Mega65: 8-bit home computer can be pre-ordered

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Mega65: 8-bit home computer can be pre-ordered

Image: Mega Museum of Electronic Games & Art eV

The Mega65 is a for the Commodore 64 (C64) and the Commodore 65 (C65) Compatible 8-bit home computer based on a total of three Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGA) for real retro fans and can be pre-ordered now. The open source project has its price.

A modern Commodore 64 and 65 with FPGA

With the Mega65, the two classic 8-bit home computers Commodore 64 and Commodore 65, which were particularly popular with gamers, “arrived in the 21st century” with the help of several FPGA chips, such as the one from the “Mega Museum of Electronic Games & Art eV “initiated project on the website and in the shop of the Mega65.

  • Mega65

    Mega65 (Image: Mega Museum of Electronic Games & Art eV)

  • Image 1 of 6

    The basis of the Mega65 is a Xilinx Artix A7 200T FPGA for the circuit, which is supported by an additional MAX 10 FPGA. An 8-bit CPU clocking at 40 MHz, 384 KB Fast RAM and 8 MB of serial RAM are also on board, as well as a 100 Mbit / s fast LAN connection and two SDHC card slots. The Mega65 also contains a licensed C65 ROM and a Cherry MX-based keyboard with a metal frame, as well as an internal 3.5-inch floppy disk drive.

    FPGA solution offers many possibilities

    In addition to the C64 and C65, the Amiga and Atari platforms will also be supported and other home computers will be taken into account.

    Generally

    • Extremely fast and complete 8-bit home computer
    • 3-FPGA design without closed-source ARM ™ cores
    • Completely open source and in constant development
    • Developed by dozens of ingenious nerds and MEGA eV (non-profit organization) since 2014
    • Commodore ™ 65-based architecture, highly Commodore ™ 64 (wip) and 65 compatible
    • AMIGA ™, ATARI ™ ST and other cores that are successively developed or ported, or completely in-house development
    • Internal 3.5 “floppy disk drive, SDHC ™ cards and external floppy disk drives can be used in parallel
    • Use numerous Commodore ™ 64 modules on the internal expansion port
    • Commodore ™ 64 compatibility already exceeds that of the original Commodore ™ 65

    hardware

    • Powerful Xilinx ™ Artix A7 200T FPGA for switching, additional MAX 10 ™ FPGA for recovery
    • Exceptionally high quality cherryMX ™ based retro keyboard with metal frame
    • Durable “double shot” keycaps
    • Professionally manufactured plastic case in the C65 style with support for additional interfaces and other modifications
    • Modern functions such as 100-Mbit fast LAN, two SDHC ™ card slots, digital video and more
    • Great chiptune potential: 4 SIDs, OPL2 ™ (wip), 4-channel 16-bit DMA-based audio in the FPGA
    • Keyboard FPGA enables easy control and reconfiguration for individual requirements
    • 40 MHz 8-bit CPU, 384 KB fast RAM, 8 MB serial RAM (wip)
    • VIC-IV video controller with VGA ™ and digital video connection
    • Simultaneously usable digital and analog video output
    • 3.5 mm 4-pin stereo audio jack. Audio is also sent via the digital video output.
    • Internal Pmod ™ connections for additional extensions such as tape, user port, additional storage or real SIDs
    • JTAG ™ / FTDI ™ interface for fast testing and flashing of bit streams, debugging and programming
    • Supports real 1541, 1571, 1581 Commodore ™ drives via IEC port
    • Battery-backed real-time clock (CR1220 battery not included)
    • Keyboard fits into the original housing of the Commodore ™ 65

    software

    • Various classic games preinstalled
    • Greatly improved and adapted GEOS ™ version (wip) is included
    • Built-in freezer menu with countless storage spaces (depending on the SDHC ™ card size)
    • Win, Mac and Linux tools and emulator for programming and sending files (PRG, SID, …)
    • Support of multiple D81 disk images, with AutoBoot functionality
    • Contains licensed Commodore ™ 65 ROM
    • Gameboy Color and ZX Uno Core from the community are available

    Mega65 Mega65 (Image: Mega Museum of Electronic Games & Art eV) Mega65 Mega65 (Image: Mega Museum of Electronic Games & Art eV)

    In addition to the Mega65, the scope of delivery includes a preconfigured 16 GB SDHC card with the ROM module of the Commodore 65, various games and applications, a programming manual and the power supply.

    For 793 euros will be delivered from 2022

    The Mega65 can now be purchased for the price of 793.33 euros can be pre-ordered and should be delivered in 2022. The first 400 pre-ordered home computers are expected to be delivered in the first quarter of 2022, while a further 1,000 are to follow in the course of the coming year.

    Further information is provided by the official Website, the Developer blog, the Support forum as well as the Discord server of the project.

    The editors would like to thank the community members “MR2” and “HisN” for their information on this message.

    Update 10/01/2021 9:03 p.m.

    The Sinclair ZX Spectrum has also risen again

    In addition to the Mega65, there are other exciting retro projects in the form of rebuilds, especially for retro fans of unforgettable classics from the golden era of home computers.

    One of those projects is the Sinclair ZX Spectrum Next, a replica of the Sinclair ZX Spectrum, the successor to the Sinclair ZX81 by legendary British developer Sir Clive Sinclair.

  • Sinclair ZX Spectrum

    Sinclair ZX Spectrum (Image: Sinclair ZX Spectrum)

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    Here, too, FPGA technology and modern connections are used, bringing home computers from 1982 to 2022.

    • Processor: Z80 normal and turbo modes
    • Memory: 1024Kb RAM (expandable to 2048Kb on board)
    • Video: Hardware sprites, 256 colors mode and more.
    • Video output: RGB, VGA, HDMI
    • Storage: SD card slot, with DivMMC-compatible protocol
    • Audio: Turbo Sound Next (3x AY-3-8912 audio chips with stereo output)
    • Joystick: DB9 compatible with Cursor, Kempston and Interface 2 protocols (selectable)
    • PS / 2 port: Mouse with Kempston mode emulation and an external keyboard
    • Special: Multiface functionality for memory access, savegames, cheats etc.
    • Tape support: Mic and Ear ports for tape loading and saving
    • Expansion: Original external bus expansion port and accelerator expansion port
    • Accelerator board (optional): GPU / 1Ghz CPU / 512Mb RAM
    • Network (optional): Wi Fi module
    • Extras: Real Time Clock (optional), internal speaker (optional)

    More information is available the official website of the project.

    Sinclair ZX Spectrum Sinclair ZX Spectrum (Image: Sinclair ZX Spectrum)

    The editorial team thanks community member “Eratosthenes” for pointing this out to the project.

    Update 10/3/2021 1:24 p.m.

    In the meantime, some retro experts from the ComputerBase forum have excelled in the comments on this news item. Above all, community member “MR2”, who is very well informed about the project, stood out in particular and provided a lot more information about the Mega65.

    In addition, the reader pointed to the official one Mega65 YouTube channel that offers a variety of interesting videos about FPGA-based home computers.

    Among other things, the Boot time between a Mega65 and the C64 replica TheC64 (test), which the editors have already hosted.

    In addition, the community member refers to the German-language user manual of the retro system, which is currently being created with the help of the community.

    As a community project, the manual is currently being translated into German. So if you want to help, please contact forum 64 (…)

    MR2, community member

    The editors would like to thank community member “MR2” for the information that led to this update.

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