Hardware

Legendary processor from Apple II and other systems re-released on flexible substrate

Specialist in the production of chips on flexible substrates PragmatIC company presented the legendary MOS 6502 processor in a flexible version. In the late 70s and early 80s, it was a hit that became the basis of the Apple II, Commodore PET, Commodore 64 and BBC Micro, as well as the Nintendo and Atari 2600 gaming platforms. In the modern version, the 6502 processor is able to conquer the Internet of things, and physical flexibility will only help this.

Image source: PragmatIC

Image source: PragmatIC

The design of the 6502 was so successful that even today hundreds of millions of 65xx embedded processors are sold every year. The Western Design Center (WDC) estimates that over 6 billion of these processors have been licensed. Moving the scheme to a flexible basis, obviously, will add popularity to this solution, but PragmatIC has a different calculation.

PragmatIC has shown that its system for transferring complex electronic circuits onto a flexible substrate works quickly and reliably without critical errors. The flexible version 6502 was designed and manufactured in less than two weeks. These processes usually take months of work. Moreover, if the project were implemented in silicon, then a hefty cost would have to be added to the lengthy preparation.

It can be expected that the demonstration of the MOS 6502 on a flexible substrate will go beyond a simple PragmatIC promotion. The company has optimized the chip design and armed it with additional instructions. In particular, the flexible 6502 can now operate over a wide frequency range and even pause without losing intermediate data. This will make it attractive to the Internet of Things and give it another life.

About the author

Dylan Harris

Dylan Harris is fascinated by tests and reviews of computer hardware.

Add Comment

Click here to post a comment