Section 2 Technology

Section 2.5

Computers in the Twenty Fourth Century

 The USS Enterprise NCC 1701 D has three main processing cores and though they may be used together any of the three is able to handle the primary operational computing load of the ship. To aid in computational speed each core generates a symmetrical subspace field via a series of miniature subspace field generators. This distortion is rated at 3,350 millicochranes and aides in trans-luminal processing. Each core has a memory capacity of 2,048 dedicated modules of 144 isolinear optical storage chips. Given that each isolinear chip is rated with a storage capacity of 2.15 kiloquads per chip. This scales to a storage capacity of: 634,060.8 for each module.

2,048 *  634,060.8 = 1,298,556,518.4 kiloquads

3 * 1298556518.4 = 3,895,669,555.2 kiloquads.

This is supplemented by 380 quadritronic optical subprocessors through out the ship.

(Sternbach and Okuda 1991)

Deep Space Nine is equipped with 104,976 class 4 isolinear rods with intermediate data caching performed by 8748 class 4 rods with 526 gigaquads supplemented by a Starfleet CPG. Now if Class 4 rods have a diameter of 7.43 cm and a length of 31.96 cm (Zimmerman et al. 1998) then they have a volume of :

Cylinder Volume defined by: pi r2h where pi approximates to: 3.1415926535897932384626433832795

Therefore we find the radius of the rod 7.43/2 = 3.715cm and square it. This is then multiplied by the length:

43.3578271*31.96 = 1385.71615317 cm3

The rods use a slightly older chromopolymer technologies employing 5.37 kiloquads per cubic centimetre thus giving:

7441.295742547 kiloquads per rod

This gives primary storage per core

781157461.8695935 kiloquads

Intermediate data per core

65096455.15579946 kiloquads

Total Deep Space Nine Storage

195289365.467398384153743636115213 + 2343472385.6087806098449236333824 +3(526,000) =


DS9 total storage capacity of::

4,116,761,751,076 quads of data. (to nearest quad integer) = 4.12 terraquds to 2 (d.p.)

 (Zimmerman et al. 1998)

Therefore:         NCC 1701 D has a storage capacity of: 3,895,669,555.2 kiloquads.

                        DS9 has a storage capacity of: 4,116,761,751.076  kiloquads.

That means that DS9 has 1.0568 times that of the Enterprise to five decimal places.


This is grossly underpowered compared to the USS Voyager and her support ships.

The typical storage capacity of a Type 2 shuttle is rated at 5 billion gigaquads of data. (Threshold) and from dialogue this figure can be uprated. Five billion gigaquads is slightly over 1 million times the storage capacity of the Enterprise. This is interesting as we know that these shuttles were in service at the same time as the 1701 D (Drone), and therefore can not really be considered a more advanced form of space craft. The Voyager, itself, uploads 20 million gigaquads of data circa 48900 (Twisted) (approx. 5000 times Enterprise’s storage capacity). In early 2375 the Borg hybrid One absorbed 47 billion terraquads of data from Voyager’s computers. This is approximately a billion times the total storage of the Enterprise D or DS9. As an aside the main processor on Voyager has access to 47 million data channels and can perform 575 trillion calculations per nanosecond. We are not told specifically how many calculations the Enterprise can perform only that she has a data access time of 4,600 kiloquads per second. As a comparison Lt. Commander Data has a computational speed of 60 trillion operations per second. Meaning the Voyager computer is just under 10 billion times faster than Data. Also we are told that Data has a storage capacity of 800 quadrillion bits or 100 quadrillion bytes, that equals 100 exabytes of data approximately 3 million times that of a large hardrive today. The most recent form of Federation tricorder has processors rated at 275 billion calculations per second (Zimmerman et al. 1998). This is 0.275 flops and below the computational speed of many of today's larger computer systems. Voyager is capable of operating for extended periods in the absence of the main processor with systems functioning at half capacity.

It is interesting to note that in a three year period up to circa 32634.9 the (U)SS Raven was able to collect 10 million terraquads of data. Given that this ship was commissioned long before the launch of the Galaxy class it is hard to understand how it was able to store nearly three times as much information in a core very much smaller than that of the Enterprise.

During normal operations Voyager must operate with at least 50 gigaquads of memory free given that this memory is temporarily used when the Doctor attempts to reintegrate Chakotay’s consciousness in 2372 (Cathexis).

EMH Programme AK1 Diagnostic and Surgical Subroutine Omega 323 has a programme size of 50 million gigaquads of data. This single programme would not fit onto the Enterprise given that it alone is some 12,800 times larger than the ship’s storage capacity. It is interesting to note what measures were taken in 2373 aboard DS9 to allow Doctor Zimmerman to work on the EMH Mark 2 given that the programme without subroutine is some ten thousand times the size of the storage facility of the starbase. (Doctor Bashir I Presume). Also one should note that by 50252.3  The Doctor’s personality subroutine had grown to over 15,000 gigaquads of data. (The Swarm). What is interesting is that the Federation subspace relays have a maximum transfer rate of 18.5 kiloquads per second. It is therefore interesting to note how the Doctor was uploaded and downloaded between USS Voyager and USS Prometheus circa 51600. At this speed the download would have taken

 50,015,000,000,000,000 / 18,500 = 2,703,513,513,513.514 seconds.

Which is approximately 85670.1118305625952526945282512763 years

85,670 years 40 days 19 hours 38 minutes and 8 seconds.

 The USS Defiant, meanwhile, has a computer core consisting of twin isolinear processors with a total storage capacity of 246,870, kiloquads, meaning the Galaxy Class ship has some 15,780.245 (3 dp) times the storage capacity of the Defiant. Given that this is split by three core one could argue that the Defiant’s core is only 1/5260 that of the Enterprise’s.


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