Conway’s Game of Life, CPU design, basic emulation, what do these have in common? Nicolas Loizeau has designed a basic, programmable, Turing complete computer with an ALU formed from basic gates implemented as gliders in Conway’s Game of Life.
The purpose of this page is to describe the functioning of a computer built in Conway’s game of life. An in-detail explanation of all the mechanisms and all the components of the computer would be too long to describe here. Only the fundamental principles and main components are explained here. I think this is enough to permit anyone to recreate a similar computer or reuse it’s ideas and components for any other project.
The idea here is to illustrate the Turing completeness of game of life with a more impressive example, closer to our computers and easier to program than a basic Turing machine.
The information is carried by glider beams. Their spatial period is 30, their time period is 60. This allows gilder beam crossings. The 4 basic components of the computer are:
- period 60 glider gun
- 90° glider reflector
- glider duplicator
- a glider eater
Video from the above page: