Looking Back

May 22, 2008
Manufacturers See Upside

10 YEARS AGO — MAY 21, 1998

World’s smallest digital signal processor: The ADSP-2183 is a 16-bit digital signal processor that is half the size of any other DSP available. Developed by Analog Devices Inc., Norwood, Mass., it comes in a 144-ball chip package with a footprint of just 1 sq cm and is 1.25-mm high. The processor is considered efficient and expected to find use in portable equipment. Two other slightly larger chips carry 1.5 Mbits of on-chip SRAM.

30 YEARS AGO — MAY 25, 1978

Computer heckles chess opponent: Boris, a “talking” chess computer, is the result of major advancements in integrated-circuit technology. Distributed by Chafitz Inc., Rockville, Md., complex chess programs are combined with inexpensive postagestamp- size microprocessors. Boris was then taught how to take computer chess out of the laboratory and into the home. Boris challenges opponents using suitable skill levels and even “talks” to them, keeping them honest by flashing “Illegal Move” if you make one, “Congratulations” if you win, or “Stalemate” if it occurs. Boris also indulges in gamemanship by making such comments as, “I expected that,” “Is this a trap?”, or “Good move.”

50 YEARS AGO — MAY 15, 1958

Two-place VTOL, designed by Umbaugh Aircraft Corp., Ocala, Fla., is a new entry in the private aircraft market. Equipped with a pusher propeller, the new craft is fast — 100 mph — and safe, since the rotor is always in autogyration. It climbs 3,000 fpm, needs no airport, and gets 15 mpg. Total operating and maintenance cost is claimed to be 5 cents/mile. The craft can be converted for dusting, spraying, or cargo, and is available with floats. Umbaugh is tooled up to produce 1,000 units/month.

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