Lazarus-64, Not Actually 64 Bit But Still Blows Our Minds

Lazarus-64, breadboard game system; certainly sounds like something from the 1980s. We were surprised to find out not only the name, but also all the ICs used are only those available from the retro age of 30 years back (Save for the AVR controlling everything, of course). Even more amazing is how it has 256 flicker free color support, while not using NTSC chips. Which Goes to show that even if there are common solutions out there for cheap, building or compiling your own is not necessarily a bad thing or a waste of time.

There is a whole lot more to Lazarus, including double buffering and VMS, but sadly it appears progress has stopped on the Lazarus-64 breadboard game system, with the last update being last year. But we can still bask in the amazing glow that currently is.

16 thoughts on “Lazarus-64, Not Actually 64 Bit But Still Blows Our Minds

  1. Hello and thanks for posting some of my projects (this one and The Laser Spy Device).

    Lazarus-64 is a current project and gets weekend attention right now. I actually have a complete FPGA implementation but want to back track through the initial prototype and how it came to be. The 74HC logic version has been a blast to make!

    One day soon I will also have boards available, and everything on my site is always going to be fully open source.

    The new version actually has a 60MIPs GPU and is amazingly fast (256 sprites at 32×32 pixels is no problem). I will have boards made for that version as well.

    All version will connect to ANY micro-controller running at ANY speed and can be programmed in ANY language.

    What this means is that a PIC16F84 can do Space Invaders, or an AVR324 could do Wallenstein 3D!


  2. One more comment…

    Here is the FPGA version running on a Spartan-3 XCS3400…

    This version includes a the ability to handle sprites of any size and number with automatic transparency (blitting), as well as several GPU functions like line, box, circle, text, etc.

    The FPGA version is is like a Super Nintendo on a 2 inch card that you can control with any microporcessor. In fact, the uC acts like a game cartridge!

    I hope to get more done soon enough, as summer is winding down and my daytime work (bulding recumbent bicycles) is coming to an end due to winter!

    Cheers -> HackaDay is great.

  3. I think you’ll find it’s called the “Lazarus-64”, because it has (dual) 64K of static RAM. The “Commodore 64” is named for the same reason (64K RAM). Nothing to do with claiming to have a 64 bit bus !

    Either way, an awesome project, with an excellent write-up. Clearly, more hacking and lounging around should be performed on secluded Caribbean beaches :)

  4. I am just working on getting LucidScience up and running (forum and tutorials) and then I will get back to the projects, including Lazarus. It may be a few months, but I hope to have something available if there is enough interest int hat project.


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