One interesting part of my life was my involvement in Project Lightning.

For most of my life, stuff related to this was classified secret or higher, but I’ve learned that the existence of the project is now declassified.

As a young engineer, I worked on Project Lightning, phase 2 during 1961 and 1962.

I may be the first person to build logic subsystems that worked at a speed of 1 Gigahertz, though, at that time, the word Gigahertz didn’t exist; we used the term Kilomegacycle.

RCA’s part of the project involved trying to make computer logic capable of working at the 1 Ghz. Rate, but without using standard components such as transistors. The reason was that progress in transistor logic speed would improve without the need of a special directed project.

My work involved using 2-terminal Tunnel-Diodes with a goal of inventing and creating logic elements and a working subsystem. Computer logic, at that time ran, at 1 to 10 MHz. Other people at RCA worked on making modest speed improvements, such as to 150 to 450 MHz. I had the opportunity to actually try to make things that ran at the goal of 1 Kilomegacycle. In 1962.

As far as I know, the logic subsystem I built was the only piece of computer hardware delivered to NSA (as part of project lightning) that worked at the full target speed. It involved coaxial cable interconnections between logic gates and 3-dimensional construction and interconnection of the components of the logic gates.

While it is only recently that I feel comfortable talking about the project (and its existence), this part of my life left me very comfortable dealing with high-speed logic and computing, for example in the, much later in my career, RCA digital TV tuning system that had pieces that had to operate at 1.3 Ghz.

There was a letter published in the Proceedings of the IEEE in April, 1963 that mentions a serial memory that I made operating at 1 Kilomegacycle.