Chuck Peddle

Chuck Peddle

Electronics engineer Chuck Peddle is mostly known as the main designer of the MOS Technology 6502 microprocessor; the KIM-1 SBC; and its successor the Commodore PET school/business/home computer, both based on the 6502.

Peddle was born in 1937 in Bangor, Maine. He worked in a radio station while in high school and joined the Marine Corps in 1955. He attended the University of Maine and afterward went to work for General Electric working with time sharing systems. Later, he worked at Motorola from 1973 on the development of the 6800 processor.

Peddle recognized a market for an ultra low price microprocessor and began to champion such a design to complement the $300 Motorola 6800. His efforts were frustrated by Motorola management and he was told to drop the project. He then left for MOS Technology, where he headed the design of the 650x family of processors; these were made as a $25 answer to the Motorola 6800. The most famous member of the 650x series was the 6502, which was subsequently used in very many microcomputer devices (four well-known examples from the consumer market being the Apple II, the Commodore VIC-20, the Nintendo Entertainment System or NES, the ATARI 8-bit computers and the BBC Micro from Acorn Computers).

The 6502 has also been "tweaked" to support other computers while maintaining backwards compatibility. Such examples are the 6510 used in the Commodore 64.

Peddle left the company in 1980 together with CBM financer Chris Fish to found Sirius Systems Technology. There, Peddle designed the Victor 9000 personal computer/workstation.


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