Re: MAX Machine PLA

From: Anders Carlsson <>
Date: Wed, 3 Aug 2016 02:17:05 +0200
Message-ID: <>
Segher Boessenkool wrote:
> The 656* series graphics chip by MOS Technologies were originally 
> designed to be used in video games and graphics terminals.
However, the wildstar in 656* would match all VIC chips from 6560 and 
forwards, so this passage might relate to the VIC-I only?

As far as I know, there only exists one arcade game with a VIC-I chip, a 
Space Invaders clone that looks quite similar to Avenger on the VIC-20.

I understand the 6562 was developed in 1979 and the VIC-40 announced in 
November 1981. The Color PET and TOI both date to early 1980, at a time 
when Commodore may have settled to use the VIC-I chip in a computer of 
their own instead of just trying to find external buyers.

While I didn't find a reference on when Charpentier and Winterble begun 
working on the VIC-II, according to the Wikipedia article the chip was 
completed in November 1981. By then the VIC-20 was already launched and 
shown there would be a market for more home computers, so no need to 
rely on other manufacturers just they seemed to have done with the first 
video chip. The date Nov 1981 also fits with the Bagnall quote about 
Yashi Terakura designing the MAX Machine.

Wikipedia also mentions that the VIC-II was inspired by the TMS9918 in 
the TI-99/4 (October 1979) and the GI-8900 STIC found in Mattel 
Intellivision (test marketed in Fresno, CA 1979). While the STIC chip 
appears to have existed already in 1978 so Commodore might've obtained 
some to analyze, I'm not sure the VDP chip would've been found outside 
TI before the 99/4 launch. It puts the beginning of the VIC-II at 
earliest very late 1979, more likely early 1980.

Best regards

Anders Carlsson

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Received on 2016-08-03 01:00:02

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