RETRO Innovations

Commodore USB Interface Thoughts

by on Apr.09, 2010, under Hardware Design

The USB interface has become the ubiquitous interface for all kinds of peripherals, from file storage to cameras, wireless adapters to input devices. I wonder if there would be interest in a USB interface for Commodore machines, and how “intelligent” it would need to be. For example, I could easily design a “dumb” interface that simply maps the USB electrical interface into the C64/C128/VIC address space, but then each developer would be required to implement all USB protocol functionality. On the other hand, a more intelligent interface would help developers, but would cost more and some development would still be necessary, as many less common USB devices would require custom drivers to implement high level functionality.

Still, the idea seems a sound one. If the right balance is chosen, only software development would be required to use newer USB devices on the C64/C128. Software is much easier to develop and share, and if there are enough owners, it would be worth it to add support for USB devices in programs like GEOS, etc.

I’d appreciate any thoughts readers might have. Is this something you would find useful?


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