Inside The Atari 2600 | Hackaday

The Atari 2600 was an particularly well known but quite easy match console again in the 1970s. They offered, seemingly, more than 30 million of them, and, of program, these points broke. We’d get calls from friends and — remember, back again then ordinary men and women weren’t laptop savvy — nine moments out of 10, we’d check with them to swap the controllers to display them it was a terrible controller, and problem solved. But if you did have to open up a single up, it was astonishing how tiny there was inside of, as [Steve] notes in his new teardown.

The bulk of the circuit board was switches, the energy supply, and a Tv modulator if you don’t forget those people. The circuit board was a very small thing with a shrunk-down 6502, a 6532 RIOT chip, and a personalized chip termed a TIA. If you are common with these chips, you could possibly speculate if the TIA experienced any memory in it. It didn’t. Almost all the ROM and RAM for the game lived in the cartridge alone. Absolutely sure, the RIOT has 128 bytes of memory, but that is not a great deal.

The TIA generates timing alerts using an odd configuration that [Steve] discusses. The restricted memory describes some issues you may well or could not have discovered. Most video games have a symmetrical background where by the still left is a mirror copy of the ideal. The TIA architecture clarifies why. You could modify things, but you experienced to do it involving scan traces which left a scant 76 clock cycles to do what ever you essential.

There are a great deal of methods for squeezing the most out of the minimal architecture that [Steve] highlights. He also delivers back links for producing your have games and managing them on true hardware or an emulator. Since the box was well known and experienced a — form of — 6502 within, you’d consider anyone would have turned it into a whole laptop. A person did.

Luis Robinson

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