Artifact Details


Tobermory Perceptron analog core memory

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Physical Object


Object is a printed circuit board (PCB) panel with rows of magnetic cores installed. On the core side, "CORNELL B-B" is etched on the PCB. There is a piece of tape on the back with "8 & 9" written on it, and "LAND" written on the board in marker.

This analog-biased core memory plane was used in the Adaptive system ("A-unit," in modern terminology the "hidden layer" of a simple three layer feed forward neural network). Each core stored the weight of a connection between neural units. Being analog, the output response from each core had a roughly sigmoid or S-shaped curve to it, rather than a flat square jump as a digital core might have, and about a hundred different states could be read out of each core.

This was a component of the Tobermory Perceptron, the second of two perceptrons implemented in hardware by Frank Rosenblatt and his collaborators at the Cornell Aeronautical Laboratory in Buffalo, NY and Cornell University in Ithaca, NY, the other being its more famous precursor the Mark I Perceptron. Unlike the Mark I, which was built to model visual perception and pattern recognition, the Tobermory was built to model auditory pattern recognition.


overall: 5/8 in x 10 in x 17 in


Memory & storage/core


Gift of Dr. Bruce Robert Land

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