About Z80


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About the Zilog Z80 CPU

If a domain is named z80.eu , information about Zilog's Z80 CPU should not miss.

In 1974 Intel published the 8-bit microprocessor 'Intel 8080', and it was a very well done CISC family CPU with 64 KB address space. It was the heart of the first commercial sold microcomputer Altair 8800, and the base for Digital Research's great CP/M operating system.

In 1976 Zilog (which was found in 1974) published the Z80 CPU, which was binary compatible with the Intel 8080, but also enhanced with 80 new instructions.

Also, there were many improvements for system designers, too:
- single 5V power supply (the 8080 needs 5V and 12V also).
- a build-in DRAM refresh (remember, static RAM was expensive!)
- fewer chips were required for clock generation and interfaces
- two new index registers

Originally available in NMOS technology with clock rates of 2.5 MHz - 8 MHz, later CMOS versions were much faster, up to 20 MHz, and derivates from the Z80, the Z180 and the eZ80, up to 50 MHz.

The original Z80 was sold in a 40 pin DIP case:

The internal schema looks like this:

There are several good websites already publishing more informations about the Z80, a good first start is for sure wikipedia. More technical and almost complete is Thomas Scherrer's web page. There's also a detailed manual from the manufacturer itself (Zilog) still available here.

Also, very good books are published about the CPU itself and system designs:

Rodnay Zak's 'Programming the Z80' from Sybex (1st edition published 1980)
R. Zak and Austin Lesea's 'Microprocessor Interfacing Techniques' also from Sybex
James W. Coffron's 'Z80 applications' also from Sybex (1st ed. publ. 1983)
Lance A. Leventhal's 'Z80 Assembly Language Programming', Osborne/McGraw-Hill
For assembling and disassembling Z80 mnemonics:
I will provide here two programs in source code:

Z80 Disassembler (written in C, can be compiled with Turbo C 2.0 for example)

Z80 Assembler (written in Turbo PASCAL 3.0)

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Copyright (c) 2005-2014 Peter Dassow. All rights reserved.

peter.dassow@NOSPAM.z80.eu (remove NOSPAM. for a proper mail address)