16-bit designs

Z8001 wire wrap card (top)

Z8001 wire wrap card (1983)

Hitachi H8/3048 — early 1990s

A low-cost evaluation board for a 16-bit Hitachi H8/300 (H8/3048) processor was available with “one-time programmable” parts. The GCC compiler and Cygnus port were supplied as part of the evaluation platform. We did not produce any hardware, but evaluated the platform as described here.

Zilog Z8000 — 1983 ⇔ 1985

We did a fair amount of work with Zilog’s Z8001/2 processors. They were widely adopted in the US miltary, and after a few years of 8-bit Z80 work, this was a natural transition. The 32-bit Z80,000 was late in delivery compared to the 68000 family from Motorola (with plenty of second sources), so the Z8000 took a back seat. We bought a Zilog System 8000 for development and wrote a C I/O library from scratch, as we did not have access to Unix source code in South Africa due to sanctions. There were several Unix look-alikes — Minix, Xinu and others for embedded work, and we pretty much stuck to examples from the Kernighan & Ritchie C book. Zilog provided an example of printf, which we used.

We sold our System 8000 in 1985 before a stint in the UK. Although the job in the UK also used a System 8000 for development, their targets were the 8-bit Z80, so our Z8000 work stopped in 1985. There are eight entries including the index/ overview: