Turaco is a project to develop an open source hardware, 8-bit games console and microcomputer. It is based on the following architectural choices:
- Zilog EZ80F91 CPU
- Clocked at 50MHz, this pipelined 8-bit microcontroller and CPU delivers roughly three times the performance per MHz of its 1980s Z80 kin.
- 1MB Static RAM
- By using 10nS static RAM, Turaco has no wait states to access main memory.
- VERA Graphics Chip
- Using a modified version of the same Verilog design as the Commander X16, Turaco has all the graphcal features of that platform: 640x480px, 4096-colour graphics, 16-channel synthesized sound, PCM samples, 128 hardware sprites, and two tile/bitmap graphics or text layers.
- HDMI-Compatible Video Output
- The modifications to the VERA design, plus the use of a DVI transmitter IC, enable real, zero-latency digital video output from VERA, using a standard HDMI cable, or a DVI cable through a passive adapter.
- USB Keyboard Support
- Through the use of a CH559T control chip, Turaco natively supports all common USB keyboards.
- Dual SNES Controller Ports
- You can use any SNES-compatible gamepad controller, or, with software supporting it, the SNES mouse!
- SD Card Mass Storage
- You will be able to use any FAT32 or ExFAT formatted SD card with your Turaco system.
- GPIO Port
- You get 16 pins of bidirectional, 5V-tolerant GPIO, four pins of which can also be used with one of the hardware serial UARTs on the system.
- The pins for the EZ80F91's Ethernet MAC are exposed on a header, for development of an Ethernet accessory later on.
- Cartridge Slot
- Turaco has a cartridge slot which is physically and electrically, but not logically, compatible with that of the Sega Mega Drive/Genesis -- Turaco cartrdiges will fit in the same shells and boxes, making physical releases much easier. Cartridges can contain ROM, RAM, I/O devices, and even SPI peripherals like more SD card slots!
Turaco is in the design stage of development, but is moving rapidly towards first prototypes. Retail cost is TBD, but a core goal is to deliver a factory-made, all-SMD product that can be produced economically, entirely from off the shelf new parts, for the lowest possible cost, and to enable multiple vendors to manufacture and sell Turaco systems via the Open Hardware License.
You can track and contribute to Turaco's development our GitHub; we welcome your contributions and ideas.
The WME64 is a ZiModem-based modem emulator for the Commodore C64, C128, and VIC-20, which uses modern wireless networking to get your retrocomputer on the Internet. It works as a standard user port modem, from 2400-9600 baud (depending on hardware limits).
Custom C64 Cartridges
We make custom ROM cartridges for the C64; these can contain any number of single-load .PRG files, up to a total of 1024KB, booting the C64 into a menu to select which file gets loaded into memory and run. These cartridges come in a custom-designed 3D printed case, with a large, full-colour label designed by the customer.
We also make and sell products designed by others where licenses permit. See our Tindie store for what's available at present, as the inventory changes often.