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Патент USA US3039093

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June 12, 1962
3,039,083
R. C. MlNNlCK ETAL
MULTI-BIT NON-DESTRUCTIVE MEMORY READOUT APPARATUS
2 Sheets-Sheet 1
Filed oct. 28, 1957
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June 12, 1962
R. C. MINNICK ETAL
3,039,083
MULTI-BIT NON-DESTRUCTIVE MEMORY READOUT APPARATUS
2 Sheets-Sheet 2
Filed Oct. 28, 1957
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3,339,983
Patented June 12, 1962
2
3,039,083
MULTl-Bl'l‘ NGN-DESTRUCTEVE MEMORY
READGUT APPARATUS
Robert C. Minnick, Arcadia, Calif., and .lohn E. Mekota,
a core array may be simultaneously interrogated by utiliz
ing a plurality of RF signals. The selection of the RF
signals is important for the reason that when a number
of RF signal-s are applied to a number of selection wires
in any particular array, it is essential that the difference
well Regulator Company, Minneapolis, Minn., a cor
frequencies for any two RF selection signals be different
`than the difference frequency of any other two RF selec
poration of Delaware
Filed 0st. 28, 1957, Ser. No. 692,868
2 Claims. (Cl. Mtl-_174)
tion signals. Further, the difference frequencies between
any two selection frequencies, other than those for select
A general object of the present invention is to provide
frequency band so as to avoid interference with valid in
formation that may be read from the core array.
Jr., Belmont, Mass., assignors to Minneapoiis-Honey
a new and improved apparatus for the storage of digital
information.
More particularly, the present invention
ing a particular core, must be outside of a predetermined
It is accordingly another more specific object of the
present invention tot provide a simultaneous access mem
is concerned with an improved digital data storage
ory circuit utilizing a plurality of RF signal sources
apparatus or memory circuit which is characterized
selected so that their difference frequencies may be used
by its being capable of providing simultaneous access to
to uniquely define a number of locations in the memory
a number of storage locations in the memory circuit
circuit `and other unwanted signals will be disregarded.
without destroying the data stored therein.
The foregoing objects and features of novelty which
In certain fields of digital data processing, there has
20 characterize the invention as well as other objects of the
occurred Vthe need for numerous data processing ma
invention are pointed out with particularity in the claims
chines to operate upon a particular data processing prob
annexed to and forming a part of the present specifica
lern. When programmed data processing machines are
tion. For a better understanding of the invention, its
used, standardization of the orders or directions for the
advantages and specific objects attained with its' use,
machine permits these orders or directions lto be stored 25 reference should be had to the accompanying drawings
in a common location. Further, the operands used may
and descriptive matter in which there is illustrated and
also be needed in more than one machine and con
described ya preferred embodiment of the invention.
sequently they may be stored in a common location. Con
0f the drawings:
sequently, with a common memory system for a number
FIGURE 1 is a diagrammatic representation of a rep
of data processing machines, it is' possible to consider 30 resentative memory plane and the associated input and
ably reduce the amount of memory circuitry required
output circuitry; and
for any one installation.
FIGU-RE 2 is a further diagrammatic showing of the
logical circuitry utilized on the input address selection
pair -of operands of an arithmetic operation in order to 35 circuits.
Referring ñrst to FIGURE 1, the numeral 10 repre
»speed up the processing of that information in a single
sents
a memory plane which comprises a plurality of
data processing machine. Further, it may also be de
magnetic storage elements arranged in an array. The
sirable to select the control order for tho-se operands,
elements of the array `are positioned in rows and columns
‘In another `area in the data processing field, it is some
times desirable `to have the simultaneous access of a
or possibly the next control order »to be performed after
for ease of identification and location.
The magnetic
these operands have been used, and the simultaneous 40 elements in the array may well be any suitable ferro
selection of the next order at the time that the operands
are selected yields a further advantage in time in the han
dling of any particular data processing problem.
inasmuch as simultaneous access may be made to a
memory circuit by a number of machines, it may be
desired that the information which is read be retained
in an active state in the memory circuit so that it will be
available the next time an inquiry is made in the memory
circuit.
Consequently, it is desirable that a simultane
ous access system be provided wherein a read out from
the memory circuit is nondestructive.
It is Iaccordingly a more specific object of the present
invention to provide a simultaneous access memory cir
cuit utilizing storage elements which may be interrogated
by one or more interrogating circuits without destroying
the information in the elements.
In an article entitled “A Radio-Frequency Non-Dc
electric type core material which takes the form of pre
formed toroidal cores, deposited cores, or the like. The
material of the cores is preferably of the type having a
relatively high residual magnetism as characteristically
present in materials having a rectangular hysteresis charac
teristic. The array l0 may be seen to comprise ñve hor
izontal or X axis selection wires, X1, X2, X3, X4, and X5.
The «array lll may also be seen to comprise ñve vertical
or Y axis selection wires Y1, Y2, Y3, Y4, and Y5. At
the intersection of each of these X axis `and Y `axis selec
tion wires, there is positioned a magnetic core element
which is adapted to be set in one or the other of two
stable states. The two stable states of each storage ele
ment are conventionally used to indicate the storage of
a binary zero or a binary one depending upon the par
ticular stable state to which the element may be switched.
In order to sense the signals stored in lthe cores of the
structive Readout for Magnetic-Core Memories” by Ber
array 1li, there is provided a sense winding S which is
nard Widrow in the December 1954 Transactions of the
adapted to intercept all of the cores of the array.
I.R.E., starting at page 12, there is disclosed a memory 60
The array 10 as described thus far may be considered
interrogating circuit utilizing two diñering RF signals
to be of the basic type disclosed by l. W. Forrester in
which are applied to a pair of selection wires uniquely
an article entitled, “Digital Information Storage in
common to a magnetic core which is placed at the inter
section of the two selection wires. A sense wire passed
through the core will have a signal on the output which
is representative of the difference frequency between the
two RF signals land will be of one phase or of a phase
180° displaced therefrom depending upon the state of the
residual magnetism of the magnetic core.
Three Dimensions Using Magnetic Cores” in the Journal
of Applied Physics, volume 22, pages 44-48, lanuary
1951. In a core array of the type discussed by For
rester, the writing of information into any one particu
lar core may be effected by the simultaneous applica
tion of a select signal to the horizontal and vertical select
wire which is common to the particular core to be se
It has been found that a number of magnetic cores in 70 lected. This generally involves the application of a half
3,039,083
select current to each of the two select wires so that a full
select current will be present and will switch the core from
one stable state to the other. This type of memory array is
frequencies f6 and f1, this is the only core location that
provided means for permitting the simultaneous access to
The detection circuit D3 may be reading the data at
the detector is permitted to interrogate at any one in
stant. However, it is possible Ifor more than one de
sometimes referred to as a coincident-current memory
tector circuit to interrogate the same core. Thus, the
circuit. There must be coincidence of signals on the Ul detection circuit D2 may also Ibe interrogating the core
select wires common to a core in order to effect a
located at the intersection of the X1 and Y1 selection
switching of the core. lInsofar as the present invention
wires. The inteirogation for the detection circuit D2
is concerned, it is assumed that the cores in the array
`will be by way of the frequencies f7 and f2 so that the
10 have been previously Set or reset to indicate the stor
difference frequency, which is different than the difference
age of information bits in accordance with desired loca
lfrequency for the detection circuit D1, may also be read
tions in the array.
and used to determine the status of the core at that ad
As pointed out above, it is desirable that there be
dress location.
a number of locations in the array at any one instant.
some other location such as the core location defined by
It is further desired that this access be performed with 15 the intersection of the selection wires X3 and Y5. The
out destroying the information which is stored in the
Ifrequencies used in this instance will be f8 and f3 so that
array. This is achieved in the present invention by utiliz
the difference frequency will be passed through the tuned
ing RF frequencies which are adapted to 'be selectively
amplifier 18 to `detector circuit 23. It will lbe apparent
applied to the desired selection wires in the horizontal and
from the circuitry illustrated in FIGURE l that the de
vertical dimensions in order to produce a difference fre
tection circuits D1 and D5 may likewise be observing
quency which will be picked up in the sense wire S
any one desired core location in the array.
and whose phase will be indicative of whether or not a
binary one or binary zero has been stored in the core
As described in the aforementioned article by Widrow,
the phase detector output may take the Vform of a pulse
selected.
when the phase of the respective difference `frequencies
In order to achieve the desired simultaneous access 25 indicates a “one” is present in the core location interro
in the present invention, a plurality of RF frequency
gated. The phase detector output will be zero or no
sources f1-f5 have been provided for selective applica
pulse when there is a “zero” stored in the particular
tion to the X address select lines X1, X2, X3, X4 and X5.
core location interrogated.
The vertical selection wires have associated therewith a
Referring to FIGURE 2, there is here illustrated a
plurality of RF frequency sources having frequency des 30 more detailed logical circuitry rfor selecting a particular
ignations fG-fm. The Ifrequency sources and the address
core location in the array 10. For purposes of illustra-~
selection circuitry is more fully described in connection
tion, only four cores from the array 10 have been illus
with FIGURE 2. Continuing in FIGURE 1, the sense
trated in FIGURE 2 and these cores are identified by the
wire S is connected so that the signals picked up in the
numerals 30, 31, 32, and 33. The core 30 is positioned
sense Wire S are applied to a wide band amplifier 15 35 at the intersection of the horizontal select wire X1 and
which raises the signal levels from the sense wire so
the vertical select wire Y1. Core `31 is positioned at the
that the signals may be applied to a plurality of tuned
intersection of the select wires X1 and Y2. The core 32
amplifiers 16, 17, 18, 19 and 20, all having their inputs
is positioned at the intersection of the core select lines
connected to the output of the amplifier 15, the latter
X2 and Y1 while the core 33 is positioned at the inter
being used in those instances Where the signal level from 40 section of the select lines X2 and Y2.
the sense Wire requires such.
Each select wire has connected thereto ñve “AND” gate
The tuned amplifier 16 has its output connected to a
circuits, any one of which, when activated by its input gate
suitable phase detector 21. The ampliñer 17 has its
legs, is capable of passing the desired radio frequency
output connected to a phase detector 22. The amplifiers
signal through to the selection Wire. Thus, the select
18, 19 and 2.6 each have their outputs connected to phase 45 wire X1 has connected thereto five gating circuits 35, 36,
detectors 23, 24 and 25 respectively. Each tuned am
37, 38, and 39. The 4gate 3S has connected to the input
pliñer and associated phase detector may be considered
thereof two signal lines, the first being from the radio
a part of a unit detection circuit. Thus D1 identities
frequency source f1 and the other being :from an X1
the dete-ction circuit which includes the ampliíier 16 and
address selection line for the detector D1. The gate 36
the detector 21 and may serve as the communicating 50 has two inputs, one being from the second radio `frequency
link to a particular data processing apparatus, not shown.
source f2 and the other :being from the X1 address se
The amplifier 17 and the detector 22 may be considered
lection line for the detector circuit D2. The gate 37 has
as a part of the detection circuit D2. ’I‘he amplifier 18
two inputs, the ñrst being from the RF source f3 and the
of the phase `detector 23 may likewise be considered
second being from the address selection circuitry >for the
a part of the Idetection circuit D1. Detection circuits D4 55 detector D3 ‘for the X1 line. The gate circuit 38 has an
and D5 will 'be seen to comprise the amplifier 19 and
input from the RF source f1 and a further input from
detector 24, and the amplifier 20 and detector 25, re
the detector circuit address selection line for the de
spectively.
tector D4. The gate 39 has two inputs, one being from
_ Each of the tuned ampliñers 16-20 is tuned to pro
the R>F source f5 and the other being from the detection
vide a very narrow band pass such that `only the difference
frequency of two predetermined RF signals from the
selection circuitry may pass. Thus, the tuned amplifier
16 will respond only to the dilîerence frequencies defined
by the difference between the RF signals jfs-f1. Ampli
60
circuit D5 for the address selection circuitry for the line
X1. It will be apparent that other forms of selection
circuits maybe used in lieu of the gates which have been
illustrated.
It will be apparent that the gating circuits for Ithe other
:ñer 17 is tuned to respond only to the difference frc 65
selection
lines correspond to those of the selection line
quency defined by f2-f2. As illustrated in the drawing,
X1. It should further be noted that only two RF sig
the amplifier 18 is tuned to the diiference frequency be
nals are associated with each `detection circuit, in the
tween fS-f3, the ampliñer 19 is tuned to the difference
manner set forth in FIGURE l. Thus, the detection cir
frequency between ,fg-)21, and the amplifier 20 is tuned
cuití1 D1 has only the RF sources f6 and ¿f1 associated there
to the difference frequency between f10~f5~
70 wit .
In operating the circuit of FIGURE l, it is essential
It will :be readily apparent that any one `or more of the
that a device associated with a detection circuit interro
four cores illustrated in FIGURE 2 may be simultaneously
selected by one or more of the ñve detection circuits
the circuit D1 is interrogating the core located at the
Thus, all of the cores may have selection sig
intersection of the selection wires X1 and Y1, and with 75 D1-D5.
nals applied thereto. The following table will serve to
gate’only one core location at a time. In other Words, if
3,039,083
5
illustrate one manner in which the cores 30-33 may be
iyi+1=wi+1+f+(i+1)ö
ri-l-1=vvi-l-2f-l-(Wfl-H95]Í
interrogated by the circuits illustrated in FIGURE 2:
Difference
Detection Circuit
Desired
Core
Address
Lines
6
These relations can be shown to become:
The solutions to these diiference equations are:
Frequency
Oax/_ganse
1re
30
33
10
32
The final equations represent the result. To illustrate,
suppose the number of positions n to be interrogated is 3;
then ta‘bulate the magnitude of all the frequency dif
ferences of (x1, x2, x3, y1, y2, ys) where acl-:fb x2=f2,
3l
32
It will be readily apparent that this selection may be
changed around in any desired manner, or extended to a
x3=f3, y1=f6, )72:67, and y3:fg, to equate the Íaib‘le to
the ldescription of IFIGURES 1 Iand 2. Using the «fore
going equations, the yfollowing table may be developed:
Frequency Comparison Table
The underlined entries represent frequencies in the
complete array where there are a large’num‘ber of cores
valid band. The others are outside the band. From this
in the array.
One of the essential features in utilizing a circuit of 30 table, it will be seen that for detector circuit D1, the X
and can not be detected or cause erroneous information
axis frequency is f1. The Y axis frequency for the de
tector circuit D1 will be f6 or fl-l-f-i-ö. The difference
frequency will then be f-i-ö which -is a frequency in the
desired band. The other frequencies for differences be
tween f6 and f2 or f3 will be outside the desired band.
lt will be apparent that the principles set forth in the
foregoing table and the limits of the table itself may be
extended to a large number of frequency differences and
that the principles of the invention are applicable to
Y select wires. A given pair of signals (xi, y1) identify
apparatus described without departing from the spirit
the present type is the proper selection of the RF signals
used with the various selection wires. The reason for
this will be apparent when it is noted that there is such
a large number of radio frequency signals which may
be circulating in the memory on any one instant.
Thus,
the frequency selected must be such that Ithe difference
frequencies will always »fall within the `desired band pass
and any unwanted frequency will lbe outside of the range
to be indicated on the phase detectors, as illustrated in 40Y`a simultaneous access system including a number of
points far in excess of the five which have been discussed
FIGURE l.
The selection of frequencies to :be used in any one type
herein.
of array 'may lbe generalized in the following manner:
While, in accordance with the provisions of the statutes,
Assume one or more of .YL-RF frequencies x1, x2, .
there has been illustrated and described the best forms
xn, to be applied to any one or more of the X select wires,
of the invention known, it will be apparent tto those
and similarly for n frequencies y1, y2, . . . yn, on the
skilled in the »art that changes may be made in the
the source i of the interrogation. An appropriate filter
on the output line will separate out the information (a
phase at frequency lx1-wil) as to the state of the inter
of the invention as set fonth in the appended claims and
that in some cases, certain features of the invention may
be used to advantage without a corresponding use of
rogated core.
other features.
To determine the RF frequencies needed for such a
Having now described the invention, what is claimed as
complete system, there is no loss in generality in as
new and novel and for which it is desired to secure by
suming xi+1>xì and yi+1>yi and yi>xì. Further, the
Letters Patent ist:
results will be determined in terms of the arbitrary fre 55
1. Apparatus for simultaneously and non-destructively
quency x1. The n frequencies on the output wires will
interrogating -a plurality of electrical storage elements hav
be f-l-ö, f-i-Zö, . . . f-l-nö, where f and ö are arbitrary
frequencies. The equations which relate the frequencies
ing substantially rectangular hysteresis characteristics
and being arranged to form a multiple bit digital data
storage means comprising first and second oscillating
First, the expression for the existence of n valid chan-l 60 signal sources, said ñrst tand second signal sources being
are:
selected to have an output frequency such that the dif
ference frequency is of a first value, third and fourth
oscillating signal sources, said third and fourth signal
Second, the expression of the condition that difference
frequencies resulting from Wires xi and y1 (ieéj) crossing, 65 sources being selected to have an output frequency such
that the difference frequency is of a second value dif
be outside the valid band:
ferent than said first value, said difference frequencies
Furthermore, if two external ydevices interrogate the
same wire simultaneously, difference frequencies are
of said first and second values being within a desired
frequency band `and all other difference frequencies be
tween the signal sources being outside of said frequency
be outside the band. `But we have required that xi+1>x1
to said storage means, each combination of two of said
formed ofthe sort Ixf-xjl, and lyi-yjh These also must 70 band, a plurality of selection lines selectively coupled
and yi+1>yb so this requirement is expressed by:
selection lines uniquely defining the position of a stor
age element in said storage means, a plurality of address
75 selection means connected to said selection lines and
3,039,083
7
«adapted to connect'simultaneously selected ones of said
oscillating signal sources to the storage elements to be
sensed, a single sense line coupled to the storage elements
in said storage means, and a plurality of difference fre
quency sensitive means connected to said sense line, said
frequency sensitive means each being tuned to the dif
ference frequencies of said first and second values from
said signal sources within said desired frequency band.
2. Apparatus for simultaneously interrogating a plu
rality of bistable electrical storage elements having sub 10
st-antìally rectangular hysteresis characteristics and being
arranged to form a multiple bit digital data storage means
comprising la plurality of oscillating signal sources, said
signal sources being selected in operational pairs so that
the diiference frequency of each operational pair is dif
ferent than the difference frequency of any other opera
tional pair and is Within a desired frequency band and
all other difference `frequencies of all of said signal sources
considered with respect to each of said signal sources
other than from each operational pair are outside of 20
sai-d frequency band, a plurality of selection lines for
said storage means, each combination of two or" said
selection lines uniquely deñning the position of a storage
element in said storage means, a plurality of address
8
selection means connected to said selection lines and
«adapted to connect selected ones of said operational pairs
to the storage elements to be selected, `a single sense line
coupled to the storage elements in said storage means,
and a plurality of frequency sensitive means connected
to said sense line, said frequency sensitive means each
being tuned to selected diiference frequencies from said
signal sources within said desired frequency band.
References Cited in the file of this patent
UNITED STATES PATENTS
2,408,692
2,578,133
Shore _________________ __. Oct, 1, 1946
Hawkins _____________ __ Dec. 11, 1951
2,658,942
2,668,283
2,845,611
Durkee _____________ __ NOV. 10, 1953
Mullin _______________ .__ Feb. 2, 1954
Williams ____________ __ July 29, 1958
OTHER REFERENCES
“A Radio-Frequency Nondestructive Readout for Mag
netic Core Memories” by B. Widrow, published “IRE
Transactions-Electronic Computers,” vol. EC-3, issue 4,
December 1954, pp. 12~15.
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