the very idea that the carbon plate is glowing cherry red merely from
Received on Thu Jan 22 2004 - 19:20:59 GMT

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