V4Z80P Laptop and V6Z80P+ FPGA board

by snout on 11-11-2010, 13:05
Topic: MSX Related

Source: Hackaday

Three years ago, a Z80/retrocomputing hobbyist called [Phil] of Retroleum set upon the task of creating his own Z80 based 8-bit laptop. Combining a trusty old Zilog Z80 with 2 Xilinx Spartan II FPGA chipsets and a 5" LCD sceen, the final result of his hardware project can be found over here. With a Z80 processor operating at 8MHz, 128Kb RAM, 128Kb VRAM, 128Kb Audio RAM and 128Kb Sprite RAM, 2.5" IDE and a Compact Flash slot the main specifications of the laptop are quite impressive! The laptop can show 256 colors out of a 4096 color palette simultaneously and to top it off it runs on a completely home-brew architecture, OS and file system.

Sadly, the laptop is not available on sale. Its successor, the V6Z80P+ FPGA board, which combines a Spartan II 150K FPGA and a 16Mhz Z80 can, however, be obtained in small quantities. Apart from the lack of a casing and an MSX cartridge slot (and, of course, out-of-the-box MSX compatibility) the specifications of this OSCA (Old Skool Computer Architecture) are quite close to those of the One Chip MSX. The V6Z80P+ has 3 memory buses, one for the CPU and main memory (512KB), plus another 512KB and 128KB. There are two MSX/Atari like joystick ports, PS/2 mouse and keyboard connectors, an RS232 serial comms port, a stereo audio socket, a 12bit colour video-out socket and MMC/SD card connector.

Like the V4Z80P laptop, this board comes with its own homebrew OS and filesystem as well, but an alternative config can be run at boot directly from an MMC/SD card. A Spectrum 48/128 emulator is already available as an alternative configuration. When available, this FPGA board can be obtained for £85 GBP (about € 107,-). You can check out this board in action right here.

Relevant link: V4Z80P Laptop
Relevant link: V6Z80P+ FPGA board

Comments (1)

By vanfanel

Champion (446)

vanfanel's picture

11-11-2010, 15:31

AWESOME!! Those demos got me carried away to the great Amiga days... If this machine ever runs an Amiga configuration (FPGA core), or better yet, it gets Lemmings running natively, I'm getting one. The OS seems to sweet, too!