# Want to connect homebrew CPU to the internet

#### AnalogDigitalDesigner

Joined Jan 22, 2018
121
Ok so here's my problem...

I am building a 16bit CPU/Minicomputer from bare logic, and I want to connect this computer to the internet.

The CPUis similar to an intel 8086, except that it has 64KB of RAM, and the minicomputer itself will be somewhat a PC XT.

What I'd like to know is what are the possibilities here? What kind of connection could I support?

Do I require a full operating system in order to connect to the net, or will a good BIOS do ?

Does anyone know or have used WIZNET?

#### wayneh

Joined Sep 9, 2010
17,153
Ok so here's my problem...

I am building a 16bit CPU/Minicomputer from bare logic, and I want to connect this computer to the internet.
That does indeed sound like a problem! Perhaps addressing why you are bothering with this will help folks get in the right mindset.

When you say "connect", I assume you mean you want to do something over TCP/IP? I doubt you'll be able to do much except send pings. I believe the first browsers required an OS and more horsepower from the hardware but I may be confused about the timelines.

#### AnalogDigitalDesigner

Joined Jan 22, 2018
121
That does indeed sound like a problem! Perhaps addressing why you are bothering with this will help folks get in the right mindset.

When you say "connect", I assume you mean you want to do something over TCP/IP? I doubt you'll be able to do much except send pings. I believe the first browsers required an OS and more horsepower from the hardware but I may be confused about the timelines.

Why am I bothering with this? Oh come on boy........ How about because it gives me more pleasure than heroine

I also want to be able to run a proper OS on this minicomputer. Like Bill Buzbee's Magic-1 computer.

But for that I will need more than 64KB ram. That's tricky! Because I will need to extend my registers from 16bit to 24 bits. And because I have an 8bit data bus, that will add an extra clock cycle per instruction. But maybe that's a good trade off. We'll see.

I don't know what you mean by better hardware. My minicomputer will run at 4MHz and that is enough because Bill Buzbee's computer runs at ~ 4MHz and hosts a website!

Has anyone here heard of WIZNET?

#### wayneh

Joined Sep 9, 2010
17,153
Be patient, and consider moving your thread to the computing forum. It might get more attention there. A moderator could do that for you if you like.

#### atferrari

Joined Jan 6, 2004
4,378
I for one, I am. But posting anything helpful is a different thing.

#### WBahn

Joined Mar 31, 2012
26,398
Ok so here's my problem...

I am building a 16bit CPU/Minicomputer from bare logic, and I want to connect this computer to the internet.

The CPUis similar to an intel 8086, except that it has 64KB of RAM, and the minicomputer itself will be somewhat a PC XT.

What I'd like to know is what are the possibilities here? What kind of connection could I support?

Do I require a full operating system in order to connect to the net, or will a good BIOS do ?

Does anyone know or have used WIZNET?
The O/S and BIOS really don't have anything to do with it (though they might make it a lot easier).

You need a suitable communications stack. Also, you don't have to have TCP/IP or Ethernet; you just need a modem that your computer can talk to -- the modem talks to the Internet (via an Internet Service Provider).

Small, cheap microcontrollers are able to serve as HTML web servers just fine, so I don't think you are asking for too much. Even 8-bit PICs have done this and many MCUs have built in TCP/IP and Ethernet stacks.

You might search for something like "embedded web server" and see what you find.

#### joeyd999

Joined Jun 6, 2011
4,477
Search for TCP232.

#### AnalogDigitalDesigner

Joined Jan 22, 2018
121
The O/S and BIOS really don't have anything to do with it (though they might make it a lot easier).

You need a suitable communications stack. Also, you don't have to have TCP/IP or Ethernet; you just need a modem that your computer can talk to -- the modem talks to the Internet (via an Internet Service Provider).

Small, cheap microcontrollers are able to serve as HTML web servers just fine, so I don't think you are asking for too much. Even 8-bit PICs have done this and many MCUs have built in TCP/IP and Ethernet stacks.

You might search for something like "embedded web server" and see what you find.

There's something called WIZNET, which is a hardware tcp/ip stack. Have you heard of this?

#### AnalogDigitalDesigner

Joined Jan 22, 2018
121

#### WBahn

Joined Mar 31, 2012
26,398

There's something called WIZNET, which is a hardware tcp/ip stack. Have you heard of this?
Nope. But I just went and looked at their website and see that their chips are dollar-scale (~$5) and they give free samples, so it's probably worth exploring. Thread Starter #### AnalogDigitalDesigner Joined Jan 22, 2018 121 Nope. But I just went and looked at their website and see that their chips are dollar-scale (~$5) and they give free samples, so it's probably worth exploring.

Hello Eagle Keeper,

Bill Buzzbee told me that I don't need an OS, or Minix to use Wiznet. That's fantastic don't you think ?

#### WBahn

Joined Mar 31, 2012
26,398
Hello Eagle Keeper,

Bill Buzzbee told me that I don't need an OS, or Minix to use Wiznet. That's fantastic don't you think ?
I don't really think anything one way or the other. Try it and see if it is a viable solution to your problem. If it is, great. If not, move on.