Z8000 Testbed

A simple and reasonably minimal Zilog Z8001 based computer intended for learning and experimentation.

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This project is a small Z8001 based computer. It is really just for fun.

The system contains a Z8001 segmented CPU running at 6Mhz, 1MB of RAM, 2 serial ports and 20 general purpose I/O pins. The serial ports and I/O are implemented with Zilog Z8000 series chips, the Z8030 and Z8036. All the I/O simply terminates on headers.

There is no EPROM or FLASH storage - only RAM. An Arduino Mega 2560 R3 is used to load the RAM at startup, and provide access for debugging.

A large number of CPU and memory signals are connected to header pins. This is to enable the easy connection of test instruments, and in the longer term possible expansion with a daughter board.


Z8000 Testbed circuit diagram.

Adobe Portable Document Format - 223.38 kB - 05/11/2017 at 10:05


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Keith wrote 01/09/2018 at 23:01 point

I'm glad this micro is not completely abandoned. There was a Z8000 in a Circuit Cellar project called "Trump Card", which was a slave to the PC ISA bus. Alas I have not been able to find any firmware for the Z8000. 

I've ordered a few Z8001 chips from eBay but I can't find the Z8581 clock drive chip anywhere. Where did you get yours from?

Update: The guy who sold me the Z8001 said he had some Z8581 chips, so I bought one from him.

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