Z80 and 8080

Early Bird Microprocessors for Computers

“Zilog Z-80 microprocessor advertisement from May 1976. Federico Faggin, Ralph Ungermann and Masatoshi Shima left Intel in late 1975 to start Zilog. Their product was the Z-80, a superset of the Intel 8080. This two page advertisement appeared in the May 27, 1976 issue of Electronics magazine”

This page has many vintage images of the early processor days, when people both at home and office created personal computing equipment. The first was the affordable Home desktop PC itself. Such small computers were used by some big firms for larger tasks or interfaced to big computers.

delabs has some Embedded Resources for Reference. My own projects are also listed. Many external resources from the late 90s are listed here too,

Microprocessors came before Microcontrollers, These days Multi-Core Processors are used in gadgets and computers you use daily.

Embedded Engineer or DIY Enthusiasts use Microcontrollers more than processors. The separating Line is disintegrating. Now the differentiation is Low Power Consumption Mini devices for Gizmos and Multi-Core Devices for computing Gadgets like Tablets and Notebooks. We also have powerful devices for Servers and Large Computing Systems that are Specialized.

The Embedded Device needs of an Instrument or Equipment used in Lab or Factory are like the AVR, PIC, 8051 successors or Forks. Some Large systems may use ARM devices as a central control for tiny uC branches of AVR, PIC.

The above two devices got many people interested in using computers and making smart equipment and machines in the 70s-80s. These evolved into chips for computers and microcontrollers for smaller systems.

microcontroller was just a large chip with more external supporting chips of processor boards getting integrated into the main Silicon. Then CMOS reduced power and the firmware became smaller and smarter. Less code for getting things done.

This page is just a bunch of images of these ancestors of devices we see today.

Z80 Pictures

The Z80 based single-board computer released by Talking Electronics in Australia. This particular computer featured on the cover of issue 11.

This is a processor board for the NorthStar Horizon vintage computer. Although this board was designed circa 1977, the computer for which it was intended was not released until 1979. The primary Zilog Z80 processor is the largest chip in the center. It is surrounded by many other discrete logic chips. Notice that none of the chips are soldered, but are instead in sockets.

8080 Pictures

First 8080 DMD computers in 1975

First 8080 DMD computers in 1975

The IMSAI 8080 was an early microcomputer released in late 1975, based on the Intel 8080 and later 8085 and S-100 bus.[1] It was a clone of its main competitor, the earlier MITS Altair 8800. The IMSAI is largely regarded as the first “clone” microcomputer. The IMSAI machine ran a highly modified version of the CP/M operating system called IMDOS. It was developed, manufactured and sold by IMS Associates, Inc. (later renamed IMSAI Manufacturing Corp). In total, between 17,000 and 20,000 units were produced from 1975 to 1978.

NEC TK 80 kit with Intel 8080 processor -National Museum of Nature and Science, Tokyo

By Daderot (Own work)

Heathkit’s H8 is an Intel 8080-based microcomputer sold in kit form starting in 1977. The H8 was similar to the S-100 bus computers of the era, and like those machines was often used with the CP/M operating system on floppy disk.

By Arthur G Korwin Piotrowski

The Evolution of 8080 to 8086, then we went to 286 and 386 which had EGA and CGA Monitors. Monochrome White and Green Monitors. Some color too came later with pixels that you could spot.

Then we got the 386 and 486 with numerical processor add on option, more advanced numerical and data computation could be done. It had the Color SVGA Monitor which was the HD of those days. But sadly these advanced systems were used more for DirectX games and 3D Car Racing simulations.

IBM PC XT had a 8088 Processor, PC AT used a 80286 or 286 uP