The Neo6502 Is A Credit-Card Sized Retro Computer

The venerable MOS Technology 6502 turned up in all kinds of computers and other digital equipment over the years. Typically, it was clocked fairly slow and had limited resources, but that was just how things used to be. Today, the 6502 can run at an altogether quicker pace, and the Neo6502 was the board built to take it there.

The Neo6502 from [Olimex] is a credit-card sized retro computer built around the W65C02. If you’re unfamiliar with that chip, it’s essentially a 6502 that can go fast. How fast? It can be readily overclocked to a blazing 16 MHz, if you’re so inclined!

Unlike some 6502 retro builds, the Neo6502 doesn’t live so firmly in the past. It’s outfitted with an HDMI video interface to make it easy to hook up to modern monitors, so you needn’t fuss around with old displays. Similarly, it has a USB host port to accept input from a keyboard, and audio out via a 3.5 mm jack. There’s also a tiny PCB-mount speaker, as well as I2C, SPI, and UART interfaces. Finally, there’s 2 MB of flash onboard, and a 40-pin connector hosting all the 6502 signals that you know and love. Which is all of them. Much of this lavish equipment comes courtesy of an RP2040 microcontroller onboard that handles all the bits and bobs that aren’t fit for the CPU itself.

It’s still a new project, with things like a BASIC interpreter currently in development and boards not yet openly available.  But, if you’ve always wanted to play with a hotshot 6502, this could be the board for you. Try out the emulator and see how you go.

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