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Friday, December 2, 2016

One Large Step for Mankind- the Megaprocessor

In the Summer of 1975 I built my first computer, using TTL logic parts (Small Scale Integration). Though my 9-bit creation was not very useful for practical purposes, I was very proud of my achievement when I finally made it to work and learned a lot from the design and building process. This project, eventually led me to focusing on computer architecture and research computer technology on a more professional basis.

Nowadays that microprocessors are so ubiquitous, very few people actually know how they work. One person made his life goal to bring this knowledge to the masses. James Newman, a Brit living in Cambridge, England committed may years of his life and about $50,000 to build a complete 16-bit computer, made of discrete transistors, resistors, LEDs and other components. The Megacomputer as James refers to his creation, weighs about 500 Kg and consists of 42,400 transistors, 50,500 resistors, 10,500 LEDs, and 272,300 hand-soldered joints. The Megacomputer is a fully functional machine that is running at the whooping clock frequency of 8 KHz while performing 16-bit integer calculations.

For those of you who can appreciate OCD, here is a YouTube video in which James is talking about his creation:

For complete information about the Megaprocessor, refer to this web site:

Have fun.

--Dr. Flywheel

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