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Neo6502 A Modern Open Source Retro Computer with W65C02 and RP2040

Jun 22, 2024 — by Giorgio Mendoza 249 views

The Olimex Neo6502 integrates classic computing architecture with modern enhancements, targeting enthusiasts of retro computing technology. This device leverages the W65C02 processor, operating at a frequency of 6.25 MHz, and incorporates an RP2040 co-processor that manages RAM, graphics, and additional computational tasks.

This dual-processor setup enables the Neo6502 to surpass traditional 6502-based systems in speed and efficiency by removing memory transfer bottlenecks between the processor and graphics. The device includes 2MB of Flash, 64k RAM, and 32k Graphics RAM, supporting complex computations and enhanced graphics.


Neo6502 Interfaces
(click image to enlarge)

The Neo6502 offers diverse connectivity options, including USB ports for keyboards and game controllers, and HDMI/DVI outputs for displays. It also features a mini speaker, a 3.5mm audio connector, and a UEXT connector for additional hardware extensions from Olimex.

Programming the Neo6502 is supported in languages such as BASIC, PASCAL, and C via various compilers including Mad Pascal, Mad Assembler, and CC65. Its firmware and software are open-source, with extensive resources like documentation, sample code, and schematics available on GitHub.

Neo6502 Demo
(click image to enlarge)

To power the Neo6502, a USB-C cable is required, and programming the RP2040 requires a USB-A to USB-A cable. Running Apple2 and Oric/Atmos emulators involves simple setup with the Neo6502, a USB keyboard, an HDMI cable, and a TV/monitor. For NeoBASIC, a USB-NeoHub and a USB flash drive are needed.

Olimex Neo6502
(click image to enlarge)

Its design ensures minimal setup and user-friendly operation for those familiar with computing hardware, as detailed in the User Manual and Wiki by Paul Robson.

Further information

The NEO6502 is available for purchase from the Olimex website for €30.00.

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