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AN/FSQ-7: the computer that shaped the Cold War by Bernd Ulmann

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5 Basic circuitry

The following sections focus on the basic circuitry used in AN/FSQ-7 – a necessary task for understanding and marveling the machine as such. While today’s abundant ultralarge scale integrated circuits280 easily contain hundreds of millions and even billions of active circuit elements in the form of transistors, a simplex AN/FSQ-7 had to make do with fewer than 30,000 vacuum tubes, resulting in a rather straightforward, yet quite powerful architecture for its time.

At first we will focus on the basic waveforms employed throughout the computer system, and a problem quite common in the era of AN/FSQ-7 and its solution will be detailed.

5.1 Introduction

Many of the circuits described in the following sections will look familiar ...

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