The Commodore 64 was released 34 years ago — and although it was discontinued in 1995, it still has a strong fan base, especially among retro gamers. It also spawned hundreds of clones as well, with makers designing their own systems and emulators derived from the popular PC. One of the smaller clones (touted as the world’s smallest) produced comes from StaringLizard (Mathias Edman) with his MEMWA2 c64 Emulator.
Mathias created the MEMWA2 using a custom-designed 6-layer PCB just big enough (65 X 45 X 20mm) to fit the electronics, which include a STMicroelectronics MCU (Arm Cortex-M7 running @ 216MHz), 256Mb of Alliance Memory DRAM (200Mhz, 64 Mbit, FBGA) and an Analog Devices HDMI transmitter for wirelessly outputting audio and video to any display.
It also features an audio connector, microSD slot, HDMI connector, USB Type A/micro connectors and a pair of DSUB9 Joystick Ports. Essentially everything needed to emulate the Commodore 64, well almost. It does have its issues as the MCU needed to be under-clocked to 216MHz just to achieve nominal frame-rates using the emulator and his software isn’t perfect —it contains multiple bugs, but what software doesn’t?
Mathias also tried to get his MEMWA2 crowdfunded on Kickstarter back in 2015 but failed to meet his target goal of about $3,500, however even with all of these drawbacks he hasn’t been demoralized. In fact, like a true maker he is constantly revising his design and updating his software (which can be found here) to make the MEMWA2 more stable and capable of playing more games, which includes Boulder Dash, Commando, Bubble Bobble, Paradroid and Giana Sisters.
See more at the Staring Lizard site.
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