MEGA65 Orders Reopen For New Batch of 8-Bit Should Have Been

Last Updated on June 3, 2023

They’ve already sold 400 units, and now the MEGA65 is entering a large run of 1000 for delivery in quarter 1 of 2022.

You probably know that the MEGA65 is an 8-bit computer running more than 40x faster than a C64 while being increasingly compatible. It features a mechanical keyboard, digital video output, dual SDHC card support, Ethernet, extended memory and other features that are intended to increase the fun without spoiling the 8-bit feel.

Hardware designs and software for the MEGA65 are open-source, which pretty much means that anyone with the right skills can contribute to its ongoing development.

Inspired by the unproduced Commodore 65, the MEGA65 features architecture based on the computer, with C64 compatiblity and Amiga and Atari ST cores in development. There is support for C64 cartridges, and the device will run disks from the 3.5-inch drive, external disks, and the microSD slot simultaneously. MEGA65 has several games preinstalled a licensed C65 ROM, and an enhanced version of GEOS.

Hardware treats include:

  • Powerful Xilinx™ Artix A7 200T FPGA for main integrated circuit, additional MAX™ 10 FPGA for recovery
  • Incredibly high quality cherryMX™ based retro keyboard with metal frame
  • Double shot keycaps that will last forever
  • Professional moulded C65-style plastic case with support for additional ports and other modifications
  • Modern features like 100 MBit fast LAN, dual SDHC™ card slots, digital video and more
  • Awesome chiptune potential: 4 SIDs, OPL2™ (wip), 4-channel 16-bit DMA-based Audio in FPGA
  • Keyboard FPGA allows for easy control and reconfiguration to individual needs
  • 40 MHz 8-bit CPU, 384 KB fast RAM, 8 MB serial RAM (wip)
  • VIC-IV video controller with VGA™ and digital video connectors
  • Digital and analog video output usable at the same time
  • 3.5 mm 4-pin stereo audio socket. Audio is also sent on the digital video connector
  • Internal Pmod™ connectors for additional expansions like Tape, Userport, extra memory or real SIDs
  • JTAG™/FTDI™ programmer port for quick testing + flashing of bitstreams, debugging and coding
  • Supports real 1541, 1571, 1581 Commodore™ drives via IEC Port
  • Battery-backed real-time-clock (battery CR1220 not included)
  • Keyboard fits original Commodore™ 65 case

The first production run of the machine sold out in just a few hours. Those devices are expected to ship in the final quarter of 2021. However, to avoid scalping, orders are limited to one per person.

The MEGA65 is not cheap either, with a price of €666, which is around £700 all in (or $773, and nearly $1000 with taxes and shipping). You can order your MEGA65 at Trenz Electronic.

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