Viktor’s amazing 4-bit processor

Technology
Viktor’s amazing 4-bit processor

Vpsmall
Viktor writes –

I’ve been a software guy all my life. However, I was always fascinated by electronics, and part of my success as a programmer was due to my thorough understanding of how computers work.

Back in 1999, I put that understanding to the ultimate test: I actually designed, and built, a simple but functional 4-bit computer from low-level electronic components (TTL logic gates.) Although this machine has less then one tenth of a percent of the speed and one millionth of the memory of a modern Pentium system, not to mention that its “user interface” is just a set of miniature switches and blinking LED lights, I still consider this a proud accomplishment.

If you are insterested, you can study a full description of this system, including logic diagrams and more. Or, if you just want an overview, here’s a photo and, to demonstrate the programming model of this processor, a small program that multiplies two 4-bit numbers to obtain an 8-bit result…

Viktor’s Home Page: Viktor’s Amazing 4-bit Processor –Link.

12 thoughts on “Viktor’s amazing 4-bit processor

  1. ncients says:

    whoopdedoo. thats one of the first projects in any digital design class

  2. philliptorrone says:

    ncients – this isn’t a digital design class, it’s the MAKE magazine blog filled with projects, hacks, mods and things makers send us. can you send in some projects that are more on WOAH vs whoopdedoo scale? we’ll post them–

  3. Shadyman says:

    ncients – Be nice :) For those of us who haven’t taken “any digital design class”, this is pretty damn nifty.

  4. Fredex says:

    Cool. With making comes understanding.

  5. StormyWetDry says:

    I have to add that I am simply amazed and this is exactly the reason I am an avid MAKE:Blog reader and happy MAKE magazine subscriber. This is a great project and one that I have long thought about. I never took a silly little class that included this type of thing in all my 3 BS degrees (in technology fields) and I love to see it here.

    PLEASE keep this sort of thing coming and ignore the detractors. I am impressed and inspired. This is why I come here. I can only say: “Nice work ad great post!”

    I am really not trying to bash ncients – If you have better projects, please post them! We can all benefit from the expertise and experiments of one another. If I am not confused, that’s what we’re all doing here. I hope to send in a few projects of my own soon – but now I worry that they might be too “simple” for some of you. But that will not stop me from sharing – I’m too proud in my goofy work to be that shy.

    Once again – VERY nice work and thank you for sharing Viktor!

  6. hex4def6 says:

    I must say; I’m impressed.

    We designed our 4-bit CPU in my digital design class on an FPGA (luckily)… I would have dreaded having to wire it up out of discrete logic. Ick.

    Of course, we had to design the ALU as well, which was a pain.

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