Vintage BBC Computer gets FPGA Buddies

Liam Proven lproven at
Tue Oct 20 12:02:53 CDT 2015

The BBC Microcomputer System (or BBC Micro) was an innovative machine
back in the early 1980’s. One feature that impressed reviewers was a
“tube” interface that allowed the machine to become an I/O processor
for an additional CPU. When the onboard 6502 became too slow, it could
become a slave to a Z-80 or even an ARM processor. The bus was
actually useful for any high-speed device, but its purpose was to add
new processors, a feature Byte magazine called “innovative.”

[Hoglet67] has released a very interesting set of FPGA designs that
allows a small board sporting a Xilinx Spartan 3 to add a 6502, a Z80,
a 6809, or a PDP/11 to a BBC Micro via the tube interface. There’s
something satisfying about a classic computer acting as an I/O slave
to a fairly modern FPGA that implements an even older PDP/11.

Liam Proven • Profile:
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