C64 Runs On STM32F429 Discovery

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C64 Runs On STM32F429 Discovery

There have been various reincarnations of the Commodore C64 over the years, and [Dave Van Wagner] has created one that can run on an STM32F429ZI Discovery development board. These dev boards have been around quite a few years and feature a 2.4 inch color TFT LCD in addition to the typical I/O circuitry, and are a pretty good value — [Dave] says they currently sell for under $30 through distribution.

The project began earlier this year when [Dave] set out to write a command line program in C# that emulated C64 Basic. He had written a 6502 emulator many years earlier, but had not tested it. [Dave] went on a programming binge in March and got it up and running over a very long weekend. He subsequently decided to add support for VIC-20, TED, and PET as well.

Even though [Dave] says C# is a beautiful language, he subsequently ported the program into C (an ugly language?) in order to run on the Discovery board, swapping the command line terminal interface for real LCD video and a USB keyboard. There’s also an Arduino version (terminal interface only). It runs about 15% slower than a real C64, and there are some limitations still like no SID. But overall, this is a great project and a low-cost way to emulate a C64 in an embedded format. If you want to explore further, here is the Mbed project for the STM32F429, and you can find the Arduino and C# versions on his GitHub page. You may remember [Dave] from the C128 video hack we wrote about last year.