Illustration for article titled What Is This?

At first I thought it was the map for some game level. Or the plans for a new secret underground station of the Dharma Initiative. The answer is a lot more bizarre than that, as the video shows:

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Believe it or not, those are the plans for an 8-bit processor which actually exists. A processor that runs exclusively on air impulses. Here's an image of this strange device, created by Minsoung Rhee and Mark Burns at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

Illustration for article titled What Is This?

Instead of electric impulses or spasers, the processor uses pneumatic valves, which are operated by changing the air pressure in a tiny chamber below each air channel. The binary signals are transmitted with air: Sucking means 0, blowing means 1. Poetry, people. This is what this thing really is. Pure poetry in action. [New Scientist]

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