I like making hardware-y type things, but unlike software, hacking around with hardware can cost a lot of money, so I don't do as much of it as I'd like. Given the sparsity of this section, I document even less of it!
The CFT Project
The CFT is my home-designed, home-built mini-computer made from scratch. I've designed and built the instruction set, data path, processor, computer, software stack, cross-assembler, emulator, software toolchain and even some of the tools needed to do this. You can call this a ‘fantasy mini’. I'm in the process of testing the processor and building peripherals and the ROM, while trying to document the whole thing.
CFT Panel Assembly, Front
CFT Panel Assembly, Rear
CFT Case Design
The CFT Homebrew Processor: First Program!
The CFT processor running its first program, entered and executed through the front panel.
The CFT Processor: Fetch Execute Cycle
Part of the CFT Processor running fetch-execute cycles on the temporary front panel.
Processor Board 0 Render
Processor Board 1 Render
Processor Board 2 Render
First Tests of the CFT Microcode Sequencer
The first few seconds of the CFT's microcode sequencer running at the breakneck speed of 1 Hz. The sequencer, which takes up most of Processor Board 0 (PB0) has been manually configured to execute microcode for the
Testing a SpeakJet® chip on a breadboard using Python.
CFT Processor Reference CardThis is a retro reference card for the CFT Processor, showing some basic hardware information and a complete tabular description of the machine's instruction set. If you've used computers at the Assembly or machine code level before, this may be all the information you need about the CFT architecture!
Processor Board 3 Render
CFT VDU Card Tests
A very early feasibility test of the CFT graphics (VDU) card generating a VGA-compatible signal and demonstrating its various registers and functions.