"Big Mess of Wires" Homemade CPU is Just That

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jvc08

this all mean that we are not all dependent on machines for all things. we can actually achive something very complicated, if we put our minds to it.

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ghot

Back in the day.....circa 1979  I saw one of the militarys first CPU's and it looked remarkably similar..... however it had been mass produced...somewhat... and was constructed with smaller wires....and it was OLD...so old they epoxied it to protect it.

I agree...this is a clear case of..."it's the journey, not the destination.  I read a lotta comments dissing this project....all I can say is:   Lets see one of you nay-sayers do something like this.

Whats next Steve....optical neural   :)

 

 

Take an OS, and edit out all the efficiency, and what you have left is a post-XP Microsoft operating system :)

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sirbobsalot543

Once he overclocks this thing it could probably play pong at 2fps

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ironsmyth777

 I was part of a project that built a motherboard once by soldering components to a circuit board and lots of wires strung from here to there for the various components (on which we ran DOS and Linux, it was built in '96) so I can tell you how difficult this is. This is more impressive than what we did by a long shot! We never considered building a processor, it was hard enough figuring out the pins on the processor (a Cyrix 486@ 66 mhz) :-)

For the record, I strongly agree that a project of this type is about the journey, not the destination. Kudos to this guy!

 

 

"You don't build a reputation on what your going to do."- Henry Ford

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Vano

Very and very impressive.

 

Specs

* Current clock speed is 2MHz. It could theoretically go to about 3MHz (untested).
* 512 KBytes of RAM, 512 KBytes of ROM.
* Power draw is 10 Watts, 2.0A at 5V.
* VGA video output is 512×480 with two colors, or 128×240 with 256 colors.
* Audio and music is provided by a three-voice programmable sound generator.
* Keyboard input is a standard PC keyboard with PS/2 connector.
* Debug display is a 24×2 character text LCD.
* There are roughly 1250 wires connecting the components, so 2500 individual hand-turned wire wraps.

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nightkiller

It's got to be EMP proof.

 You choose a flightless bird as a mascot and wonder why it doesn't take off?

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GreenTurtle

....and my friends thought I was hardcore cuz' I soldered some stuff. LOL!!!

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winmaster

Is there a video anywhere? YouTube perhaps? 

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 

The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.

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dc10ten

but can it run crysis?

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Keith E. Whisman

No matter the video card I think the CPU is going to be a bottleneck here. Perhaps we should be comparing this performance wise to a calculator. Not even a Texas Instruments calculator but perhaps a cheap Chinese solar powered ruler and calculator combo tool. Yes compare those two processors.

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konata

Very very sorry.

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bingojubes

now if he could only figure out how to make more of those faster and smaller, he could get into a serious business.

that is some cool processing power!

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bjtalbot

Anyone who has ever wirewrapped any kind of circuit will appreciate the time and effort that went into this.

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logicmaster2003

Wasn't that kinda a waste of time and money to build an 8-bit computer ?  Both $1,000 and 18 months of his life ! Its like re-inventing the wheel with predictable results

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Keith E. Whisman

It's actually pretty cool. He did it with wires and open circuits instead of Integrated Circuits. Thousands of wires and circuits for the transistors. Pretty neat. A very large CPU. This would be one of those things to show people just how a CPU works. I think it's awesome. It reminds me of those plastic model V8 engines that ran off batteries and were made with clear plastic so you can see how everything in an engine works.  

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bjtalbot

This was one of those - "it's the journey, not the destination" type of project

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Devo85x

I wish I was smart enough to do this :(

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Keith E. Whisman

Thats really cool. Is it an X86 based CPU? Does he have a license from Intel to make to build this project? Do you need permission from a patent holder to make something that is already patented but not going to sell it? Fair Use?

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jcollins

As explained in the Wired article, it's closest to a processor in the Apple II/Commodore/Atari video game console from back in the day, not Intel. 

Re. patents, in general, yes, you need approval.  However, for the most part, the patent holders won't go after you if you aren't making money and not doing things that negatively impact them.  It just costs too much for too little gain.

 

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neo1piv14

Umm, I think that's actually a CPU that he made himself. Not an intel chip. At least I'm assuming I read that right. 

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linkmaster6

Think of it like writing a story, even you wrote the story by hand it doesn't matter if its the same story someone else wrote

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SEALBoy

Correct, but if he wants the chip to run Windows, he needs it to have x86 architecture, which is licensed by Intel.

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AndyYankee17

it could never run windows, it's 8 bit, maybe an early version of DOS or unix though

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