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Rendering characters!

A project log for uPD7220 Graphics (and VGA hack)

Making an 80s GDC run for the first time in decades, and my first real hack on hackaday.io

Dylan BrophyDylan Brophy 04/05/2019 at 19:410 Comments

I've managed to make my card render characters!  I used the Z80 computer this project was originally intended for this time, instead of the Arduino testbench.

There is not a font yet, so I just rendered a bunch of smiley faces and tested that the program could keep track of the cursor position.

Smiley faces are a good way to do testing.

It's working very well, but I would like to render things a bit faster.  I think the Z80 math routines run slow however, for calculating cursor positions and colors.

It doesn't help that my card has 16 colors - it appears that the uPD7220 was designed to just do black and white.  This means that I have to send a few more commands to the uPD7220 to select a group of bits for a pixel (multiple colors) instead of just one bit (black and white).  The uPD7220 automatically selects a single bit when a command is sent to set the VRAM address, but my program must select multiple.

Here is my graphics driver for the Z80: https://github.com/NuclearManD/z80-code/blob/master/G00nOS/upd7220.z80

You may need to look at some of the other files, but all graphics functions are there (er, rather, the ones I've written thus far).

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