Source: MSX Forum
A few days ago already, Eugeny Brychkov of Age Labs announced a very exciting new project in this topic on our active MSX Forum: the GR8BIT platform. Behind this cool name is an educational platform fully compatible with MSX2, offering a complete and relatively simple introduction to every aspect of engineering. Based on the belief that there is no better way to gather knowledge than to actually build, break, fix and improve the platform yourself GR8BIT offers just that: all the information you need to build (and understand) your own MSX2 computer from scratch. To accomplish this, you will be provided with basic information like the platform concept, PCB layouts and schematic diagrams. When finished, the specifications of GR8BIT are as follows:
- ATX form factor
- Z80 (4-20MHz), compatible or emulation board (3.3V)
- 1 MB SRAM (upgradeable to 4MB)
- V9938 VDP with 128kB VRAM and direct video memory access
- Composite TV out (grayscale) and RGB NTSC out
- 1.44MB FDD drive
- IDE HDD drive
- Seven internal GR8BUS slots
- Two external slots
- PS/2 keyboard interface, Parallel printer port and 2 joystick ports
- PSG and SCC sound
Furthermore, the GR8BIT will be capable of handling multiple processors and can be provided with further extensions that allow up to 1GB or DRAM. Also, having completed the GR8BIT platform you should have gathered the knowledge that allow you to further adapt and extend the platform yourself.
It's not the first time the MSX is chosen as an educational platform. In the past years, for instance, we have seen the award-winning Japanese platform MSX-BASIC for Robo-Education and, of course, the One Chip MSX, which aimed at introducing people to hardware design via VHDL. Never before, however, was one taken through all the steps from building a complete MSX2 compatible computer from the ground up.
Relevant link: GR8BIT website