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The ZX Spectrum Next has now hit Kickstarter

The ZX Spectrum Next has now hit Kickstarter

The ZX Spectrum Next has now hit Kickstarter

The ZX Spectrum Next has now hit Kickstarter

 
The ZX Spectrum Next has now hit Kickstarter, offering new Spectrum hardware with full backwards compatibility and lots of hardware upgrades. 
 
To be clear, this new unit is not an emulator but uses a newly designed FPGA that is fully compatible with the original spectrum from both a software and hardware perspective while offering some performance improvements.
 
Below are the specifications of the ZX Spectrum Next 
 
  • - Processor: Z80 3.5Mhz and 7Mhz modes
  • - Memory: 512Kb RAM (expandable to 1.5Mb internally and 2.5Mb externally)
  • - Video: Hardware sprites, 256 colours mode, Timex 8x1 mode etc.
  • - Video Output: RGB, VGA, HDMI
  • - Storage: SD Card slot, with DivMMC-compatible protocol
  • - Audio: 3x AY-3-8912 audio chips with stereo output + FM sound
  • - Joystick: DB9 compatible with Cursor, Kempston and Interface 2 protocols (selectable)
  • - PS/2 port: Mouse with Kempston mode emulation and an external keyboard
  • - Special: Multiface functionality for memory access, savegames, cheats etc.
  • - Tape support: Mic and Ear ports for tape loading and saving
  • - Expansion: Original external bus expansion port and accelerator expansion port
  • - Accelerator board (optional): GPU / 1Ghz CPU / 512Mb RAM (Raspberry Pi Zero)
  • - Network (optional): Wi Fi module
  • - Extras: Real Time Clock (optional), internal speaker (optional) 

 

As you can see above this new hardware offers some key upgrades, adding support for HDMI displays, SD memory cards and WiFi while also supporting original expansion hardware and tape-based memory. 

The motherboard of the ZX Spectrum Next also comes ready for memory expansion, allowing the unit to be upgraded to include up to 1.5Mb or memory. 

This unit can also be upgraded with a Raspberry Pi Zero, which allows the Spectrum Next to use it as a slave co-processor. This will allow the Spectrum to use the Pi Zero's memory, CPU and GPU to do its bidding, opening a lot of interesting possibilities to developers. 

 

The ZX Spectrum Next has now hit Kickstarter

 

With the price tag of ZX Spectrum Next being £175 and its ageing hardware specifications, it is clear that this unit is not designed to compete with modern systems like the Raspberry Pi 3 or ASUS Tinker Board. 

The ZX Spectrum Next is designed for the community who still works with original Speccy hardware regularly and would love to try something that will take their Spectrum experience to the next level. Today games are still released for the Spectrum and there is still a large number of people who work with the system regularly and do not want to use hardware emulation to relive the spectrum experience. 

Right now the ZX Spectrum Next is available to back on Kickstarter for £175, with a "just the board" version coming in at £99. 

 

You can join the discussion on the ZX Spectrum next on the OC3D Forums

 

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