About the Project

Design and construct a replica of the ALU found within the MOS Technology 6502 processor and interface it with the micro blogging service Twitter, allowing commands to be sent to it for arbitrary calculations and logical functions to be performed.

As the quote from the project specification says, our core goal is to internet connect a functional replica of the ALU from what is now an old but arguably very important processor in history. This will allow instructions to be issued to the ALU with one of the eventual goals being to allow the execution of 6502 assembly instructions.

System Concept

System concept diagram

The core of the project will be to realise a functional system as soon as possible using discrete 7400 series logic parts and then to replace them part by part with alternative implementations of the same functionality using different technologies. There are plenty of ideas already from implementing registers in relay latches and displaying values on Nixie tubes but they shall be revealed as time goes on and progress is made.

MOS Technology 6502

MOS Technology 6502

The 6502 is an 8-bit microprocessor from the 1970′s and is one of the most popular processors in its era due to its low price. Despite being the least expensive, it was still a fully featured processor and thus dominated the market over offerings from competitors such as Intel and Motorola. The 6502 was used in a whole variety of computers and game consoles such as the BBC Micro, Atari 2600, Apple II and the Commodore 64. We chose the 6502 over competitors such as the Zilog Z80 (as used in the ZX Spectrum) because of its popularity and importance in computing history.

BBC Micro

BBC Micro

As for this blog it will be updated regularly with as much progress, images and as much video as there is to report on it and hopefully it will see a webcam over the lab space and construction area added soon.