Man constructs room-sized microprocessor for playing Tetris

By midian182 · 15 replies
Jul 6, 2016
Post New Reply
  1. A Cambridge, UK, resident has finished building a computer that’s so big it takes up an entire room. But this isn’t a new contender for the supercomputer list; right now, it’s mostly being used to play Tetris.

    James Newman constructed “The Megaprocessor” over the course of four years, at a cost of £40,000 ($51,590). The 33-foot wide by 6-foot high machine is essentially a giant version of a standard microprocessor, and is used to visualize how the chips work.

    "Computers are quite opaque. Looking at them it's impossible to see how they work. What I would like to do is get inside and see what's going on. Trouble is we can't shrink down small enough to walk inside a silicon chip,” reads Newman’s website. "But we can go the other way; we can build the thing big enough that we can walk inside it. Not only that, we can put LEDs on everything so we can actually see the data moving and the logic happening."

    The machine weighs roughly 500kgs, has around 40,000 transistors, 10,000 LEDs, and uses 500W of electricity. Newman, a digital electronics engineer, hopes to use the Megaprocessor as an educational tool. The enormous size and weight mean mobility isn’t its strongest feature, so Newman is planning a series of open days for kids to learn about what goes on inside a silicon chip.

    The creator admits that the Megaprocessor isn't going to be playing Crysis 3 at any point. "The machine on your desk may be a million times better than what I have built - but mine is much prettier," he told the BBC. "Mine has 10,000 times more LEDs."

    Anyone interested in finding out more about how the Megaprocessor works should check out Newman’s video series on YouTube.

    Permalink to story.

    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 6, 2016
  2. mosu

    mosu TS Guru Posts: 474   +84

    Best piece of news today.
    Chazz and Reehahs like this.
  3. davislane1

    davislane1 TS Grand Inquisitor Posts: 4,736   +3,757

    But how well does it overclock?
    Reehahs and Levi Sterling like this.
  4. Theinsanegamer

    Theinsanegamer TS Evangelist Posts: 857   +873

    Reehahs and Levi Sterling like this.
  5. Levi Sterling

    Levi Sterling TS Booster Posts: 80   +26

    If it's the size of a room, it's not a micro anything. Still neat though
  6. Questors

    Questors TS Member Posts: 18   +23

    Found! Cryrix making is a comeback! Top secret Cyrix CPU exposed!

    Seriously though, this is neater than socks on a chicken!
  7. Reehahs

    Reehahs TS Guru Posts: 574   +316

    This is what you would call a macro-processor.
    Levi Sterling likes this.
  8. thedrelle

    thedrelle TS Enthusiast Posts: 61   +12

    The post itself mentions it's called a Megaprocessor.
    Levi Sterling likes this.
  9. Scavengers

    Scavengers TS Booster Posts: 110   +21

    Sounds like some computers I used in the early 80's
  10. Chazz

    Chazz TS Evangelist Posts: 679   +75

    I agree this may be the best article I've read on this site. This is just so interesting.

    Well it's clocked at 20khz, so that would be just about one of the best overclocks ever.
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2016
  11. thedrelle

    thedrelle TS Enthusiast Posts: 61   +12

    100% performance improvement. That's what I want on MY computer
  12. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,975   +2,527

    What great fun all those flashing lights would have been in the 70's!

    I can just picture throwing some Pink Floyd on the record player, rollin' one o' dem funny cigarettes, an' firing it up.

    OK kidz here's da drill, inhale.............................(hold you breath for as long as possible)............................exhale forcefully.

    Then you say, "wow whee look at the lights", and your buddies say, "whoa, that's heavy, it's blowing my mind".....
  13. Gerald McT

    Gerald McT TS Rookie

    Two questions... How does it manage to cost £40K and where is the limitation on clock speed?
  14. Smoking pot and enjoying blinky lights while high wasn't exclusive to the 70s. ;)
  15. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,975   +2,527

    Fixed! (y)
  16. Jack007

    Jack007 TS Booster Posts: 181   +42

    He actually busted his brain to build something that can only play tetris. cpu tech is beyond anything that exists requiring the very brightest minds to create something even good enough to use. thats why intel will be forever filthy rich as long as they bring out something new everytime. oh sorry unless artificial intelligence can create something which I strongly believe could from what I have seen so far

Similar Topics

Add your comment to this article

You need to be a member to leave a comment. Join thousands of tech enthusiasts and participate.
TechSpot Account You may also...