Return of the 8-Bit HomeComputer: MEGA65


Feb 13, 2016
MEGA=Museum of Electronic Games & Art e.V.

Commodore don't release the C65, but MEGA will do. So they called this Computer MEGA65.
The MEGA65 based on a FPGA. And the Script to config the FPGA is open-source.
It seem the work on a Set of Case and Hardware that we soon can buy?
Do you know more about?

---- german: ----
Sieht ganz so aus als würde das "Museum of Electronic Games & Art e.V." an dem legendären C64 Nachfolger arbeiten, der nie erschienen war wohl zugunsten des C64 und des Amigas. Allerdings hat der MEGA65 zum C65 ein paar Änderung erfahren: So soll diese wohl noch mehr kompatibilität aufweisen. Basierend auf einem FPGA wird der 8-Bit Computer dargestellt. Die Konfigurationsdateien für den FPGA sind frei: OpenSource!
Es wird wohl an einem Bausatz gearbeitet und ich bin sehr neugierig - wißt Ihr mehr darüber?

CPU 48MHz GS4510 single-core, in-order, no-branch-prediction, no-cache, single-scalar, no-fpu, no-smd, no-HCF, non-pipelined, enhanced 4502 8-bit processor, with 32-bit ZP indirect and 32-bit far-JSR/JMP/RTS operations, 28-bit address space, fast hypervisor traps, virtual memory, IO virtualisation (coming soon).
Speed Synthmark64 score: 44.5x (C64 = 1x). Bouldermark score: 29,970 (C64 = 313).
DMA C65 DMAgic compatible DMA controller. Fills at 48MB/sec, copies at 24MB/sec, swaps at 12MB/sec.
Video Controller VIC-IV advanced rasterised video controller, like the VIC-II and VIC-III no framebuffer. Native resolution 1920x1200 (192MHz pixel clock). Supports all documented VIC-II modes (hi-res, multi-colour mode, extended-background-colour mode, sprites) and VIC-III modes (bitplanes are in the process of adding). Independent horizontal and vertical hardware scaling allows text and graphics resolutions as high as 1920x1200 and as low as 60x38. Separate 256-colour palettes for sprites, bitplanes and character graphics, allowing upto 1,024 colours on screen without changing the palette in real-time. VGA output 12-bit (4,096 colours). The planned DVI/HDMI output will support 23-bit colour (8.3 million colours). Text mode extensions including proportional width characters, super-extended background colour mode, as well as the standard VIC-III extended attributes.
Sound Dual soft-SIDs + dual 8-bit DACs.
RAM 128KB RAM visible to VIC-IV, 32KB colour RAM visible to VIC-IV, 128KB ROM/RAM. 128MB of (extended) DDR2 RAM being worked on to be made accessible.
Media D81 disk images from SD card (native VFAT32 file system support coming soon). Real 3.5" floppy drive support pLanned. Standard loading speed without fast loader ~20KB second. Loading speed direct from SD card 300 - 3000KB/second (1200 - 12000 blocks per second), depending on SD card.
Outputs Joystick ports 1 and 2 (9-Pin Atari Standard), VGA, 10/100mbit Ethernet,Mono Audio (Stereo soon), USB, Micro USB. Planned: HDMI, analog video, extension port, maybe external floppy.
Inputs USB (supports PC keyboards and adaptor cards), Micro USB, Ethernet, Micro SD slot, and coming soon: 3D accelerometer, on-board microphone and thermometer.
Operating System MEGA-OS all-in-one hypervisor and compat operating system, including integrated freezer and task switcher, VFAT32 file system driver and inter-process communications.
Form factor C65-like all-in-one. A laptop form is planned for a future release. Full-height 19" rack option extra.
Supported FGPAs Nexys4DDR (and soon) Nexys4PSRAM. These boards include a Xilinx Artix7 100T FPGA, which is a high-performance FPGA, much faster and larger than the Spartan FPGAs used in other retro computing projects. Unfortunately the old Spartan FPGA boards cannot run the MEGA65 core.
Development options Right now: Use Ophis with the -4 option to target the 4502 CPU. The etherload utility can be used to push compiled programs to the MEGA65 practically instantly to make for a convenient cross-platform development environment. For the future: MEGA-OS will support interprocess communications, making it possible to write assemblers and compilers that assemble directly into a separate process, and then launches that process when it is ready. Thus it becomes possible to use the MEGA65 as an 8-bit development platform for 8-bit software (or to run a cross-compiler for Linux or Windows if you wish to be really strange).
Milestones Reached: the computer is fully operational as a stand alone machine. We are now adding bitplanes, extended Hypervisor and more DOS.
  • The MEGA65 computer is expected to be ready for sale in third quarter of 2016. However you can always start playing with and programming MEGA65 software on a NEXYS4 DDR board with the latest bitstream (download here). A tutorial on how to setup up everything is available here.


Advanced Member
Dec 25, 2005
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Schön, schön. :)

A 48MHz CPU would have been an very beefy device if it would have exist back then, I'm sure. ^^ When I see what people pulled out of the C64 and it#s 1MHz CPU, it woul be interesting to see what talented coders can squeeze out of 48MHz and the huuuge 128Kb RAM (even DDR2). :D

Say what you want but back then, coding was much more close to the hardware than today, much less "overhead", much better ressource using. I'm always impressed by these kind of devices.


Nihilistic Mystic
Feb 28, 2014
This is a project I am very interested in. Keep us up to date (in case I forget to check on it).

I also found an interesting cheap and simple friction hinge (I checked out the blog link at the bottom of the MEGA65 page, it is for a laptop version of it). It wouldn't work for the Pyra, and I think the Pyra should be an improvement over the Pandora in this respect, but it gives me something to consider if the Pyra hinges do eventually become floppy.


Nov 19, 2005
cool project for shure!
love that it's opensource. i think the mist c64-core is still somehow closed. keep us posted pleeze. :)