Tuesday, April 5, 2016

[hardware] Retroleum Nebula - A ZX Spectrum ULA Replacement

As our beloved 8-bitters are getting older, things are inevitably going to break at some point. For generic small components this isn't much of an issue, but some of the custom ICs from back in the day are increasingly hard, if not impossible to come by nowadays.

The ZX Spectrum ULA chip falls into the latter category, as it has been out of production for decades. So Spectrum fans will be delighted to hear that Phil Ruston and Alessandro Dorigatti from Retroleum have created a CPLD replacement module for the 48K ULA. Titled the Nebula, it aims to provide full compatibility with the 6Cxxx series ULA, meaning it should work with most if not all Spectrum 48K models. An outstanding achievement that deserves a round of applause in my opinion!

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