Over the past 2 months (especially September), I've been steadily bankrupting myself on components from Mouser, Ebay and an electronics store 40 minutes from where I live. The result: these things.

This project started out as making a simple computer for a CPU I'm develloping on an FPGA, but my plans got bigger and bigger as time went on, and the total cost for everything might end up being in the 4 figures.

My bad financial desicions aside, these 3 computers, named systems 1 through 3, will soon be connected via their PIO chips to merge them into one big computer. All 3 are basically the Ben Eater computer (32 KB of ROM, 16 KB of RAM and a PIO chip, same memory mapping too), exept system 1 uses my custom CPU, 16-bit memory and with 2 82C55A PIO chips in parallel, and system 3 uses a Z80 and it's PIO chip. All 3 will share the same reset signal and 1 MHz clock. I know the Z80 should be running faster, but only having 1 clock signal makes things easier. Ironically, the Z80 is the slowest of the 3 CPUs (system 2 uses a 6502, by the way).

Unfortunately, I haven't written any software for this thing yet. I'm waiting for my EEPROM programmer to arrive and I'm too lazy to build one using an Arduino (I say immediately after manually cutting and stripping almost 100 wires). In fact, I haven't even written the Verilog file for my CPU yet. I'll get started on software once I'm both able to and motivated enough, though.

As for the future of Project Pearl, this is just one of at least 4 phases, and the components for phase 2 should come in fairly soon. I'll be sure to make another post when phase 2 is completed, but I'll only start work on phase 2 once the phase 1 hardware and software is fully functionnal, which might take quite some time.

Here is a photo of systems 2, 1 and 3 respectively. Also I lied, they arent
100% complete because some chips are missing, but that'll be sorted in a few days.
I don't know how I missed this earlier, looks like a pretty cool project even if I don't really understand the hardware! I would recommend ensuring you're financially stable before purchasing more hardware. I'd still like to see progress continue if you have the means to.
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