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Von Neumann's 29-state cellular automaton: a hardware implementation

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2 Author(s)
J. -L. Beuchat ; Logic Syst. Lab., Swiss Federal Inst. of Technol., Lausanne, Switzerland ; J. O. Haenni

In the early 1950s, John von Neumann designed a cellular automaton implementing a universal self-replicating structure. More than 40 years after his death, the first hardware implementation of von Neumann's transition rule is presented. Unfortunately, this implementation only allows small systems to be realized, and not the complete structure, which would require 100000-200000 cells, according to some estimations. A logic circuit which implements the transition rule and represents a single cell of the array has been developed. The applications of this implementation lie mainly in the pedagogical domain. It can be used as a demonstration tool for courses on cellular automata

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Education  (Volume:43 ,  Issue: 3 )