BMC64: a bare metal fork of VICE's C64 emulator optimized for the Raspberry Pi 3

Via Hacker News

BMC64 is a bare metal fork of VICE’s C64 emulator optimized for the Raspberry Pi 3. (It will also work on RPi 2 and Zero models with reduced performance for some features.) It has 50hz/60hz smooth scrolling, low video/audio latency and a number of other features that make it perfect for building your own C64 replica machine.


Notably, VIC-20, C128, +4, and PET emulation is bundled, as well.

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Sounds pretty good - and the precedent of taking an application like VICE and porting it to bare metal is surely useful to others. But 4 seconds to boot isn’t quite the retro experience!

When hardware starts to get complex…

My own bare-metal Pi framework also takes a second or 2… and a lot of that is just initialising the USB hardware and hub. It’s faster on a Pi Zero with no hub…


Depends on the hardware. Anything with a disk to load from took a few seconds. Or if it was a C64+1541, a few seconds times a lot

I’ve met the author of BMC64 a few times at various World of Commodore events. While it’s a bare-metal port of VICE at heart, quite a bit of work has gone into making it responsive, especially on composite video CRT displays. A lot of original Commodore machines have failing hardware, and this was an attempt to bring snappy emulation without hardware heartbreak.

Randy’s also responsible for the VIC-II Kawari, an FPGA-based VIC-II replacement for C64s. Very clever stuff.

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