Multicomp

Portions of the hardware and designs on this page are based on Grant Searle's original work, which was published with the following license:

“By downloading these files you must agree to the following: The original copyright owners of ROM contents are respectfully acknowledged. Use of the contents of any file within your own projects is permitted freely, but any publishing of material containing whole or part of any file distributed here, or derived from the work that I have done here will contain an acknowledgement back to myself, Grant Searle, and a link back to this page. Any file published or distributed that contains all or part of any file from this page must be made available free of charge.” -http://searle.hostei.com/grant/Multicomp/index.html, retrieved 12/14/15.

The Multicomp boards are hardware programmable microcomputer systems based on designs by Grant Searle using inexpensive FPGA development breakout boards. Grant's original Multicomp design was a “pick-and-mix” design that could use a 6502, a Z80 or a 6809 processor and which had a BASIC Interpreter in ROM in the FPGA chip.

The Z80 and 6809 variants of Grant's design have been extended both in their hardware and their software capabilities:

* The 6809 variant has been extended by Neal Crook to support more memory, a real-time clock, a timer interrupt and a simple memory mapper. It runs CamelForth 1.0, 6809 Extended Basic 1.1, Cubix 1.3, Buggy (debug monitor) Flex 9 and NitrOS-9 6809 L1.

* The Z80 variant has been extended by Max Scane and James Moxham. They also ported CP/M 2.2, CP/M 3.0 and MP/M II v2.1 to this machine.

Grant's original design used a Cyclone II FPGA breakout board connected to a prototyping board for additional connectors and components. Max Scane and James Moxham created a family of PCBs to connect to the FPGA breakout board. They also developed a PCB that connects to a Cyclone IV-based FPGA breakout board.

All of the hardware design description (in VHDL) and software for all of these designs is freely available for use and for modification.

Cyclone II Multicomp Boards

There have been three iterations of the Cyclone II Multicomp boards:

  • Multicomp Cyclone II-C - A 3rd revision of the Cyclone II board (10cm x 10cm) currently (December 2015) under development on the RBC Forums.
  • Multicomp Cyclone II-B - The 2nd revision of the Cyclone II board (10cm x 16cm).
  • Multicomp Cyclone II-A - The original board version (10cm x 10cm). Only a handful of boards were distributed.

Cyclone IV Multicomp Boards

There have been two iterations of the Cyclone IV Multicomp boards:

Commercially Available Multicomp Implementations

The Multicomp has also been implemented on the following commercially available FPGA boards:

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The Multicomp FPGA Based Microcomputer

Grant Searle designed the Multicomp microcomputer, a single board computer, to run a wide variety of vintage software. The software runs on a soft CPU core simulated inside the FPGA, either a Z80, 6502, 6809, or 6800.

An Altera Cyclone II or Cyclone IV based hardware programmable microcomputer based on Grant Searle's original design. The Multicomp currently supposes 3 different microprocessors as well as multiple Operating Environments and Disk Operating Systems. All three Multicomp versions originally had just a BASIC Interpreter in rom in the FPGA chip. Since then, CamelForth 1.0, 6809 Extended Basic 1.1, Cubix 1.3, Flex 9 and NitrOS-9 6809 L1 have been ported to the 6809 Multicomp called the Multicomp09 by Neal Crook. CP/M 2.2, CP/M 3.0 and MP/M II v2.1 have been ported to the Z80 Multicomp by Max Scane and James Moxham who also created both the Cyclone II based Multicomp PCB and the Cyclone IV based Multicomp PCB.

(FIXME: does UNA CP/M run on the Multicomp?)

boards/sbc/multicomp/start.txt · Last modified: 2016/09/14 12:20 by admin
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