Build a 6502 based computer

6502 sbc

When I say build a 6502 computer, I mean a computer that has been built from scratch. When people say that they have built a PC, what they have done is put together circuits and peripherals. To me, truly building a computer is building with discrete components, ICs, wires etc. In this project I will design and build a 6502 based computer. I hope that by following this project, people will find it of interest, learn something and that some will want to build their own.

You don’t have to know 6502 assembly to understand the contents of this course but I encourage you to learn about it as it will cement your understanding of many important concepts. I have a course on 6502 assembly language.

Table 1 shows a table of prefixes that I will be using and their meaning.

PREFIXMEANINGEXAMPLE
#decimal value#22
#%binary value#%10010110
#$hexadecimal value#$EE
#’ ‘ASCII value#’B’
memory address in decimal1001
$memory address in hexadecimal$1101
table 1. data types

Each section of the computer could be made with a multitude of different components. However, with my design, there is a stipulation that I would like to make – that the ICs are of the era of the 6502. The 6502 was introduced in 1975 and I have decided that ICs will be used in my design if they were introduced in the 70s.

For each of the images that I have created, you can click on them to see an enlarged version, on a separate page.