HDMI video output for RC2014 Z80A retro machine

This new development was spotted recently on Twitter, and described in James Bowman’s monthly newsletter.

The add-in board is RC2014 bus compatible and is configured to behave like a 68B50 UART. As well as high quality text output on an HDMI monitor it can produce some stunning graphics.

James recently built up an RC2014 Mini and the Dazzler HDMI video module provides an excellent means to connect it to modern HDMI monitors and TVs.

Recap: James has been designing and building the innovative series of Gameduino video “shields” for the last 10 years.

The early ones had VGA output, and then with an integrated touchscreen LCD.

The latest offering is the GD3X “Dazzler” which produces a 1280x720 60Hz display via an HDMI connection.

Since the original Gameduino of 2010, James has used his own J1 soft core Forth cpu as an onchip controller. This was first implemented on a Xilinx Spartan 3 FPGA.

James is a freelance silicon designer, and his J1 based designs now are at the heart of every FTDI/Bridgetek graphics engine.

The latest Dazzler uses the BT815 Graphics Engine coupled to a Xilinx FPGA which provides the HDMI video and audio output.

The Dazzler is a small castellated module which can be purchased for incorporation onto other board assemblies.

James has used Dazzler to provide the memory and video subsystem for a 65C02 retrocomputing board, and more recently as a video “terminal” card for the RC2014 Z80 system.

If you want to follow James’s progress, his recent newsletters can be found from this archive: