RE: FPGA/CPLD different approach

From: Bil Herd <>
Date: Wed, 4 Sep 2013 14:35:26 -0400
Message-ID: <>
Heh, how much would a working C128 prototype with chip emulator towers go
for I wonder.

I was looking to get the Commodore LCD working if possible also, but doubt
anybody knows what it is.

-----Original Message-----
[] On Behalf Of Nate Lawson
Sent: Wednesday, September 04, 2013 1:28 PM
Subject: Re: FPGA/CPLD different approach

On Sep 4, 2013, at 9:50 AM, Bil Herd wrote:

> I assume that $100USD is completely out of line for a chip emulator just
to pick a price, I assume it's cheaper to find a system on Ebay, etc, but
then are there chips that just can't be gotten any more?  Are there
systems that are irrevocably unusable without some chips of the category
we are talking about?

Think about it happening in stages.

Stage 1: spare parts readily available (< $50) Stage 2: parts scarce, but
available ($100) Stage 3: parts very expensive ($1000) Stage 4: museum use
only, maybe just for display ($10000 or more)

Depending on your choice of retro device, we're in stage 1 & 2. The Apple
I is a good example of a system that has reached stage 3 or 4.

BTW, what is the price for a working ceramic 6502 with date code 1975 or
1976? That's probably the proverbial canary in our chip (coal) mine.

I think it's best to wait as long as possible before jumping into
replacement parts. This gives you the best options as far as technology to
use. At stage 1, there's no reason except to scratch an intellectual itch.
At stage 2, it starts making sense but you still have cost constraints. At
stage 3, you just do a small batch custom ASIC. At stage 4, you have no
cost constraints and you spend a lot of time getting everything right,
even the packaging and stencil (but probably leaving a small identifier to
prevent resales as a counterfeit).

Anybody have evidence of this pattern from other systems? There have to be
pre-1977 systems that have been through these stages.


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Received on 2013-09-04 19:00:04

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