So you may ask, what is the Uzebox exactly? Well, the Uzebox is a retro-minimalist, open source game console. It is based on an AVR 8-bit general purpose microcontroller made by Atmel. The particularity of the system is that it's based on an interrupt driven kernel and has no frame buffer. Functions such as video sync generation, tile rendering and music mixing is done realtime by a background task so games can easily be developed in C. The design goal was to be as simple as possible yet have good enough sound and graphics while leaving enough resources to implement interesting games. Emphasis was put on making it easy and fun to assemble and/or program for most hobbyists. The final design contains only two chips: an ATmega644 and an AD725 RGB-to-NTSC converter.
The Uzebox platform is evolving since its inception in August 2008. We've defined a standard platform with a specific minimum feature set so games written on any version or clone will work with each other. The current 'official' spec is:
- ATmega644 microcontroller (4K RAM, 64K Flash)
- Frequency: 28.61616Mhz
- Video standard: NTSC (For PAL support see this topic)
- Controllers interface: SNES
- SD/MicroSD or MMC card interface
- The Uzebox 'Gamer Edition' made by Embedded Engineering LLC. It's a fully assembled board with a reusable AVCore module (basically a complete Uzebox on a 40-pins DIP footprint!). It's currently available direct from them here and through Sparkfun Electronics.
- The Fuzebox made by Adafruit industries. It's a kit that you assemble yourself! Complete with a PCB (the surface mount video chip is even conveniently pre-soldered), case, power supply and SNES controller. Very fun to assemble! You can buy it here!
Source Code (Hosted at Google Code)