What was the most advance 8-bit CPU in the 80's?

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Dufus

Senior member
Sep 20, 2010
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Here is a space invaders game in color on youtube...
I remember that game, unlike the PIC version you only got one shot until it was spent hitting something or going off the top of the screen. You could count shots to get the highest bonus every time on the flying saucer. Yes, I played it once or twice :)

80's covers 10 years so I don't know, I guess for me it was the Z80. At work I was also given a bag of bits including a 6502 and told to go and build a diagnostic system as a side project but never did, besides the TI-990 was already more than capable at the time.
 

sdifox

No Lifer
Sep 30, 2005
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For any purpose. Get a bunch of Homebrewers together and challenge them to build a personal computer with modern features around it.

And yes the homebrew computer scene is still a thing.

Just pick up an atmega 2560 and hack away.

Also, there is nothing that stops you from treating a 64bit cpu like an 8bit one, just limit your data to 8bit.
 
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wahdangun

Golden Member
Feb 3, 2011
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Update to my proevious post. I used a 4052, which I did not realize was way different than the 4051 that uses a Motorola 6800 chip. The 4052 uses AMD chips ?????? See this text(link:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tektronix_4050):

The second model was the 4052, which in spite of the similar name was a very different system. This had a CPU based on four AMD 2901 4-bit bit-slice processors used together to make a single 16-bit processor. It could also be used in a 6800-compatible mode, allowing it to run software from the 4051, although it did so much faster.

So you are saying that was ancient EPYC ??
 
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whm1974

Diamond Member
Jul 24, 2016
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Just pick up an atmega 2560 and hack away.

Also, there is nothing that stops you from treating a 64bit cpu like an 8bit one, just limit your data to 8bit.
I started a similar thread over at www.techreport.com where some of the posters explained in more detail some of the limitations of 8-bit CPU design and why designers had to increase the number of bits in CPUs so to speak. They basically had too.
 

DaveSimmons

Elite Member
Aug 12, 2001
40,730
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For any purpose. Get a bunch of Homebrewers together and challenge them to build a personal computer with modern features around it.

And yes the homebrew computer scene is still a thing.
Raspberry Pi waves and says "hi." :)

The Pi is perfect for homebrew, there's no need to make a crippled 8-bit version just because you can. I think what you're talking about is better done on a modern CPU using emulation.
 

whm1974

Diamond Member
Jul 24, 2016
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Raspberry Pi waves and says "hi." :)

The Pi is perfect for homebrew, there's no need to make a crippled 8-bit version just because you can. I think what you're talking about is better done on a modern CPU using emulation.
I have to admit that you are right. I would be better off just having a CPU designed and produced using the RISC-V ISA instead.
 

DrRamtop

Junior Member
Dec 22, 2014
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The Pi is perfect for homebrew, there's no need to make a crippled 8-bit version just because you can. I think what you're talking about is better done on a modern CPU using emulation.
The RasPi is an interesting option if you want to mess about with existing 8-bit software, or write your own. But a lot of people are involved with the homebrew scene specifically for benefits only real hardware can bring. I built 8-bit systems from scratch to teach myself digital electronics (which is the most popular reason for doing so) and to go through the process of writing some basic system software that runs on the bare metal, with no reliance on any pre-existing code or operating system. For those purposes real 8-bit hardware is amazingly useful.
 

sdifox

No Lifer
Sep 30, 2005
88,225
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The RasPi is an interesting option if you want to mess about with existing 8-bit software, or write your own. But a lot of people are involved with the homebrew scene specifically for benefits only real hardware can bring. I built 8-bit systems from scratch to teach myself digital electronics (which is the most popular reason for doing so) and to go through the process of writing some basic system software that runs on the bare metal, with no reliance on any pre-existing code or operating system. For those purposes real 8-bit hardware is amazingly useful.

Nothing stops you from writing os for rpi.
 

DaveSimmons

Elite Member
Aug 12, 2001
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Are you guys mixing up RasPi and Arduino? Only the latter is 8-bit.
I was suggesting rpi as a modern homebrew system that makes more sense to me than trying to build an 8-bit CPU just because. For retro you can emulate an Atari 800, Commodore 64, etc. in software.
 

whm1974

Diamond Member
Jul 24, 2016
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I was suggesting rpi as a modern homebrew system that makes more sense to me than trying to build an 8-bit CPU just because. For retro you can emulate an Atari 800, Commodore 64, etc. in software.
Yeah that would make more sense. Thanks.
 
May 11, 2008
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For any purpose. Get a bunch of Homebrewers together and challenge them to build a personal computer with modern features around it.

And yes the homebrew computer scene is still a thing.
If you want some potent hardware, there are arduino based boards that do not have an AVR as mcu but on a real ARM 32bit cortex M3 microcontroller : A sam3x8e from Atmel.

https://store.arduino.cc/arduino-due

Also, the arduino ide and community can help you out a lot.

If you want to go bare metal (making all your code yourself), you can choose for the sam3s series and use the atmel ide based on the gcc compiler for arm. or got for the cortex m0, those are the easiest to program for.
Another option are the very nice microcontrollers from ST electronics, very cheap and come in (32bit) cortex m0, m3 and m4. But for a beginner, a cortex m0 or m3 would be way sufficient.
The ide(also gcc compiler for arm) is a bit if a hassle to get it up and running, but nowadays a lot of youtube howtos will help you to it with download links to programs to help you set up.
 

rvborgh

Member
Apr 16, 2014
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i loved my 6502 based machines, but probably the Motorola 6800/6809 was the most advanced. I used a Z80 (as an add on board in my Apple ][ plus) and it seemed slow compared to the 6502.
 

whm1974

Diamond Member
Jul 24, 2016
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I found this gem on Wikipedia:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SymbOS
The site:
http://symbos.de/
I didn't know doing this was even possible with 8-bit personal computers and using assembly language no less. Kind of makes me want to build my own Z80 homebrew computer w/ 1MB of RAM and using SD cards for storage.

Stuff like this now has me wondering if we should have kids learning how to build homebrews and using assembly language so they can learn how to push tightly constrained and limited systems to the limit.
 

sdifox

No Lifer
Sep 30, 2005
88,225
11,000
126
I found this gem on Wikipedia:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SymbOS
The site:
http://symbos.de/
I didn't know doing this was even possible with 8-bit personal computers and using assembly language no less. Kind of makes me want to build my own Z80 homebrew computer w/ 1MB of RAM and using SD cards for storage.

Stuff like this now has me wondering if we should have kids learning how to build homebrews and using assembly language so they can learn how to push tightly constrained and limited systems to the limit.

Early 90s I worked on a hazardous gas sensor project based on 68k assembly. Had to fit the polling into a time slice and well, it wasn't fitting. That was such a pain.
 

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