#componentscloseup No. 145: 16-Bit Microprocessor
Manufacturer: AMD (Zilog)
Part Number: AmZ8002
Package Type: 40-pin CERDIP
The AmZ8002 is a 16-bit microprocessor from AMD. The die inside this part is actually based on the Z8002 die from Zilog. Comparing this die to the Z8002’s die on Wikipedia, and while they look very similar, I did spot a few differences. This was a common thing in the past, where one company would design a processor and then license out the technology to other companies for them to sell as their own product, as a second source. According to CPU-World, AMD signed the licensing agreement with Zilog because at the time Intel would not license its x86 technology to AMD. A few years later when AMD did get access to the x86 technology with Intel, they dropped Zilog.
Getting back to the AMD version of the Z8002, it is a 16-bit CISC ( Complex instruction set computer) CPU capable of addressing 64KB of memory (Z8001 was 24-bit and could access up to 8MB of memory). The CPU was designed around 16, 16-bit general purpose registers. Two of these registers could be grouped together to operate as a 32 bit reg, and four could be grouped together to operate as a 64 bit reg.
I also can’t talk about the Zilog processors without mentioning Captain Zilog, the comic book superhero. Yes, there was a superhero named Captain Zilog, whose main purpose was to stop Dr. Diabolicus from doing evil stuff. I included a snippet from one of the panels (image 10) of this comic book where Captain Zilog was trying to sell you Z8000’s and computers. The Z8002 from Zilog only cost $107.10 when it was released back in 1979 (which would be $383.43 in 2020 USD). One of the computers, the Zilog PDS 8000 Model 10, sold for only $10,500 USD in 1979.
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