Zilog Z80

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A Zilog Z80 chip.

The Zilog Z80 is an 8-bit microprocessor designed by former Intel physicist Federico Faggin and a team of engineers as the first product for Zilog. It was initially conceived of in 1975, work on it began in early 1975, and it was completed in March 1976 and first sold in July 1976. The Z80 is compatible with the Intel 8080, and likewise designed to be used in embedded systems, but also has several improvements and additional features. The chip went on to be extremely successful and was used in a vast array of hardware.


I didn't start becoming interested in the CPUs used in computers or video game systems until my 30s, and, initially I only cared about the MOS 6502 because it was the CPU of all of my favorite machines. However, after my interests began to expand, I started seeing the Z80 everywhere. This led me to learn more about it, but, at the same time, become intimidated by its massive instruction set (compared to the the RISC of the 6502).


The Z80 and its variants were used on hundreds of devices, but here are the ones most important to me: