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Future designs? Present restrictions?
Old 2nd February 2003
Future designs? Present restrictions?

I know a while back computer folks were talking of super cooled microchips being 'the next stage' in achiving better / faster computers....

Are there any tech advances hardware designers are looking forward to?

Price drops in components?
Old 2nd February 2003
Little Labs
littlelabs's Avatar
🎧 20 years
I have had lengthy discussion with my Pop on the subject. He is a low temperature Physicist retired from teaching at Stanford. His company MMR technologies is a leader in micro miniature refrigeration used for low noise amplifiers and computer cooling as well as other applications. MMR's computer partner kryotech was selling super fast computers with cryocooling but retired them because the newer chips got faster on their own without the cooling. A ceiling was reached where other limiting factors were involved and the cooling wouldn't help. See

Anyway the low noise amplifier aspect is cool (nyuch nyuch)and a joule thomson refrigerator will help, but good analog design can be pretty damn low noise, as quiet as you need for audio, without cooling.

All the components, like musical notes, for amazing analog design are out there. It just takes the right composer to put them together to make a master piece.

Digital we'll see much more building blocks from people like Crystal and AKM, and DSD will be a big part of it. Maybe soon it will be as fun to design as Analog. Creative design geniuses like Daniel Weiss, who have already an ahh inspiring grasp on digital as it pertains to music have a big lead.

Components building block ICs (digital A to Ds etc. ) will get cheaper probably discrete transistors will get harder to find and more expensive. Speaking of hard to find does anyone have a lead on the 6383 tubes for my three fairchilds (that don't cost a ****in months pay).
Old 3rd February 2003
Registered User
🎧 20 years
I found the 6383 listed at the following site:

I've never done business with them, just one of the tube vendors in my favorites file.
Old 6th February 2003
Smart Research
🎧 15 years
Yes, the milestones would seem to be in further large integration of digital functionality into chip form: Crystal Semis and other Audio specialists....analogue elctronics is pretty well covered. (Though I have an oddity to check with Jonathon when I get back to the office next week)

Without any real experience myself, I get the impression that with the digital audio fundamentals we are approaching the top of the curve. We get to do twice as much at double the clock speed as it increases, but for me the issue has been in design priorities shifting within whats currently available anyhow, just like analogue. For instance, processing delays. Using oem DSP's, I think we are now sorted in the speed debate, because how the code is written allows for huge of variation in how long it takes to run. Any fool can build complex things, but to simplify for maximum advantage takes real skill...which is rare. (Ask Rich Feynmann, talking of physycists..)

as Erik touched on in the Replicator thread, less is more. And, digital audio equipment designed to be used for real time work that you cannot re-combine signals in/from because of varying phase errors just hasnt grown up properly yet !


PS, jonathon, on the subject of noise reduction via cooling, only some of noise components may be thermally reduced. I think for mic pre's the crux will prove to be if transistor base spreading impedance noise is one of them, and, there sure is room for improvement. One doesnt need to invoke rare devices to do this either, as the same thermo-electric devices commonly used in beer coolers do a fine job for 20 degrees or so... !

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