« PreviousContinue »
two kinds of disk storage drive, a data cell drive, and a drum." (McGee and Petersen, 1965, p. 78). "In microprogram control, the functions of the controller [for source experimental data automation] are vested in a microprogram which is stored in a control memory. The microprogram is made up of microinstructions which are fetched in sequence from memory and executed. The microinstructions control a very general type of hardware configuration, so that merely by changing the microprogram, the functions available in the controller can be made to range between wide limits." (McGee and Petersen, 1965, p. 78).
5.95 "The computer science community has not recognized (let alone faced up to) the problem of anticipating and dealing with very large individual
differences in performing tasks involving mancomputer communications for the general public." (Sackman, et al., 1968, pp. 9-10).
5.96 "The dynamic nature of multiprogram on-line computation should have a strong influence on memory organization." (Lock, 1965, p. 471). "The tradeoffs in speed, cost, logic complexity, and technology are inherent to the design of systems and are not separable in spite of the good intentions of the semiconductor manufacturers or the abstract logicians." (Howe, 1965, p. 506).
5.97 "I cannot emphasize too strongly the interdependence of hardware and software (the statements of procedures, implementation of which in a given equipment configuration constitutes the processing capability)." (Schultz, 1967, p. 20).
6. Advanced Hardware Developments
6.2 "Laser holography is finding some practical applications. Technical Operations, Inc., of Burlington, Mass., says it has delivered what is believed to be the first operational holography equipment to Otis Air Force Base in Massachusetts, where it will be used to photograph fog in three dimensions." (Electronics 38, No. 20, 25 (1965).)
6.3 "A work horse of unsuspected power was harnessed in 1960 when the first operating laser was demonstrated at Hughes Research Laboratories.' ("The Lavish Laser", 1966, p. 15).
"The first device to be successfully operated was a pulsed ruby laser." (Baker and Rugari, 1966, p. 37). Further reference is to Maiman, 1960.
6.4 "Gas lasers are the most monochromatic, fluorescent crystal lasers are the most powerful, while semiconductor lasers are the smallest, the most efficient and can be directly modulated.” (Gordon, 1965, p. 61).
6.5 This area of technological development has already received such a responsive interest, in general, that Lowry-Cocroft Abstracts, Evanston, Illinois, provides a punched card abstracts service in the field of laser developments.
6.6 "The development of the laser as a practical, continuous, coherent light source has created a new display technology, that of the laser-beam display. This type display can be considered to be analogous to well-known electron-beam type displays, e.g., the cathode ray tube and the liquid-light valve. The primary difference is that the electron beam is constrained to a vacuum environment and requires a special screen for the emission or control of light
while a laser beam can operate in air and be the source of light directly. . . .
"The major significance of the laser in a display system is that all of the energy is usable since the apparent source of this light is a diffraction-limited point-dipole radiator. Conventional light sources such as tungsten filament or a mercury arc are quite wasteful since light is emitted into a 360-degree solid angle from a relatively large area. When these light sources are used to illuminate the limited aperture of a practical optical system, only a small fraction of the emitted light is used." (Baker and Rugari, 1966, p. 37).
6.7 "Since the polarization of the light can be electro-optically switched in nanoseconds, the inherent speed of the electro-optic effect does not limit the rate of data projection. However, in practice the rate is limited by dissipation in the deflection elements and by the stored-energy requirements of the associated circuitry. Therefore the voltage across the half-wave plate and the loss tangent of the dielectric are important parameters. ." (Soref and McMahon, 1965, p. 59).
6.8 "Coherent light from lasers will provide a revolutionary increase in the volume of communication that can be sent over a single pathway." (McMains, 1966, p. 28).
"In communications the laser can far surpass conventional facilities. Operating on frequencies many times higher than radio, it can carry many times as much information. In fact, one laser beam could carry thousands of TV signals at once. Experiments now under way with lasers enclosed in large pipes indicate their wide employment for mass communications for the future." ("The Lavish Laser", 1966, p. 16).
"As man goes farther away from the earth in space exploration, laser communication will become more important, because the problems of power supply and background noise besetting conventional microwaves at distances beyond the moon will be
minimized. In an example of speed comparison, eight hours were required to transmit the pictures from Mars, but a laser beam could carry even television images across the same distance in a few minutes." ("The Lavish Laser", 1966, p. 16).
"The laser- with its extremely narrow beam due to its short wavelength, notwithstanding its high quantum and background noise-offers the possibility of surpassing RF techniques in its ability to satisfy deep-space requirements." (Brookner et al., 1967, p. 75).
In terms of immediate practicality, however, experiments in the use of laser techniques for data transmission have been limited to very short distances. For example, "television signals have been transmitted on laser beams for distances of the order of a mile in clear weather (Gordon, 1965, p. 60), and "the Lincoln Laboratory developed an optical communications system based on an array of multiple semiconductor lasers that propagates pulses through a 1.8-mile path in most weather conditions." (Swanson, 1967, p. 38).
Goettel therefore concludes that "years of continued research remain before an economical lasertransmission system becomes a reality." (Goettel, 1966, p. 193).
6.9 "Scientists from the Honeywell Research Center in Minneapolis say that optical techniques provide a means for increasing information storage density above the levels obtainable with current technology. A memory element under development will permit over two million bits of information to be stored on a surface the size of a dime. The information can be read at the rate of 100 million bits per second using a low power-1 milliwatt-laser." (Bus. Automation 13, No. 12, 69 (Dec. 1967).)
6.10 "The laser will transform Raman spectroscopy from a time-consuming tool of limited usefulness to an important analytical technique; for example, the hour-long exposures of Raman spectra on photographic plates are eliminated. Raman spectroscopy with gas-laser beams should have widespread application in analytical chemistry and solidstate physics." (Bloembergen, 1967, p. 85).
"The microscopic electrified fluid streams studied occur at high speed, and are virtually impossible to record with a conventional optical microscope or imaging system. In order to overcome the workingdistance and depth-of-field limitations of the classical microscope, a two-step imaging process (holographic photomicroscopy) of high resolution was developed and applied to the study of the electrostatic charging process. In this technique, one first records the optical interference pattern of the 'scene', and then uses this record to reconstruct the original scene. The reconstructed scene can be leisurely examined with with conventional optical systems of limited object volume . . .
"The practical consequences of pulsed laser holographic photomicroscopy go beyond the requirements of the present application. Reasonable projection would indicate application to scientific
studies that involve moving unpredictable phenomena of either uncertain or changing location. Physical applications include terminal and inflight ballistics, aerosol-size distributions, cloud physics, studies of sprays, and combustion and rocket-exhaust studies, among others." (Stephens, 1967, p. 26).
"Recently at Boulder, Colo., Michael McClintock of the NBS Institute for Basic Standards used an argon laser as a source to obtain and analyze the Raman and Rayleigh spectra in several transparent liquids . . . His mathematical evaluation of the experimental data related scattered light spectra to viscosity, to molecular rotation and vibration, and to certain molecular concentrations in mixtures of two unassociated liquids. Analysis of the Raman spectrum also provided new data on molecular coupling...
"In general, the beam from an argon ion laser was first passed through a dispersing prism to eliminate all but the 4880-angstrom radiation. The light was then examined from various angles by a spectrometer. Photomultiplier tubes served to increase the intensity of the spectral lines so that they could be recorded." ("Laser Applied to Molecular Kinetics Studies", 1968, p. 242).
6.11 "A very special hologram, called a spatial filter, has the capability of comparing two patterns and producing a signal which is a function of the correlation or similarity of the patterns. Experimentally, it has been found that complicated, natural objects with irregular patterns can be recognized with greater confidence than can man-made objects which tend to be geometrically symmetrical. Fingerprints, because of their randomness, appear to be ideal objects for the spatial filtering method of recognition . .
"The spatial filtering method of fingerprint recognition has several advantages over other methods of recognition.
"Recognition is instantaneous, limited only by the mechanical pattern input mechanism.
"Partial prints can be recognized. As long as the information which is available does correlate, recognition will take place even though one of the two patterns being compared is incomplete. This property is especially advantageous when you are attempting to correlate partial latent prints with complete recorded prints." (Horvath et al., 1967, pp. 485, 488).
6.12 "A laser image processing scanner (LIPS), able for the first time to quantize high resolution photographs for computer manipulation, has been developed by CBS Laboratories . . . and accepted by the Air Force . . . LIPS can simultaneously digitize a developed high-resolution photograph from a negative and produce a much more detailed negative from the computer image adjacent to the original on the same drum. This makes it much easier for a photo interpreter to recognize important details . .
"The Air Force system uses a commercial helium-neon gas laser to produce black and white images. . . However, color photos could be produced by substituting an argon ion laser system . . .
"Elements of LIPS include a laser light source focused on a five microns spot size on the negative being digitized in turn feeding into a linearly scanning microdensitometer and a computer buffer storage.
"On reconstruction of the higher quality negative on the same drum, the same laser is employed in combination with an optical modulator in duplicate scanning..." (Electronic News 14, No. 714, 38 (June 23, 1969).)
"When the Air Force permitted CBS Labs to talk about its high-resolution laser-scanning system (part of Compass Link) used to transmit reconnaissance photos from Vietnam to the Pentagon in minutes [Electronics, April 14, p. 56], CBS officials were optimistic about the possibility of broader applications. A step in that direction has been taken with the modification of the laser scanner so that it can convert high-resolution photos for handling by a computer.
"Called LIPS-laser image processing scannerthe system digitizes the image, then feeds the signal through a buffer to an IBM 360/40 computer. The computer processes the picture to emphasize fine details or improve the contrast. The reconstructed image is then read out of the computer onto photographic film. Thus, LIPS enables the photo interpreter to manipulate his picture to bring out any desired detail with a high degree of resolution.
"Routine work. In operation, the interpreter tells the computer what areas he wants emphasized. For example, he could call for a routine that would bring out high-frequency detail. If the finished picture were unsatisfactory he could go to a routine that not only would emphasize highfrequency detail, but also would suppress or clean up large areas of black.
"LIPS uses a sequential scan to attain a resolution of 100 lines per millimeter. It can digitize, or record from digital data, a 1.8-centimeter-square area in 15 minutes; that's at least twice as fast as conventional scanners such as those used on the Ranger moon probes.
"CBS says the advantages of LIPS-high resolution and geometric fidelity, high-speed readwrite rates, and operation in standard room lightingcan be used by map makers, meteorologists, or news organizations." (Electronics 42, No. 13, 46 June 23, 1969)).
6.13 "Laser photographs, called holograms, are true three-dimensional representations, and the process of holography not only provides a means for lensless microscopy but may make possible microscopic systems at wavelengths where lenses
1966, p. 15).
"The original idea of holography and specifically, spatial filtering dates back to 1886 when Ernst Abbe suggested their existence. However, it remained for Dennis Gabor to show in 1951 that a hologram, which has little recognizable information could be 'reconstructed' to a normal recognizable image. Various other workers showed his analysis to be correct. Spatial filtering was investigated at about the same time by Marechal and others primarily as a means of improving photographic images. These pioneers demonstrated that the concepts of holography and spatial filtering would work, but they were handicapped by the lack of a strong source of coherent light. The advent of the laser in 1960 as a source of essentially a single wavelength of light excited new interest in the field of holography. Scientists at General Electric demonstrated the feasibility of using a two-beam holographic spatial filter as a means for recognizing patterns. A. Vander Lugt, at the University of Michigan, also investigated methods by which twobeam spatial filters could be produced." (Horvath et al., 1967, p. 485).
"Laser beams will be used to print the catalogs and newspapers of the future using a new technique developed by Radio Corporation of America. Announcement of the development of the technique that can eliminate the need to print in signatures was made last month by the company. The method uses the intense light produced by the laser to fuse powdered ink spread over the paper to reproduce the original. Excess ink is removed by vacuum.
"The image comes from a photograph of the material to be printed-half-tones, line drawing or newspaper page-on a transparency. The image is transferred with the aid of a laser beam to a hologram or lensless photograph which serves as a permanent plate. A separate hologram is used for each page.
"Dr. Kenneth H. Fishbeck, a technical advisor at the David Sarnoff Research Center, Princeton, N.J., and holder of the patent, said publishers will be able to eliminate signatures since the new process reproduces pages in sequence, from title to index. He claims publishers could almost print on demand." (SPIE Glass 5, No. 1, 12 (June 1969)).
6.14 "Dillon et al. have proposed and operated a limited-population memory using a ferramagnetic garnet and driven by a laser beam." (Kump and Chang, 1966, p. 255; see also Dillon et al., 1964).
6.15 Reimann reports that: "The neuristor laser computer, conceived at RCA, is an 'alloptical' computer in which all information and control signals are in the form of optical energy . . .
"A theoretical study of the neuristor concept in form of Fiberglas lasers concluded that the fundamental requirements of a neuristor line could, at least in principle, be met with lasers . . . "The main result of the laser neuristor feasibility
study was the conclusion that lasers are capable of satisfying all the requirements for digital devices. It was shown that, in addition to the neuristor-type logic, lasers in form of resonators and amplifiers can have input-output characteristics that resemble those of conventional logic circuits such as gates or flipflops." (Reimann, 1965, pp. 250-251).
"Fiber-optic elements, with appropriate concentrations of active emissive ions and passive absorptive ions, are the basic components of this system. The computer is powered by being in a continuous light environment that provides a constant pump power for maintaining an inverted population of the emissive ions. Among the potentially attractive features of such a system are the freedom from power-supply connections for individual circuits, the possibility of transmission of signals without actual connections between certain locations, and a promise of high-speed operation." (Reimann and Kosonocky, 1965, p. 182).
6.16 "The feasibility of machining resistive and capacitive components directly on thin film metallized substrates with a laser has been demonstrated. Tantalum films can be shaped into resistor geometries and trimmed to tolerance by removing metal. These films also can be oxidized to value using the laser beam as the heat source. Resistors can be made with tolerances in value of less than ±0.1 per cent. . . .
"Pattern generation by laser machining has been demonstrated on various thin films as well as on electroplated films. Vaporized lines as fine as 0.25 mil are readily attainable in thin films, as are 0.4 mil lines in plated films. Much narrower lines may be obtained under particularly wellcontrolled conditions. Uniform lines as fine as 1 micron have been scribed in thin films on sufficiently flat substrates. These films have been removed with minimum effect to the substrate surface." (Cohen et al., 1968, p. 403).
"Semiconductor laser digital devices offer an improvement in information processing rates of one to two orders of magnitude over that expected from high-speed integrated transistor circuits. Data processing rates of 10 to 100 gigabits per second may be possible using semiconductor lasers. However, the technology for fabricating low-power laser circuits is still undeveloped and low-temperature operation may be required." (Kosonocky and Cornely, 1968, p. 1).
"Laser digital devices may be used for generalpurpose logic circuits in very much the same way that transistors are now used, except that all of the processing is done with optical rather than electric signals." (Reimann and Kosonocky, 1965, p. 183).
"Semiconductor current-injection lasers are most attractive for digital devices because of their small size, high pumping efficiency, and high speed of operation." (Reimann and Kosonocky, 1965, p. 194).
"The utility of a laser as a tool for fabricating thin
film circuits results primarily from the spectral purity and degree of collimation of the laser light. These characteristics allow the beam to be focused to a very fine and intense spot. The high heat flux which occurs when the light is absorbed by the target material, and the sharp definition and localized nature of the working region allow heating, melting, or vaporizing minute amounts of material, with minimum effect to adjacent material or components." (Cohen et al., 1968, p. 386).
6.17 See Hobbs, 1966, p. 42.
6.18 "A new laser data storage/retrieval system that provides a 1000-time increase in packing density over conventional mag tape, an error rate of 1× 108 or better, permanent (nonerasable) storage, a transfer rate of 4 megabits/sec., and instantaneous read-while-write verification has been developed by Precision Instrument Co., Palo Alto, Calif.
"A working demonstrator of the 'Unicon' system uses a 1-watt argon gas laser, which makes a hole in the metallic coating of a mylar-base tape wrapped around a drum. The current system, using 5-micron holes, offers a packing density of 13 million bits/sq. in.
"Readout is accomplished by reducing the laser power; beam reflection or non-reflection indicates nonholes or holes. The tape being used on the current system offers storage equivalent to 10 2400-ft. reels of 800 bpi tape. The system can serve on- and off-line, and is capable of recording analog, FM or video data, all of which require high speed." (Datamation 14, No. 4, 17 (Apr. 1968)).
6.19 "By early 1968, Precision Instrument Co. had developed a massive-scale laser recorder/ reader storage system, but the first order for the device was not received until this year. Ed Gray, the chief engineer on the UNICON (Unidensity Coherent Light Recorder/Reproducer) Laser Mass Memory System, said that convincing the first potential customers that they should acquire a $500K to $1 million memory system was not easy, especially when you had to tell someone that you were not going to store data with magnetics like God intended.' Now that the first order has been placed, by Pan American Petroleum Corp. of Tulsa, Oklahoma, Mr. Gray feels that the systems will move a little faster in the marketplace.
"The $740K system placed with Pan American is to be installed with all requisite software about March of 1970. Four other potential customers, including some government agencies and a private credit-reporting firm, are also expected to place orders." (Datamation 15, No. 3, 116 (Mar. 1969).)
6.20 "The National Archives and Records Service has begun a cost-effectiveness study of archival storage systems in an effort to shrink its mag tape library, which contains one million plus reels. The study, due for completion next month, is using the capabilities of Precision Instruments' Unicon device as a model. The Unicon employs a
laser-etched aluminum strip with a 30-year shelf life." (Datamation 14, No. 10, 171 (Oct. 1968)).
6.21 "Honeywell scientists are investigating a method that uses a laser for mass storage and retrieval of information in computer memory. Although emphasizing that development is still in the research stage and may be several years away from practical application, the researchers believe the discovery is a possible key to inexpensive mass storage of data for the enormous computer networks envisioned for the 1970's." (Commun. ACM 11, 66 (Jan. 1968)).
6.22 "The system uses a modulated laser beam to inscribe data onto photosensitive discs . . . Each disc contains 3, 100 tracks with a capacity of 67,207 bits per track, including error corrections bits. The storage unit holds 2, 600 discs, stored on edge, in four [or eight] trays . . . two auxiliary disc banks can be added to achieve the maximum memory capacity . . . of 150 billion characters. The reader reaches any piece of information on the 3, 100 tracks (per disc) within 15 milliseconds . . ." (Business Automation 12, No. 6, 84 (1965)).
A CW helium-neon laser is used to "achieve real-time writing of information on the system's photosensitive memory discs." (Connolly, 1965, p. 4).
6.23 "A method for producing erasable holograms may enable an optical memory to store 100 million bits in a film one inch square.
"The memory could be read out, erased and reused repeatedly, according to Dr. William Webster, vice president in charge of RCA Laboratories.
"Information can be written into the magnetic film in 10 billionths of a second, and erased in 20 millionths of a second. Laser light split into two beams, one going directly to the film and the other going to the information bit pattern, interferes constructively to produce heat and consequently a realignment of atoms.
"Where the two beams interfere destructively, nothing happens." (Data Proc. Mag. p. 21 (Sept. 1969)).
6.24 In the IBM-laser system developed for Army Electronics Command and installed at Fort Monmouth, it is noted that: "Through employment of a deflection technique, the shaft of light can be focused on 131,072 distinct points within a space smaller than a match head. . . . To provide a readout in printed form, the laser beam can scan through a mask inscribed with the alphabet and other symbols and-through the action. of light-bending (deflection) crystals- turn out the final product on photo-sensitive paper." (Commun. ACM 9, 467 (1966)).
"At International Business Machines Corp. . . . one method, devised for the Army Electronics Command, Fort Monmouth, N.J., makes use of a high-speed switching arrangement with electronically controlled crystals.
"Such a system could be used with a matrix containing alphabetical or other symbols. The laser would be used as a print-out device, projecting the various symbols onto a recording medium.
"The Air Force Systems Command at WrightPatterson AFB is interested in IBM's work on a variable frequency laser which might be used in conjunction with a color-sensitive computer. This type of setup is said to have a potential capacity of a hundred million bits per square inch of photographic material." (Serchuk, 1967, p. 34).
6.25 "Instead of recording a bit as a hole in a card, it is recorded on the file as a grating pattern of a certain spacing . . . A number of different grating patterns with different spacings can be superposed and when light passes through, each grating bends the light its characteristic amount, with the result that the pattern decodes itself . . . The new system allows for larger areas on the film to be used and lessens dust sensitivity and the possibility of dirt and scratch hazards." (Commun. ACM 9, No. 6, 467 (June 1966).)
6.26 "Recently Longuet-Higgins modeled temporal analogue of the property of holograms that allows a complete image to be constructed from only a portion of the hologram. In the present paper a more general analogue is discussed and two two-step transformations that imitate the recording-reconstruction sequence in holography are presented. The first transformation models the recall of an entire sequence from a fragment while the second is more like human memory in that it provides recall of only the part of the sequence that follows the keying fragment." (Gabor, 1969, abstract, p. 156).
6.27 “A new recording mechanism . . . consists of the switching of magnetization under the influence of a stress resulting from a heat gradient introduced by a very narrow light or electron beam. The mechanism is assumed to be magnetostriction with a rotation of the anisotrophy. The model presented and the criteria for recording are supported, at least in part, by experimental observations." (Kump and Chang, 1966, p. 259).
6.28 "In attempts to provide computers with previously unavailable amounts of archival (readonly) storage, various techniques involving optical and film technology have been employed to utilize the high information capacity of film (approximately 106 bits/in.2) and the high resolution and precision of lasers and electron beams. The trillion-bit IBM 1350 storage device, an offshoot of the 'Cypress' system, . . . uses 35 mm×70 mm silver halide film 'chips.'
"A total of 4.5 million bits are prerecorded on each chip by an electron beam. For readout, a plastic cell containing 32 film chips is transported to a selector, which picks the proper chip from among the 32; average access time to any of the 1012 bits is 6 seconds. After a chip is positioned, information is read using a flying-spot CRT scanner.