The 1 Square Inch TTL CPU and the Kobold Motherboard That Will Use it for Retro Computingv




The 1 Square Inch TTL CPU and the Kobold Motherboard That Will Use it for Retro Computing

There are plenty of TTL CPU projects that have been created using discrete logic chips, including those that used the Harvard architecture, those based on the RISC instruction set, and even some offered in kit form for those who don’t want to go through the hassle of designing their own. Most of them have one thing in common — they are overly large, with some that require stacked PCBs in some cases. One exciting TTL project that reduces the size of the CPU layout was designed by hardware enthusiast “roelh,” with his 1 Square Inch TTL CPU, which he claims is the smallest in the world.

The 1 Square Inch TTL CPU is no larger than a coin. (📷: roelh)

The TTL CPU offers eight data lines, 16 address lines, a single 64Kb memory space for programs and data, memory read/write lines, reset and clock inputs, and 5V power lines. The CPU also has some unusual features not found in most other TTL projects, including the ability to store a microprogram in Flash memory, which can be written using a Raspberry Pi as the programmer. The double-layer PCB houses only eight ICs (packed on both sides), and there is no ALU to carry out arithmetic and logic operations.

The board features 8 data lines, 16 address lines, 64Kb of memory space; memory read/write lines, and more. (📷: roelh)

With the completion of the 1 Square Inch TTL CPU, roehl plans to use it to power his Kobold retro TTL 16-bit computer that’s currently in the design phase. roehl states the Kobold’s main features will consist of a simple ALU, some address registers, at least 256Kb of RAM, VGA video, PS/2 port, user-accessible I/O pins, and sound system, along with several others.

The 1 Square Inch TTL CPU will be included into [roelh’s] Kobold Retro TTL 16-bit Computer once completed. (📷: roehl via Hackaday)

It will be fascinating to see the completed Kobold computer when it’s finished, those interested in following his progress can visit his project page.


The 1 Square Inch TTL CPU and the Kobold Motherboard That Will Use it for Retro Computingv was originally published in Hackster Blog on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.





Original article: The 1 Square Inch TTL CPU and the Kobold Motherboard That Will Use it for Retro Computingv
Author: Cabe Atwell