I believe the Nike Zeus
program also used transistors. What are your recollections of this work?
By the time of the Nike Zeus
project, transistor development had made great progress and several types
of junction transistors were available.
The germanium, diffused junction 2N559 was chosen over other types,
including silicon, because at the time we felt comfortable with it. It was one of the first designs available
that met our requirements for fan-out, speed, etc., and Western Electric
had demonstrated their ability to manufacture them in quantity.
I recall meetings with
device designers where various parametric trade-offs were debated. I had developed worst-case equations for
the RCTL logic used in Zeus and as different leakage currents and beta
combinations were proposed, I would plug the parameters into the equations
to be sure we preserved our fan-out requirements. The calculations were made with my
"trusty" sliderule. (A
laptop would have been nice.)
How were the 2N559 transistor
circuit packs deployed into Nike Zeus?
The Nike Zeus circuit pack shown in this Oral History (page 7) was
referred to as an "A" module.
The system also used a small number of circuit packs which were
twice the size of the "A" module.
They were referred to as "B" modules.