Technology

Huge home-built computer used for Tetris

Mega processor Image copyright James Newman
Image caption The Megaprocessor in all its glory

A man has finished building an enormous computer in the sitting room of his bungalow in Cambridge.

James Newman started work on the "Megaprocessor", which is 33ft (10m) wide and 6ft (2m) high, in 2012.

It does the job of a chip-sized microprocessor and Mr Newman has spent £40,000 ($53,000) creating it.

It contains 40,000 transistors, 10,000 LED lights and it weighs around half a tonne (500kg). So far, he has used it to play the classic video game Tetris.

In a video demonstration he admits the game isn't easy to play.

Mr Newman, a digital electronics engineer, started the project because he was learning about transistors and wanted to visualise how a microprocessor worked. The components all light up as the huge device carries out a task.

"The machine on your desk may be a million times better than what I have built - but mine is much prettier," he told the BBC.

Image copyright James Newman
Image caption James Newman has so far used his enormous computer to play Tetris

"Mine has 10,000 times more LEDs."

Mr Newman hopes the Megaprocessor will be used as an educational tool and is planning a series of open days at his home over the summer.

"I doubt I'll be able to sell it," he said.

"My dream is that it goes to a museum or educational institute so that people can learn from it."

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