[vcf-midatlantic] Semi-OT: microcontollers (?)

Dave McGuire mcguire at neurotica.com
Thu Jun 29 13:27:53 EDT 2017

On 06/29/2017 12:54 PM, Dan Roganti wrote:
>     ​I recall the TMS1000 was the first one in 1974, and its many
>     variants thru the 70s and 80s, but they called it a microcomputer. I
>     guess the term microcontroller came a few years later. ​But it
>     combined all the essential components on one die, processor, ram,
>     rom, and some had LED or VFD display ports.  Not only did they find
>     their way into calculators, but also the first generation of
>     computerized board games and robotic toys in the 1970s, Code Name
>     Sector and Big Trak. I think Intel didn't get onboard the
>     microcontroller scene until 1980 with the 8051/31 But I could be
>     mistaken.
> ​ohh, I remember now,
> of course Intel had the 8049 microcontroller in the 70s

  Yeah 8049 is a nice little processor.  I have development tools for
it, at least a cross assembler and some other stuff.  I also have lots
and lots (AND LOTS...probably 100+) of 8749s, the EPROM version, if you
(or anyone else) wants to hack on some.  I'm not purging them, but I
have more of them than I will ever need and they're really nice chips.

  I've read about the TMS1000 and have seen it in lots of places.  I've
always bee interested in learning more about it but I think they were
only ever sold in mask-programmed versions.  That makes me wonder what
was done for development.  It may not have been EPROM, sure, it was
pretty early for that...but surely something was done before going all
the way to a mask.


Dave McGuire, AK4HZ
New Kensington, PA

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