A fingernail vs a moon lander Dec 2, 2015
Small microcontroller chips, modern laptops/desktops - the range of computing power is enormous nowadays. So enormous, that it can be pretty hard to grasp the magnitude.
This week, I’m going to do some explorations, using a HY-Tiny board with an STM32F103 on it. Or to be put it differently: a fairly low-end but popular 32-bit ARM Cortex M3 µC, running at 72 MHz, with 128 KB flash and 20 KB RAM. It draws up to 40 mA at 3.3V.
Let’s find out what this little gadget is capable of:
- Tiny Basic with room to spare - Wed
- Creating a virtual 6502 chip - Thu
- Altair BASIC via 8080 emulation - Fri
- TFoC - The Fabric of Computing - Sun
So there you have it: a µC the size of a fingernail, vastly outperforming the Apollo Guidance Computer used to put man on the moon, less than half a century ago. You’ve got to wonder: would we still be able to perform this feat, using just an STM32F103? - I have my doubts…