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The Texas Instruments uP learning module LCM-1001


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Today I present something not so common, something vintage:


The LCM-1001 microprogrammer learning module from 1976 ?


There is a nice description in wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Texas_Instruments_SBP0400), so there is no need to explain everything, that's already there. Most of the references google presented to me, are more or less copies of each other. Most links are dead or obsolete FLASH-content. I want to show just some photos, I took, when disassembling the device, especially, what's inside, bevor this information is lost.


The device is powered by 7VDC via a 2.5 mm jack plug. Inside there are three rechargeable batteries (AA) - a neat idea to be able to run from battery.

P1060119.jpg.2ede0476ed07cf24a2d4e74270c2b099.jpg  P1060111.jpg.5d870ac2b07dadd3b2187988b5d5856c.jpg


Inside there is a 4 bit - well, what is it? - processor element, designed by Texas Instruments, called SBP 0400. The concept is to make it expandable. Up to four of those processor elements can be serialized, to build a 4,8,12,16 bit device. The position of the slice (MSB ... LSB) can be specified with the Position Switches 0 and 1, which directly lead to the corresponding pins of the SBP 0400. The SBP 0400 uses a 40 pin DIL package. All pins are available at the socket of the panel. all important input pins can be toggled on and off, with those switches. Important outputs can be monitored with the help of the LEDs.



The SBP 0400 architecture and the schematics of the learning module:

P1060120.jpg.e2f997b0b347a089cdb1414572fb784b.jpg  P1060121.jpg.1162091817acb30c8d34f3b39010a493.jpg


There is no memory, just switches and a clock button. Everything is done manually. The addressbus is only 4 bit wide and even in combination with ALUCOUT only 32 memory locations can be addressed. Note that each opcode is a 9 bit word! Registers and program counter (=register 7) are 4 bit wide. A single device on its own can only do very simple control tasks.


What's inside the box?

P1060116.jpg.f98e55561b9fc4a5013e32fefef1ec0a.jpg  P1060115.jpg.5406aaaf467a9f9553552c4f8ee027da.jpg


P1060113.jpg.da35bcb4c4f1305dd057d6b5ce679255.jpg  P1060118.jpg.7b08b4f8b962216a6c22bc15daf0f64a.jpg


Texas Instruments offered three extension for the device:

  • LCM-1002 controller module for micro programming with 256×20 bit PROM
  • LCM-1003 memory module containing 1024 12-bit words
  • LCM-1004 input/output module

I do not have access to those and can't tell anything about them. I think they are very rare.

I did not even find the documentation scanned in. Maybe I should scan the LCM-1001 manual, that I have.


Just check out the Wikipedia link above for more information.

Does anybody have any experience with the learning modules?


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I am very interested in creating an LCM-1001 reproduction.  Here is a link where you can see some of the other reproductions I have done.




There is so little information about this device online. Your post really stands out. Posting the manual is big. If I were to go ahead with this project I wonder if I could impose on you for a little help? The pictures you have posted are great but I have no idea of the scale. So a photo of the control panel like the one you have shared already but with a ruler laid along side would allow me to pretty faithfully create a model. There may be some other information I need as the project progresses.


I send you a PM with my contact information.


Thanks in advance,



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