FPGA-Based Disk Controller for Apple II

  • Apple II disk controller cards are weird, there are a crazy number of different types, and many are rare and expensive. Can an FPGA-based solution save the day for retro collectors?

    You bet! Nearly all the existing disk controllers connect the same 8-bit bus to the same 19-pin disk interface, so a universal clone is merely a question of replacing the vintage 80s guts of the card with a modern reprogrammable FPGA. This hypothetical universal controller card could connect to almost any Apple II disk drive, or a Floppy Emu.

    Here’s my first attempt.

    "There is no reason for any individual to have a computer in his home." Ken Olson, president, chairmen and founder of Digital Equipment Corp, 1977