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VMP is a processor. A very mediocre one. It’s an 8/16-bit Harvard architecture RISC CPU built with 1565 discrete transistors. It can runs at about 30,000 instructions/second, consuming approximately 8W (similar to my entire laptop idling at a few gigahertz).

The actual VMP CPU is the stack of boards in the middle of the photo. To the left is a standard IDE hard drive from an old desktop. To the right is a power supply, also from an old desktop, providing 12V for the CPU and 5V for everything else. The vertical protoboard behind is the memory board, which functions similarly to a normal PC motherboard. It has 512kB RAM, 256k x 16bit FLASH program memory, a bank select register for these memories, an RS-232 serial port, and connectors for the hard drive. The demonstration application using almost all of the peripherials was reading ebooks from the hard drive over a serial terminal.