08
Jan
08

Wow, talk about handy work

Before there was the transistor, vacuum tubes were the high technology of electronics. I’ve never played with one myself, but one of these days may try to build something simple with it. Their warm glow like an incandescent bulb is very appealing in a nostalgic way.

While tubes and transistors are very different beasts in electronic circuits, you can think of their served function as roughly equivalent in scale, i.e. you’ll need one transistor to do the job of one vacuum tube.   Now with a Core 2 Duo CPU of today, you are getting about 300 Million transistors. So to do the same thing in tubes, you’ll need 300 million vacuum tubes. With a tube is about the size of a swollen thumb, and you can imagine the size of the beast that will take to perform what Intel put into the space of a 140mm x 140mm. Now to mention the amount of wiring needed, electricity used, light and heat generated and the infrastructure it would have taken to support such a montrosity.

Now go one step further, and see the video below on the steps needed to make ONE vacuum tube, and multiple it 300M times, and you may just blow your mind:

via hackaday

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