Jay W. Forrester
Born Jul 14 1918
Multicoordinate Digital Information Storage Device
Random Access Memory
Patent Number(s) 2,736,880
Jay W. Forrester was a pioneer in early digital computer development and invented random-access, coincident-current magnetic storage, which became the standard memory device for digital computers.
Random Access Memory (RAM) is a computer storage device which allows data to be accessed in any order, and Forrester’s original coincident current system was used in all computers until the development of static and dynamic RAM systems in the 1960s.
Coincident current system was a precursor to magnetic core memory which was invented by a teammate on MIT's Whirlwind project, Kenneth Olsen. This system used a small number of wires to control a large number of cores, and it depended on the magnetic properties of materials to perform switching and amplification. Forrester’s original attempts at core memory used ceramic bobbins and wires, but the system proved to be temperamental and unreliable.
Forrester’s inventions are the precursor to the modern computer and semiconductor industries today in the world.