April 25, 2024

Benjamin Better

Better Get Computer

MikroLeo, A 4-Bit Retro Learning Platform

MikroLeo, A 4-Bit Retro Learning Platform

MikroLeo is a discrete TTL logic-based microcomputer meant for educational needs created by [Edson Junior Acordi], an Electronics Professor at the Brazilian Federal Institute of Paraná, Brazil. The 4-little bit CPU has a Harvard RISC architecture crafted entirely from 74HCT sequence logic mounted on a two-sided PCB utilizing only through-hole components. With 2K terms of instruction RAM and 2K text of addressable RAM, the CPU has a very similar source level to similar equipment of outdated, giving students a really feel for how to function in just limited constraints.

Simulation of the circuit is attainable with electronic, with the committed PCB designed with KiCAD, so there should really be more than enough there to get cracking with it. Four 4-bit IO ports make interfacing straightforward, with focused Enter and OUTput recommendations for the function. An assembler, compiler, and emulator are all getting labored on (as significantly as we can notify) so preserve an eye out for that, if this challenge is of curiosity to you.

We like personal computers a bit all around these areas, the “hackier” and weirder the far better. Even just in the 4-little bit retro area, we’ve seen so several, from individuals crafted close to ancient ALU chips to individuals built from discrete transistors and diodes, but you really don’t need to have to go down that highway, an emulation system can scratch that retro itch, without the need of the very same level of agony.