Additron Tube

The Additron was an electron tube designed by Dr. Josef Kates, circa 1950, to replace the several individual electron tubes and support components required to perform the function of a single bit digital full adder. Dr. Kates developed the Additron with the intention of increasing the likelihood of success and reliability while reducing the size, power consumption and complexity of the University of Toronto Electronic Computer, a.k.a UTEC [Vardalas JN (2001)."The Computer Revolution in Canada" MIT Press, ISBN 0-262-22064-4]

The Additron neither went into production at the Canadian Rogers Vacuum Tube Company, where the prototypes were built, nor was it used in the UTEC machine. It did make a widely publicized appearance at the 1951 Canadian National Exhibition operating an electronic game of Tic-Tac-Toe, dubbed Bertie The Brain, to show the marvels of electronic computing.

The tube was registered with the Radio Television Manufacturing Association [ RTMA Engineering Department, Release #951, 20 March 1951 ] on 20 March 1951 as type 6047.

[Sibley L (2007). Weird Tube of the Month: The 6047" Tube Collector" 9 (5):20]

[Osborne CS (2008).The Additron: A Binary Full Adder in a Tube " Tube Collector" 10 (4):12]

Patents

*US patent|2784312

References


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