qlwiki:sinclair_wafer_ram_expansion

Sinclair Wafer RAM Expansion

The Sinclair Wafer RAM Expansion was to be the first product by Sinclair Research Ltd which used Wafer Scale Integration.

Wafer Scale Integration was an idea which had been around for many years, whereby instead of breaking a silicon wafer into small pieces, which are used to form a silicon chip, the circuit occupies the whole surface area of the silicon wafer (several inches across).

Integrated logic control (invented by Ivor Catt) is then used to bypass any parts of the silicon wafer which are found to be faulty, and the circuit re-routed.

The benefit of this was to be reduced price (as splitting parts off the wafer and testing individual chips was expensive), plus speed of operation.

The wafer scale integration was reported to be progressing well with an expected 512K memory card for the Sinclair QL planned as the first product, with a price of around £200. It was planned that it would be battery backed, so that it could store data when the power was switched off, turning it into a fast replacement for a Winchester hard disk.

Unfortunately, the project appears to have been abandoned, as the world price for standard memory chips collapsed, making them much more affordable.


External view View of the PCB Wafer close-up

(Images above reproduced with kind permission of the Centre for Computing History)

Title: Sinclair Wafer RAM Expansion
Interface Type: Memory expansion
Connection: QL Expansion Port
Through-Connector: No
Manufacturer: Sinclair Research Ltd
Year First Sold: Never
Original Price: Unknown - expected to be between £200 and £400
Reviews: Unknown
Download Manual: Unknown
Accompanying Software: None

  • qlwiki/sinclair_wafer_ram_expansion.txt
  • Last modified: 2018/04/07 23:11
  • by brendanalford