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Homebrew 8-bit computer packs in 16 cores, multitasks like a champ

Nicole Lee, @nicole
June 24, 2013
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It looks like Jack Eisenmann has done it again. A couple of years after the hobbyist hacker built his first 8-bit computer, he's cobbled together yet another one, but this time with a whopping 16 cores. Appropriately dubbed the DUO Mega, the multicore wonder is made with 16 ATMega328p microcontrollers, each connected to an 8-bit data bus and designed to interpret a custom bytecode that runs the software. Compiled inside a nondescript plastic bin, the machine is also comprised of 16MHz crystal oscillators attached to each of the aforementioned cores, three Arduino UNO boards, 32kb of SRAM, 512kb of flash memory, eight breadboards, an Ethernet shield, a VGA out port and a multitude of components that combine to look like that mess of wires seen above. Because of all that processing power, this relatively primitive machine multitasks beautifully and can perform complicated calculations at an impressive clip. To get a demo of what this marvelous feat of DIY computing can do, have a peek at Eisenmann's video, complete with an 8-bit soundtrack, after the break.

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