Is it possible for someone from pre-microchip tech like in the game Fallout 4 possible integrate their old vacuum tube bulky tech with our modern small computer boards?


closed as unclear what you're asking by Hohmannfan, JDługosz, Aify, Thucydides, Bellerophon Oct 9 '16 at 21:57

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    $\begingroup$ Nothing is impossible - Some Random Dude $\endgroup$ – dot_Sp0T Oct 9 '16 at 2:00
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    $\begingroup$ What research have you done to try to answer this question yourself before posting it here? $\endgroup$ – a CVn Oct 9 '16 at 9:47
  • $\begingroup$ If you want to get real fancy, it is possibly to make ICs using vacuum tech, cold cathode field emission in fact works quite well on the nanoscale. scitation.aip.org/content/aip/journal/apl/100/21/10.1063/… - 150nm vacuum tube transistors (modern bleeding edge silicon is 14nm) and made out of diamond no less $\endgroup$ – Samwise Oct 9 '16 at 20:23

There are some applications which mix the technology, for example the Line6 dt25 amplifier (http://line6.com/dt25/) uses solid state DSP modelling chips in the preamp section, with switchable configurations of vacuum tubes in the power amp stage.

Vacuum tubes are still quite common in audio amplification circuits, although few designs mix in modern DSP like this line 6 device. When pushed, the vacuum tubes distort the signal in a very pleasent, musical way which digital technology struggles to match. The sound of pushed tubes often feature in high tech, highly engineered professional audio devices, such as a Culture Vulture (http://www.thermionicculture.com/index.php/products/the-culture-vulture-1-17-192012-03-20-11-02-02-detail) although that doesn't have microchips afaik. Beyond the world of audio, there is very limited application and reason to choose vacuum tubes, since almost every feature besides the distortion has been replaced with more robust, cheaper and smaller alternatives.


We've done that for some time. We didn't move from tubes to chips overnight, there have always been issues with backwards compatibility. Digital logic is the same, whether it's implemented with vacuum tubes, silicon chips, or dominoes.

  • $\begingroup$ Consider how long the CRT (a vacuum tube) was the main type of computer display. $\endgroup$ – jamesqf Oct 9 '16 at 6:00
  • $\begingroup$ @jamesqf Consider that CRTs were once used briefly for computer memory (though I don't recall if it was ever done for transistor-based computers). $\endgroup$ – a CVn Oct 9 '16 at 9:46

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