Reply to post: Re: Beat the clock

This whopping 16-bit computer processor is being built by hand, transistor by transistor

Nigel 11

Re: Beat the clock

Those wires act as huge capacitors which need to charge and discharge on each cycle to allow the signal to stabilise.

Not huge.

The general rule for a signal to settle on a plain old wire is something like six times longer than the speed of light along the wire. (Or two to-and-fro bounces at 0.7c)

I've often wondered what is the optimum design for a discrete-transistor computer. Minimise the transistor count, build as small as possible, and clock as fast as possible, or go for wider buses and more transistors clocking more slowly? (Of course in the early days they went for small component counts, because transistors - germanium alloy junction ones - were significantly expensive, and suffered thermal runaway at fairly low temperatures so cooling really mattered. )

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