Does the Z8003 CPU exist?

Thread Starter

Bruce Mardle

Joined Mar 14, 2020
11
I've just been discussing the Zilog Z8001 CPU here and elsewhere. (I built a computer based on it in the early '80s.)
Does anyone know if its successor the Z8003 CPU (and Z8015 paged MMU) ever made it to silicon?
I used to have a 1983 Zilog catalogue that listed the Z80000 CPU and Z8070 FPU as "New for 1984". I finally got a call from a Zilog distributor in late '85 saying they had Z80000s. Apparently, the Z8070 never made it beyond an emulator board. This doesn't inspire confidence!
I've just been reading the Wikipedia Z8000 page and grumbling about the inaccuracies -- it reminds me of the Z8000 chapter in an Osborne book -- but I'm too shy/lazy to fix it!
 

dl324

Joined Mar 30, 2015
12,255
According to this 1985 datasheet, it did. If it was vaporware, the convention was to mark the datasheet as "preliminary".
 

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Thread Starter

Bruce Mardle

Joined Mar 14, 2020
11
According to this 1985 datasheet, it did. If it was vaporware, the convention was to mark the datasheet as "preliminary".
Good point, dl324. I've got a 'Z80000 Preliminary Technical Manual' but that did eventually exist. Also a Z80000 datasheet, which I mostly remember because the 2-clock-cycle read timing seemed virtually unusable!
 

Thread Starter

Bruce Mardle

Joined Mar 14, 2020
11
Incidentally, that page mentions the Z800 ('super-Z80s'), which was mentioned in that 1983 data book... but I don't think it ever existed in silicon under that name, The Z280 is pretty much the same thing, which can be switched between Z80 bus or Z-Bus (Z8000-like). (I built a very, very simple Z280 computer a few years ago.)
 

atferrari

Joined Jan 6, 2004
4,172
The Z80 was my first micro.
I am surprised by how much you seem to remember... unless you are currently working with it ¿?
And I did effective programming for maybe four years to later jumping to the 8051.
 

Thread Starter

Bruce Mardle

Joined Mar 14, 2020
11
The Z80 was my first micro.
I am surprised by how much you seem to remember... unless you are currently working with it ¿?
And I did effective programming for maybe four years to later jumping to the 8051.
I think I remember it because it was my impressionable youth :) <ramble>I'd been into digital electronics for a while when I first read an article about programming. (In a 1980 issue of 'Hobby Electronics', about programming the Commodore Pet in Basic.) Then I read a small book about the Intel 8080 and decided to make a computer based on that... then discovered the Z80. Even better! I never did complete that computer. I got a Sinclair ZX Spectrum (16k) and spent a lot of time programming that in Basic, assembler, Lisp and C. Then I decided to build a 'better' computer and chose the Z8001 CPU because
  • It was cheaper than an MC68000 (£30 vs. £50),
  • There was an MMU available for it, and
  • I thought my knowledge of Z80 assembler would be useful.
I've programmed various microprocessors/microcontrollers over the decades but never the 8051. I've also managed to avoid ever learning much x86 assembler :) </ramble>
 

Thread Starter

Bruce Mardle

Joined Mar 14, 2020
11
More photos of the Toshiba Z8003/4: http://www.chipdb.org/cat-z800x-1306.htm
A search for TMPZ8003C even found a site that claims to have thousands of them.
I wonder if Toshiba was the only manufacturer. I remember being interested in the Z8052 cathode ray tube controller for the Z8000s. I phone up a Zilog distributor and asked about it. They said it didn't exist. I pointed out it was mentioned in a Zilog catalogue. "Oh!" Eventually, they phoned me back and said "Try AMD" (who 2nd-sourced quite a lot of Zilog stuff). It turned out it was available as the Am8052 since Zilog didn't make it. (I never bought 1.)
 
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