Virtualizing the 6502 on a 6502 using “6o6”

The Old Vintage Computing Research blog presents the official 1.0 release of the Incredible KIMplement, an emulator of the one kilobyte, 1MHz MOS/Commodore KIM-1 6502-based single board computer.

It provides access to the KIM’s built-in TTY support (even through your computer’s real serial port) and has expanded RAM with 16K of addressing space, all on an unexpanded stock Commodore 64.

It’s almost burying the lede to announce that, though, because the real meat in this entry is how the Commodore 64 manages to emulate a very different 6502-based system. That piece is “6o6,” for “6502-on-6502,” and is a full virtualized software NMOS 6502 CPU that runs on a 6502 CPU — which I’ve open-sourced too.

It has full control of guest code execution, including trapping undocumented and jam opcodes, and completely abstracts all memory access, making it possible to remap addresses, intercept illegal reads or writes, or even run entirely from virtual memory. On top of that, it’s complete enough to not only pass a full functional test but also virtualize itself virtualizing itself.

See all the details in the post here.


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