Just adding my 2 cents to lost of good comments here,
I also used Z80 Kits at CPU labs in 80s and fell in love with its simple logic and handy Assembly code, however, I would be very surprised rather disappointed if I see today's student still use a version of that old technology.
I commend the author for getting down and developing a board from scratch. No doubt more was learned from this exercise than simply powering up an ARM USB stick with linux ready-to-run. However, if a serious EE career is planned, the ARM should probably be the next step, rather than labouring on with this antique technology. Sadly, some of this Z80 article reminds me of someone playing a popular song having never heard the original...
ZiLOG offers the Z80 device family in various packages. Please have a look at their homepage to find a distributor. A german distributor www.reichelt.de offers some devices.
As far as I know only the Z80-CPU is available as open VHDL (or Verilog ?) core. The SIO seems hard to model in HDL.
The main reason for me to build this tiny system was the fact that development systems are not available any more. I never intended to compete with the powerful embedded systems of today.
Have a great day ! :-)
Um, why use a Z80 today? Legacy, legacy, legacy. There are probably thousands of older designs perking along, doing their job, and not having any good reason for upgrade. (No, I can't name one offhand, but I bet that they are there.) Some of the jobs done by the early controllers were mundane in the extreme, and if they are still filling a niche, why change the design? Unless there is a payback for upgrading a small, humble controller somewhere in the back of a factory, who will do it?
Z80 was one of the most used micro-processors in the 80's. Agreed. But is it available today and if so in what form factor? What packaging ?. I think using any of the latest available micro ( or a FPGA for that matter )one can easily build an EMULATOR for Z80 with all the required software tools .
The funny thing is, how many people read this just because it was about the Z80? Instead of this advertisement, any article about the Z80 would have been better. After all, how many of you have more than a few Z80s just lying around? I guess we'll always have a soft spot for the Z80s.
Aside from all the spelling mistakes as pointed out by K1200LT, this doesn't resemble a development system in any way.
As stated: "It does not include Z80 assembler, compiler or interpreter software, or provide single step program execution, debugging functions, breakpoints or video interfaces such as VGA or FBAS"
So what do we have? A Z80 board and no software. My rating: Thumbs down
I would really like to know who needs to continue development with the Z80; what is the market need that is being addresed? Is this for military or medical customers with a legacy product from yester-year? There are a variety of much higher performance processors for likely less money than a legacy Z80 will cost- there would have to be a specific non-technical reason to keep a Z80 in a modern product.
As we unveil EE Times’ 2015 Silicon 60 list, journalist & Silicon 60 researcher Peter Clarke hosts a conversation on startups in the electronics industry. Panelists Dan Armbrust (investment firm Silicon Catalyst), Andrew Kau (venture capital firm Walden International), and Stan Boland (successful serial entrepreneur, former CEO of Neul, Icera) join in the live debate.