HP 64000

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An HP64000 system photographed in 1987.

The HP 64000, introduced circa 1980, is a tool for developing hardware and software for products based on commercial microcomputers. The earliest commercial 64000 development systems contain from one to six 64100A Development Stations sharing a hard drive and line printer. This arrangement allowed up to six designers and engineers to use their workstations together, sharing the HPIB instrumentation bus and a hard drive and a line printer. This was an innovative feature of the 64000 development system since other systems of the era used a timesharing system with a single system processor and memory, making for a more expensive and less flexible development system.


HP 64000 diagram

The 64000 system is a complete emulation system consisting of a microprocessor emulator, a memory emulator, a logic analyzer, and a software package that interacts with the integrated hardware to form a complete development tool.[1]

The three interfaces that comprise a 64000 system are as follows:

  1. the user interface as defined by the target processor's specifications.
  2. the high-speed emulation bus that connects the processor emulator, the memory emulator, and the logic analyzer.
  3. the 64100A mainframe bus is used to control the emulation processor and to communicate between the mainframe processor and the emulation processor.

Examine the functional diagram of the HP 64000 system to the right which illustrates the interaction between various system components.

Microprocessor emulator[edit]

An HP 64000 Incircuit Emulator, on right of picture. Part of a system being used to test an Intel 8086 processor in February 1986.

The emulation systems available consists of two subsystems, 1) an external emulation pod which contains the target microprocessor and 2) an internal expansion card called the emulation control board which controls the microprocessor in the pod and interfaces it to the system timing and control signals of the 64100A workstation.

Emulator pods[edit]

These are pods external to the 64100A and 64110 mainframe. The pod is connected to a matching control board in the card cage by 2 sometimes 3 flat cables. It may also be connected to a target computer system's processors socket by a 40-pin plug for 8 bit processors or a 64-pin plugin for processors like the 68000 or 68010 64-pin dip socket.

The following is a list of available emulator pods for various target microprocessor systems.

Model Remarks
64191A Emulation Probe Motorola 6805
64202A Emulation Probe Intel 8080
64203A Emulation Probe Intel 8085
64212A Emulation Probe Motorola 6800
64213A Emulation Probe Motorola 6802
64215A Emulation Probe Motorola 6809
64223A Emulation Probe Intel 8086
64224A Emulation Probe Intel 80186
64226A Emulation Probe Intel 8088
64232A Emulation Probe Zilog Z8001
64242A Emulation Probe Motorola 68000
64252A Emulation Probe Zilog Z80
64256A Emulation Probe Motorola 6801/6803

Emulator control board[edit]

The control board which controls the interface to the pods is installed in the 64100A internal card cage. This emulator control board consists of:

  • a timing section which converts the target CPU's timing signals to those compatible with the 64100A bus.
  • assorted status and control registers
  • 256 bytes of memory called background memory.
  • a state machine called the background controller.
  • an illegal opcode detector

The following table of available controller boards lists various target architectures for particular controllers. Given the generalized design features of the 64000 system, some controller boards are compatible with more than one microprocessor family.

Model Remarks
64201A Controller Board for Intel 8080, Intel 8085 pods
64211A Controller Board for Motorola 6800, Motorola 6802 pods
64243A Controller Board for Motorola 68000, pods
64251A Controller Board for Zilog Z80 pods
64271A Controller Board for Motorola 68000, Intel 8088, Intel 8086 pods

Other expansion cards[edit]

The 64100A can support other expansion cards to aid in emulation or in prototyping.

Model Remarks
64151A 64K Byte Emulator Memory Board static 8-bit memory card
64152A 32K Byte Emulator Memory Board static 8-bit memory card
64153A 16K Byte Emulator Memory Board static 8-bit memory card
64154A 8K Byte Emulator Memory Board static 8-bit memory card
64161A 128K Byte Emulator Memory Board static 16-bit memory card
64162A 64K Byte Emulator Memory Board static 16-bit memory card
64300A Real-Time Logic Analyzer Board provides system-controlled logic analyzer
64500A PROM Programmer provides prom programmer
64502A PROM Module programmer for Intel 2716 TI TMS2516, TMS2532
64504A PROM Module programmer for Harris HM7608,HM7640/41,HM7640/41 AR,HM7980/81HM7980/81 R,HM7980/81 P,HM7980/81 RP chips
64505A PROM Module programmer for Signetics 82S140/141,82S1801/81,82S190/191,82S2708 chips
64601A Timing Analysis Probe State and timing probe


  1. ^ HP Journal, October 1980 in PDF format.

External links[edit]