Motorola 68000  
Written by Accutron on 2007-05-17  

Devices included in this entry:

Motorola MC68000L8 microprocessor (64-pin cerDIP; pictured in thumbnail)
Hitachi HD68HC000P10 microprocessor (64-pin plastic DIP)
Motorola MC68450L10 DMA controller (64-pin cerDIP)

The Motorola 68000 is a powerful 32-bit CISC microprocessor with a 16-bit external data bus. Development of the 68000 began in 1976, as the Motorola Advanced Computer System on Silicon (MACSS) project, with the goal of developing a powerful new architecture which was not backwards-compatible with Motorola's 6800 8-bit microprocessor. This was a risky business decision at the time, as Intel's methodology was to maintain various levels of backwards compatibility through their entire flagship microprocessor lineage.

Despite a lack of compatibility with the 6800, the 68000 was a popular device, widely implemented in Unix-based workstations and other professional desktop systems, such as the Hewlett-Packard 9000 series computers. The 68000 eventually penetrated the consumer market, and was selected as the CPU for the Apple Lisa and Macintosh computers. By the early 1990s, Texas Instruments was using the 68000 as the CPU for their TI-89 and TI-92 graphing calculators.

Motorola MC68000L8 microprocessor.

Hitachi HD68HC000P10, a second-source 68000 in a plastic carrier.

Motorola MC68450L10 DMA controller.

This article is part of the [Digital Integrated Circuits] exhibit.

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