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1970: The First DRAMs - Computer Memory

An Illustrated History of Computer Memory
1970: The First DRAMs - Computer Memory

The first known DRAM chip ever developed was a 256-bit device created by Lee Boysel at Fairchild Semiconductor in 1968. Boysel later went on to found Four Phase Systems in 1969 and developed 1,024-bit and 2,048-bit DRAMs. Intel released the 1103, the industry's first mass-produced DRAM device, in 1970. The 1,024 bit chip was massively successful and turned into the world's best-selling semiconductor chip by 1972. In that year, Intel already had more than 1,000 employees and revenue of more than $23 million. HP's 9800 was the first commercially available computer that integrated the 1103. IBM followed and used it in the System 370/158.

The 1103 is remembered as the magnetic core memory killer and suddenly offered the industry an opportunity to store vast amounts of information on a single chip. DRAM began overtaking magnetic core memory in the second half of the 1970s.

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