How to Build a Microprocessor from Scratch

Discussion in 'Computer Science & Culture' started by lixluke, May 18, 2006.

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  1. lixluke Refined Reinvention Valued Senior Member

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    According to an article, not one single person on this planet knows how to build a microprocessor. I find that hard to believe.

    I believe computer engineering is rooted in 2 things.
    1. How to create computer hardware.
    2. How to create the interface/software to operate it.


    http://technicallytrue.blogspot.com/2005/06/master-of-big-ideas.html
     
  2. leopold i miss my coco. Valued Senior Member

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    i disagree with that statement.

    now, more than ever, i hope that blue_uk chooses to build a microprocessor for his class project
     
  3. Nasor Valued Senior Member

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    What do you mean by "from scratch"? How any electrical engineers who understand chip design also understand the chemical processes used to create the materials that the chips are made of?
     
  4. Zephyr Humans are ONE Registered Senior Member

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    Define "from scratch". Are you allowed to start with a microprocessor assembly plant? With a soldering iron and a bunch of transistors? With a forge? With fire?
     
  5. I don't know It's the pun police, run! Registered Senior Member

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    With a mountain, a pickaxe and some flint?
     
  6. przyk squishy Valued Senior Member

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    Asorted microprocessor parts?
     
  7. leopold i miss my coco. Valued Senior Member

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    assorted parts?
    building a cpu out of discreet transistors would be a real pain
    building one from SSI ic's would be hard but possible
     
  8. przyk squishy Valued Senior Member

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    Maybe think of it as an intricate jigsaw puzzle?
     
  9. leopold i miss my coco. Valued Senior Member

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    even the crudest cpu would require 1000's of transisters.
    and at least that many resisters.

    building a cpu with discreet components would be about the area of your tabletop
     
  10. lixluke Refined Reinvention Valued Senior Member

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    May asked about "from scratch".
    The article stated that many devices in the past could be created if you could get the right raw materials. All you would need is a laboratory with the proper tools. You could go out into nature or to your local supplier of raw materials. Take it to the lab, synthesize the raw materials, and assemble what you need to create your device.
     
  11. lixluke Refined Reinvention Valued Senior Member

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    9,072
    I have question.

    If we had the whatever necessary funding, and we all put our heads together to build a better CPU for desktops than what is available on the consumer market, what would be the equipment and materials we would need create a chip?

    Along with a board/connectors for it to work on a computer with standard hardware(RAM, Storage Devices, Ports).
     
  12. przyk squishy Valued Senior Member

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    Sounds like a nice project :p
    Relax, I know perfectly well what the difficulties (understatement) are with building a CPU in your garage. Another problem is air filtering. The environments in which CPUs are manufactured need to be cleaner than hospital operating rooms. The tiniest speck of dust getting caught in the circuitry could cause the whole thing to fail.
     
  13. guthrie paradox generator Registered Senior Member

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    4,089
    I'll answer, just for a laugh.

    Ultrapure silicon.
    Dopants for teh silicon.
    the right plastics, copper and solder.

    THe tricky bit is making the transistors on the silicon chip. At the moment they use photolithography. The mask used for the photolithography is so small that you could probably take months to make one by yourself.

    Here you go:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Photolithography

    Now, if you can manage all that in your garage, I'd be really impressed.

    Or, you can just work out a better way of doing it that doesnt need all that stuff. But I doubt you will.
     
  14. leopold i miss my coco. Valued Senior Member

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    they used to use photolithography.
    light waves are too long for todays chips
    they use a process called electron beam lithography
     
  15. Mosheh Thezion Registered Senior Member

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    FIRST OF ALL... it is not likely you will be able to make any chips better than is being done in induStry... since they have done all the ground work to make it all happen.

    what you would want to do... is develope a new type of component.

    just like hewlett and packard did in their garage.. with the transistor..

    they became kings of industry for 17 years....

    i have myself, have devoted alot of study towards finding the all illusive trans-stator from star trek fame... the secret technical component that makes all their space age technology possible.

    develop the trans-stator... and change the world.

    the transistor... is old news.

    -MT
     
  16. leopold i miss my coco. Valued Senior Member

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    hewlett and packard?
    the transistor was invented by shockley and bardeen at bell labs.
    what they was looking for was the modern day FET but wound up discovering the bipolar transistor.
     
  17. Mosheh Thezion Registered Senior Member

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    YEAH.. YEAH.. 2 guys... hewlett and packard made something.. in their garage.. the component may vary.

    im not perfect.

    -MT
     
  18. ingridseynhaeve Registered Member

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    Hi lixluke,

    Oh. I don't think so. First, clear the topic. What do you want to tell through this question I am not able to understand. So, please if you don't mind, give the full exlaination of your question. Thanks. :)
     
  19. fedr808 1100101 Valued Senior Member

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    with a microprocesser?
     
  20. Blue_UK Drifting Mind Valued Senior Member

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    Did you check the date on that post?

    Anyway, it takes quite a few people to make a microprocessor:

    Chemists to grow highly pure silicon 'ingots' which are eventually cut into thin slices.

    Skilled technicians to produce photomasks and etch the silicon surface. The thin slices are then chopped up into individual 'chips'.

    Electronic engineers to design the logic that will go on the chip (most important people, obviously ;) )

    Electrical engineers to understand how to route the logic that the above engineer made, so that at GHz you don't get cross channel interference etc.

    Embedded software engineer to code up any subprocessors you may have on your chip

    Salesmen to lie about the product

    Marketing scum to lie about the product

    - get all them in a room with a suitcase full of money and you're good to go! :)
     
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