Generating IBM monochrome graphics with an FPGA #VintageComputing @hackaday @hackadayio
To get the video signals necessary for very vintage IBM PCs (and clones) these days FPGAs are more commonly employed. In this project from Hackaday.io, Ted Fried put one to great work driving an ancient IBM 5151 MDA display.
The build relies on a Digilent Arty Z7-20 SOC FPGA development board, which has a beefy 600 MHz ARM processor on board. It also packs 500 MB of DRAM—more than enough for storing pixel data for an ancient display.
To drive the old display, [Ted] whipped up a state machine on the FPGA. It’s tasked with fetching display data from RAM and creating the appropriate timings for the MDA display interface. The images are stored directly in an array in C code running on the ARM core. From there, they are copied into the FPGA’s RAM for trucking out to the display.
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