Minimal 8085 Single Board Computer – MiniMax8085
The MiniMax8085 project has been brewing for almost three years. Sometime in the spring of 2014 my kids and I visited local the surplus store, where my kids found some Intel 8000 series parts in the kids-fill-your-bucket area. Among these ICs were there: an 8085 CPU, an 8155 RAM with I/O ports and timer, a couple of 8255 PPIs, an 8282 latch, and some 27C128 UV EPROMs. It looked like a good start for an 8085 based computer that can be used to teach my kids some computer design and programming basics.
I wanted the project to be simple to build, with a minimal number of components, but yet to be a fully functional single board computer (e.g. to include the memory and an input/output device, for example a UART) with an extension bus. I checked the Internet for existing homebrew 8085 computers and found Roman Fülek’s NCB85 and NCB85v2 projects, and Glitch Works 8085 projects. While I liked these projects, they didn’t quite meet my project design goals:
The resulting design includes 8085 CPU, 8251 USART, 32 KiB SRAM, 32 KiB or 16 KiB ROM. It uses a GAL16V8/ATF16V8 simple programmable logic device (SPLD) instead of discrete logic ICs for the address decode and the frequency divider for USART. It reduces the number of components, allows for tweaking the configuration by re-programming the SPLD, and provides an introduction to the programmable logic devices.