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The Commodore 128 (C128, CBM 128, C=128) home/personal computer was the last 8-bit machine commercially released by Commodore Business Machines (CBM). Introduced in January of 1985 at the CES in Las Vegas, it appeared three years after its predecessor, the bestselling Commodore 64.
The primary hardware designer of the C128 was Bil Herd, who had previously been the design lead on the 264 series of computers such as the C116 and Plus 4.
The new machine featured 128 KB of RAM, in two 64 KB banks and an 80-column RGBI video output (driven by the 8563 VDC chip with 16 KB dedicated video RAM), as well as a substantially redesigned case and keyboard, which included a numeric keypad.
While the 128 still had a 40 column mode, an extra 1K of color RAM was made available to the programmer, as it was multiplexed through memory address 1.
The 128's power supply was vastly improved over the 64's unreliable design, being larger and equipped with cooling vents and a replaceable fuse. Instead of the single 6510 microprocessor of the C64, the C128 incorporated a two-CPU design.
The primary CPU, the 8502, was a slightly improved version of the 6510 capable of being clocked at 2 MHz. The second CPU was a Zilog Z80 which was used to run CP/M software, as well as to initiate operating mode selection at boot time. The two processors could not run concurrently, thus the C128 was not a multiprocessing system.
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This exhibit has a reference ID of CH10723. Please quote this reference ID in any communication with the Centre for Computing History.
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