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[vox] [OT] Motorola and the 6502
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[vox] [OT] Motorola and the 6502




There's an interesting thread spanning a number of various usenet newsgroups.
One post I just read has an interesting tidbit of history of the 6502
we all know and love (Atari 2600, 8-bit, C=64 (actually, 6510), Nintendo,
Gameboy, etc.):

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

From: skipper@no-spam.calweb.com (Skipper Smith)
Newsgroups: comp.sys.atari.8bit,comp.sys.cbm,comp.sys.amiga.hardware,
  comp.sys.apple2,comp.sys.mac.hardware.misc
Subject: Re: Amiga, Mac, Atari
Message-ID: <slrnaomot0.168i.skipper@web1.calweb.com>
Date: 20 Sep 2002 18:06:25 GMT

Roger Johnstone <rojaws@es.co.nz> wrote:

<snip - bjk>

>
>I spotted this at the Western Design Center's web site some time ago.
>WDC are the creators of the 65C02 and the 65C816.

Actually, they (under that name) weren't.

Motorola created the 6800.  A few designers walked out the door with the
masks to it and started a company called MOS Technologies and made a chip
called the 6500.  Motorola sued MOS Technologies.  A judge decidedthat
since Motorola made no attempt to secure their intellectual property, the
6800/6500 would from then on be considered public domain.  Motorolans have
had to have the contents of their bags perused upon entering or exiting
Motorola property ever since.

MOS Technologies did a respin of the 6500 to make the 6502 (Motorola also
did a respin) so that they could have proprietary rights to what they were
selling.  They also started other more complicated designs.  Then, for
some reason, decided to sell themselves, lock, stock, and barrel to
CBM.  Commodore renamed that part of the company to something I can't
remember, and proceeded to completely abuse the fab (personal
opinion).  Nintendo decided to use the 6502 in their original game
machine.  Found out that parts of the design were in the public domain and
proceeded to make a duplicate of the 6502 but without the proprietary
information and thus avoided giving CBM a single penny of licensing fees
that probably could have kept CBM afloat in bad times (but more likely
would have just been siphoned off by Mehdi Ali and Irving Gould).

When Commodore went bankrupt, their physical equipment was sold at
auction.  Those parts that had originally been part of MOS Technologies
along with the IP that was part of the 65XX family then went on to become
"Western Design Center".  Everything they say about the estimates for
sockets inhabited by 65XX parts is pretty reasonable, though.

This is all IIRC, but based on my association with Motorola and CBM and
discussions with Dave Haynie, so take it for what it is worth.

<snip - bjk>

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Note: Many NNTP header lines snipped, too. - bjk


-bill!
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