open 8-bit computer


MEGA65 is an open-source new and open C65-like computer.
Hardware designs and software are open-source (LGPL).

Build the hardware at home or get it from us.
Enhance it yourself or together with the community.

About Us


André Kudra is a member of MEGA Museum of Electronic Games & Art and CIO of esatus AG, The CISO Consulting Company. Having experienced the great C64 and Amiga days first hand when he was younger, he is still a Commodore enthusiast and collector.

Andrew Owen is a professional writer who started out as a newspaper reporter and currently works in the videogames industry. For the past 16 years he has been designing an 8-bit computer based around the Z80 CPU - but now he's all-in for the MEGA65!

Detlef Hastik is founder of MEGA Museum of Electronic Games & Art and CEO of SYGNOMI IT innovations GmbH. Detlef has been collecting home computers and game consoles for the past 30 years before he came up with the MEGA65 project and building the "final 8-bit machine".

Dieter Penner is retro freak, MEGA's hardware expert and inventor for many years. He resurrected Tennis for Two and gave us the MEGA65 widget board. Dieter is a professional PCB designer and a great lateral thinker. He prefers a floppy disk over a usb stick at any time.

Paul Gardner-Stephen wrote software for a dual-processor 6502 industrial roll-former at the age of 17, but still likes programming 6502-based systems. Owning a C65 prototype for 15 years, he is the original instigator, VHDL engineer and system architect of the MEGA65.

Ralph Egas is founder and CEO at Abstraction Games. Long time fan of 8-bit machines and GEOS power user back in the day. Software engineer by trade.

You! We want you to join the core team for coding and software architectural parts. Become part of the greatest retro experience ever and join MEGA65!

You! We need people in management and marketing to get things right and prepare for the big crowdfunding campaign. Become part of a great team of inventors!

Progress


77

Case

82

VHDL

61

GEOS Adaption

12

Software Bundle

1

Brand Licensing

18

Mainboard

Impressions


Some Stats


16

People Involved

3367

GIT Commits

25246

Lines of VHDL

48

MHz

Timeline


  • SEP 2016
    -
    JAN 2017

    MAINBOARD

    Real physical mainboard

    Plans are well advanced for the design of a new MEGA65 motherboard that will have all the necessary ports to connect your real C64/C65 peripherals, such as joysticks, 1541 disk-drives, and selected C64 cartridges.

  • AUG 2016
    -
    FEB 2017

    GEOS

    Specialized GEOS version

    Remember GeoPaint, GeoWrite, GeoPublish, and GeoProgrammer? The Commodore 64 had everything the Mac had then, but in 8-bit. Now with MEGA65 you’ll have everything; windows and pointers again but then at a higher resolution built in right to the shell. Expect this special version of GEOS to be compatible with all embedded subsystems like a PS/2 mouse, embedded REU, the F1011 floppy controller and SD card access feeling like a CMD (hard-drive) back in the day with full support for the MEGA65 display modes. 8-bit window toolkits have never been this advanced. Of course, whereas the C64 had a hard time running all of this advanced software, the MEGA65 is totally going to nail it at 48Mhz.

  • JUL 2016
    -
    MAR 2017

    BRAND LICENSING

    Brand licensing if we want to call it a C...

    Casaba-melon? No, but while we think that MEGA65 is a pretty cool name, we all agree it would be great if we could license some other name, a bit higher ranked than the Buck Private (3rd Grade), so that the story that was begun in 1989 can be completed, and the last 8-bit computer designed for mass production can finally see light of day.

  • FEB 2017
    -
    MAY 2017

    SOFTWARE BUNDLE

    A machine like this should come with some tasty games!

    While we are working on some awesome and precious licensing deals we cannot go into anything specific just yet, but we can already tell you that special MEGA65 versions are in the works of recent and well known Commodore 64 indie games.

  • MAY 2015
    -
    JUL 2017

    CASE

    From prototyping to final molds

    There is a saying in the technology industry: “hardware is hard”. It also comes out of rather expensive moulds. We already have designs for the cases, which we still need to refine, and then get them turned into injection moulding tools, so that we can produce beautiful MEGA65 cases.

  • DEC 2013
    -
    NOV 2017

    VHDL

    VHDL defines CPU, GPU, and more

    The MEGA65 hardware is written using the VHDL design language. This process is mostly complete, but there are a few outstanding features to finish, and when we get the new motherboards, we will need to tweak the design.

Get MEGA65


MEGA65 is more than a retro computer, it is the 21st century realization of the C65 heritage. It is a complete 8-bit computer running around 50x faster than a C64 while being highly compatible. HD output, SD card support, Ethernet, extended memory and other features increase the fun without spoiling the 8-bit feel. We are giving away the designs for free which take considerable time, effort and money to create.

Download latest Bitstream

While it is possible for anyone to download the sources for the FPGA, we are offering a service to keep you updated with the latest core files and infos. We ask for a donation of at least EUR 5 to help us provide this service and contribute to ongoing development. A project like this involves much greater costs than this, so larger donations are appreciated. Talk to us about special recognition for substantial donations.

Donate and get registered

Passwords for the download are sent to registered email addresses on each update. We are manually sending out those passwords so please give us a few days to do so.

Videos


Videos showing the MEGA65 computer in action, how to use and how to develop software for it. These videos are subject to change as the project evolves.

MEGA65 facts


For those interested in details, here are some current technical specifications of the MEGA65. These details are subject to change as we progress through the project.

CPU

  • 48MHz GS4510 single-core, in-order, no-branch-prediction, no-cache, single-scalar, no-fpu, no-smd, no-HCF, non-pipelined, enhanced 4502 8-bit processor

  • Including:
  • 32-bit ZP indirect and 32-bit far-JSR/JMP/RTS operations
  • 28-bit address space
  • Fast hypervisor traps
  • Virtual memory
  • IO virtualisation (coming soon)
  • Synthmark64 score: 44.5x (C64 = 1x)
  • Bouldermark score: 29,970 (C64 = 313)

DMA

  • C65 DMAgic compatible DMA controller
  • Fills at 48MB/sec, copies at 24MB/sec, swaps at 12MB/sec
  • VIC-IV advanced rasterised video controller, like the VIC-II and VIC-III no framebuffer
  • Native resolution 1920x1200 (192MHz pixel clock)
  • Supports all documented VIC-II modes (hi-res, multi-colour mode, extended-background-colour mode, sprites) and VIC-III modes (bitplanes are in the process of adding)
  • Independent horizontal and vertical hardware scaling allows text and graphics resolutions as high as 1920x1200 and as low as 60x38
  • Separate 256-colour palettes for sprites, bitplanes and character graphics, allowing upto 1,024 colours on screen without changing the palette in real-time
  • VGA output 12-bit (4,096 colours)
  • The planned DVI/HDMI output will support 23-bit colour (8.3 million colours)
  • Text mode extensions including proportional width characters, super-extended background colour mode, as well as the standard VIC-III extended attributes
  • Dual soft-SIDs + dual 8-bit DACs.
  • D81 disk images from SD card (native VFAT32 file system support coming soon).
  • Real 3.5" floppy drive support planned

  • Loading speeds:
  • Without fast loader: ~20KB second
  • Directly from SD card: 300 - 3000KB/second (1200 - 12000 blocks per second), depending on SD card
  • Joystick ports 1 and 2 (9-Pin Atari Standard)
  • VGA
  • 10/100mbit Ethernet
  • Mono audio (Stereo soon)
  • USB and Micro USB

  • Planned:
  • HDMI
  • Analog video
  • Extension port
  • External floppy (maybe)
  • USB (supports PC keyboards and adaptor cards)
  • Micro USB
  • Ethernet
  • Micro SD slot
  • MEGA-OS all-in-one hypervisor and compat operating system

  • Including:
  • Integrated freezer and task switcher
  • VFAT32 file system driver
  • Inter-process communications
  • C65-like all-in-one
  • Right now:
  • Use Ophis with the -4 option to target the 4502 CPU. The etherload utility can be used to push compiled programs to the MEGA65 practically instantly to make for a convenient cross-platform development environment.

  • Upcoming:
  • MEGA-OS will support interprocess communications, making it possible to write assemblers and compilers that assemble directly into a separate process, and then launches that process when it is ready. Thus it becomes possible to use the MEGA65 as an 8-bit development platform for 8-bit software (or to run a cross-compiler for Linux or Windows if you wish to be really strange).

Contact


You can send us a message via this form. Please note that unless you are press, you want to participate big time or have anything else of significance to tell us, we might not be able to answer. Our available time is being consumed on realising the MEGA65.