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lezing: “the Gigatron”
Walter belgers.jpg
Naam “the Gigatron”
Locatie Hack42
Datum december 8, 2017 20:00:00 - december 8, 2017 01:00:00
Contact jos
Info Walter and his friend Macel have created a computer without a microprocessor. This talk is about that journey and its destination.
Voorzitter Walter Belgers
walter belgers.jpg File:walter belgers.jpg

What happens when a hacker gets his hands on a heap of 7400-series TTL chips, an oscilloscope and a soldering iron? In 1975 Wozniak famously made Breakout out of 44 such chips. When the MOS 6502 and Zilog Z80 were launched one year later, his Apple 1 started the microcomputer revolution. But were these processor ICs really necessary for that? One year ago we ordered a bunch of such ICs, bought an oscilloscope and started hacking. The result is a fully functional microcomputer from 36 TTL chips, ROM, RAM, some diodes, etcetera, but most importantly: no microprocessor. This talk explores the hardware design, the software stack and the capabilities of our result we now call “the Gigatron”.

Although small, the Gigatron has very interesting functionality. In the talk, the working of the Gigatron is explained, and how it differs from a regular PC. Some interesting design decisions were made that keep te hardware very simple yet powerful.