Overview

This is a simple overview of the hardware for the Whizz80 computer.

There are many different ways on how you can construct the hardware for the Whizz80. I've tried to keep the design as simple as possible so that it could be built and tested on a breadboard first. Indeed this is where I first started working on the design.

It can also be constructed via point-to-point solder technique on prototype board. I see this as the next step away from a breadboard to something more permanent and robust, without the expense of having a PCB manufactured for a single run.

You can however construct the Whizz80 on a printed circuit boards once you are happy with the completed design (in fact, I do intend to do this down the track).

I have found that by keeping everything modular and making the interfaces pluggable, I can develop some parts PCB, some parts prototype board and even some parts still on a breadboard.

All I can document is how I have constructed the hardware for myself. Feel free to copy, or come up with your own methods (and would love to hear about any improvements).

Much of the hardware has not been built yet, or is in a prototype stage, or I haven't had the time to upload the details here yet.

General Hardware specifications

I've tried to keep the specifications of the Whizz80 as simple as possible.

  • 8-bit Z80 CPU running up to 1MHz
  • 32kb ROM
  • 32kb RAM
  • Input device
  • Output device
  • Storage device

I've left the Input/Output/Storage device design as generic as possible as I want to be able to change them as required. Some examples of input could be simple switches, a keyboard or even a serial terminal (which could do output as well).