Building a CPU from scratch

Building a CPU from scratch

Brad has a good start on what looks to be an ambitious electrical engineering project. Inspired by the Apollo guidance computer, he is constructing his own CPU using TTL logic chips and wire wrap. He’s taking a little liberty with the design, using EEPROM chips for opcode decoding instead of hardwiring it all, but I think that can be excused. If you want to follow along and get some tips for your project, he also has a wiki to document his progress.

8 thoughts on “Building a CPU from scratch

  1. Ral says:

    My father built a Z80 computer once using wire wrapping. He then went on to build a CPU of his own design using the same technique. He has a website documenting the build and is currently writing a book about TTL and computer design.

    His website is at

    1. Matt Mets says:

      Probably not the first or the last, but still a cool project!

  2. Bob D says:

    I recently built a time divider circuit out of several 74LS390 chips and decided to learn how to wire wrap at the same time. This is a very expensive way to go as my sockets were over $3.00 a pop! I guess this was cheap 40 years ago when the chips were $30 and you didn’t want to solder to them unless your design was set in stone. Now the chips are about $0.40 each and the vast majority of the expense was the sockets. Do you have a cheaper source than Mouser or Digikey? Maybe they’re available on the surplus market somewhere. Either way, keep up the work, the project looks like a lot of fun.


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