The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida on November 14, 1968 · Page 19
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November 14, 1968

A Publisher Extra Newspaper

The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida · Page 19

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West Palm Beach, Florida
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Thursday, November 14, 1968
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Page 19
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r Palm Beach Post.Thurs. November 14, 1968 B7 Computer For Home Foreseen REPEAT OF A SELLOUT By WILLIAM K. STEVENS im i-w York TlmM Nn Sc rvk-f NEW YOKK A Michigan inventor, in a news conference, described the production of electronic devices made from simple inexpensive glassy materials lhai are said to promise benefits beyond any under present transistor technology. Some of the world's leading solid-state physicists said they believe the discovery of the A How would you like to sleep on a bed of roses? Modern-age and Serta, makers of Perfect Sleeper, now offer their famous "Rose Petal" innerspring and foam rubber sleep sets at spectacular sale prices. "Rose Petal" feels as good as it looks because it has extra firm posture construction and every health feature possible through sound engineering and quality craftsmanship. The quilted floral "Rose" ticking is almost too pretty to cover. The sale prices give you an exceptional buy on quality "Serta" bedding. We suggest you hurry in as quantity is definitely limited! ': x , . W.JS 1 town- II PULL SIZE INNERSPRING AND FOAM RUBBER V.'v V FULL SIZE INNERSPRING AND FOAM RUBBER GREAT BUY! SERTA "ROSE PETAL" TWIN OR SLEEP SET Modernage gives you more sleep comfort and beauty for your money. Enjoy long wearing, comfort plus, handsome quilt covered luxury in a beautiful rose pattern design. r V ft COMPARE AT 15995 :-ii.-' lit I materials' electronic effect to be the most exciting development in their field in years. Devices smaller than one five-thousandth (0.0(102) of an inch across, or one-lhird the size of the smallest transistors, can be made from the materials, said the inventor, Stanford R. Ovshinsky, who is president of Knergy Conversion Devices Inc., of Troy, Mich. Such devices can be packed densely enough to produce a relatively inexpensive typewriter-size computer for home use that has the capacity of some of today's larger machines, said Ovshinsky. He said the company already has made computer circuits of the glass materials and is now building a small prototype computer using them. Ovshinsky's discovery is that each of thousands of glassy insulating compounds that normally block the flow of electricity, when excited by a certain "threshold" voltage, will suddenly switch states in less than IjO trillionths of a second and conduct a small amount of current. The action is something like the firing of a nerve cell. The threshold voltage depends on the thickness and the particular compound. Also depending on the composition of the material, which can easily be predetermined, it will return to its nonconducting state immediately, in which case it has performed as an electronic switch ; or will stay In the conducting state indefinitely, without further need for electrical energy from outside, in which case it has acted as a memory storage mechanism. The memory device can be restored to its previous state at any time by feeding It a pulse of current. This memory device is expected to be useful In computers. Ovshinsky said it can be "read"without wiping out the Information it carries; that no current is necessary to maintain the memory state, and that access can be gained to any given memory instantly. He said no existing computer memory has all these capabilities, although some have one or two. In any case, the glassy materials display the properties of semiconductors the not-quite-insulator, not-quite-con-ductor materials that are the backbone of today's transistorized post-vacuum-tube electronics. The technological of the discovery, Ovshinsky explained with obvious excitement during a news conference in Troy, Is partly that the glass switches and memory elements are far simpler, cheaper, easier to make and smaller than conventional semiconductor components. Unlike other semiconductors, the glass devices will pass current In two directions. To handle alternating current, the kind that comes into most homes, it is not therefore necessary to fabricate more com-olex and expensive devices from conventional semiconductors. Unlike conventional semiconductors again, 'Ovshinsky reported, the glass materials are unaffected by radiation. Knergy Conversion Devices, under one of four military contracts, is now developing radiation-proof computer circuits for use in the guidance systems of Air Korce missiles. Another promising application, the inventor believes, will be In flat screen television sets to be hung on the wall like pictures, long talked about but not yet realized. Operating on household alternating current, the "ovonic" devices so named by Ovshinsky can withstand the high voltages that must be borne by the switching elements thai would activate picture cells on an electroluminescent screen. Energy Conversion Devices, now Is working to develop this aspect of the technology under another military contract, a company officials said. In the company's modest one-story plant on the northern outskirts of Detroit, a pi lot production line has been set up in which workers turn out quantities of miniaturized devices in the form of glass film one-twentieth (0.05) the thickness of a human hair. This film, deposited chemically on a hard base and sandwiched between electrodes, will withstand much punishment. To jump on it Is not to destroy its workability. That is not true of transistors. Thin-film technology has been around for years, but has never achieved Its potential largely because ordlnarly semiconductor devices cannot be produced in that form. Entire circuits and entire computers can now be made on the film, said Ovshinsky. fill! 11 1- Jfet'JS ? SAVE NOW! 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