motorola 68000

Sharp X68000

“The Sharp X68000, often referred to as the X68k, is a home computer released only in Japan by the Sharp Corporation. The first model was released in 1987, with a 10 MHz Motorola 68000 CPU (hence the name), 1 MB of RAM and no hard drive; the last model was released in 1993 with a 25 MHz Motorola 68030 CPU, 4 MB of RAM and optional 80 MB SCSI hard drive. RAM in these systems is expandable to 12 MB, though most games and applications did not require more than two.”

“In terms of hardware, it was very similar to arcade machines of the time, and served as the Capcom CPS system development machine. It supported separate text RAM, graphic RAM and hardware sprites. Sound was produced internally via Yamaha’s then top-of-the-line YM2151 FM synthesizer and a single channel OKI MSM6258V for PCM. Due to this and other similarities it played host to many arcade game ports in its day. Games made for this system included Parodius Da! -Shinwa kara Owarai e-, Ghouls ‘n Ghosts, Strider, Final Fight, Alien Syndrome, Street Fighter II Dash, Akumajo Dracula (Castlevania in other regions, the X68000 version was ported to the PlayStation as Castlevania Chronicles), Cho Ren Sha 68k (which has a Windows port) and many others. Many games also supported the Roland SC-55 and MT-32 MIDI modules for sound as well as mixed-mode internal/external output.”


Sinclair QL, Motorola 68008 and Microdrive

A friend of mine sent me one Sinclair QL in a big box with manuals and accessories (ROM modules, floppy controller, IDE controller, 512k RAM expansion, RS232 adapter) because I wanted to test it using our benchmark and compare the results with 8088 in PC and Motorola 68000 in Amiga 500.

Sinclair equipped the computer with Motorola 68008. The standard 68000 CPU has a 16-bit data bus, but this smaller version has it only eight bits wide. The rest is the same so there are 32-bit CPU registers and 16-bit ALU. Using the narrowed data bus was an understandable way to make computers cheaper. IBM PC 5150/5160 has also its data bus eight bits wide. On the other side Intel 8088, unlike Motorola 68008, has a small prefetch queue so there should be smaller performance loss in comparison with a standard version of the chip.

I’ve never done anything with Sinclair QL so this is my first time. I’m quite surprised that the keyboard is mechanically much better than the one on Sinclair Spectrum+ (which looks almost the same). Also two integrated Microdrive units are easy to use and surprisingly fast. Each tape can hold 100kB of data and having two drives allows for easy tape copy.

title - Alien Soldier (Treasure - Mega Drive - 1995) 

from Wikipedia: “The catchphrases seen on the title screen, "FOR MEGADRIVERS CUSTOM” and [Japan-only] “VISUALSHOCK! SPEEDSHOCK! SOUNDSHOCK! NOW IS TIME TO THE 68000 HEART ON FIRE!”, describe the game’s technical prowess for the Mega Drive hardware, at the core of which is the Motorola 68000 CPU.“

The SAGE II, released in 1982, is a powerful-for-its-time microcomputer aimed at scientific and professional computing uses. It uses a Motorola 68K processor running at 8MHz, making it a powerful 16-bit microcomputer.  It has 512KB of RAM, but only 128KB is actually usable as RAM; the rest is used as a RAM disk for temporary data storage.

The computer is incapable of using a HDD, as it lacks the management hardware for it (but that gets fixed in a later model). It uses dual 5.25" floppy drives for storage, each disk capable of holding 800KB of data. So don’t forget to move your files off the RAM disk before powering down!

For an operating system, you had a choice: either a special variant of CP/M retooled for 68K CPUs, or UCSD P-System, which used Pascal in an environment similar to how Java is utilized today. The SAGE II was thus very popular in the scientific community, until the SAGE IV came around and replaced it.