Artifact Details


IBM Chips - 512k RAM chip

Catalog Number



Still Image


Black and white. Photograph is of a bunch of gray rectangles on a dark gray board, on a white background. There are 32 larger rectangles in the photograph. The verso reads: "FOR RELEASE: Immediate, IBM Corporation, Essex Junction, Vermont, 05452, (802) 769-7021 Maui, September 14, 1983 . . . An experimental 512k-bit random access memory chip has been fabricated at IBM's semiconductor facility in Essex Junction, Vermont. The new chip holds nearly twice as much data as any chip yet reported. Measuring approximately 3/8 inch on a side, information can be retrieved from anywhere on the chip in 120 nanoseconds (billionths of a second). An unusual way of reading data out of the memory cells increases the chip density and reliability while maintaining high performance. The technique, which has never before been used in a complete chip, is known as "plate-pushing". It works by forcing additional electrical charge out of the storage capacitors, thereby creating a stronger signal than is obtainable with conventional methods. This makes it possible to use a smaller capacitor, which reduces the size of the cell, making possible a denser chip. The availability of extra charge also provides increased protection from ionizing radiation, which can cause a clel to lose charge. The chip is designed so that one, two, or four bits of data can be accessed simultaneously, thereby widening its range of potential applications."


International Business Machines Corporation (IBM)

Identifying Numbers

Other number 1276


8 x 10 in.


Photographic print


Identification photograph; Publicity photograph


Computer industry--History; Electronic data processing--History; Computers--History


Courtesy of Gwen Bell

Lot Number