Wherein Mike Warot describes a novel approach to computing which follows George Gilders call to waste transistors.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

BitGrid emulation available

Earlier this week I had a flash of insight and decided to make a bitgrid emulator in a spreadsheet, and it worked. I was able to test out a few architectures, and learned that my gut feelings on the subject were on track. I've settled on a 4 input, 4 output cell, with each of the outputs being the result of a 16 bit table.

I've written friends, and solicited some opinions. I've put the emulator files online at http://basicsoftware.com/bitgrid/ Basically, they are fancy Microsoft Excel spreadsheets with some really nasty built in circular references from hell, but the do work. Please download the latest one, and play with it, see how this stuff works. Please let me know how I can make them more comprehesive and useful.

I've coded up an 8x8 cell grid, and demonstrated how to do 2 bit full addition, RS and D latches, and a 2s complement circuit. I'm amazed at just how much can be done with only 1 of the 8 columns of cells. It'll be interesting to see how tightly I can pack functionality into it.

Eventually, I want to build an FFT inside the grid, to see just how many cells it takes.

I'm also going to try to make a reasonable tutorial on programming this puppy. It's tedious at best, because it's all based on 16 bit numbers, which never seem to be in a easy to deal with order. I'm going to have to make some tools to simply the task.

I'm now at the point where the idea has a form, and I have to have enough faith in it to keep working on it. I've tended to abandon things at this point, so I'm really looking hard for some positive feedback on this one.

Thanks for your time

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I fix things, I take pictures, I write, and marvel at the joy of life. I'm trying to leave the world in better condition than when I found it.