Soviet computer UT-88. The history.

Categories: Retro computers, UT-88
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Published on: 14/03/2012

I would like to start my blog with this computer. I’m going to make a replica of this computer using FPGA. But lets start from its history first.

UT-88 is a hobbyist 8-bit computer that was build on CPU KR580VM80A which is a Soviet analog of a popular Intel 8080. Schematics and a detailed description were published in popular Soviet magazine for kids “Young Technician” in 1989.

This computer was not particularly popular because there were other computers with better specifications available at the time. The main reason of the publication in “Young Technician” was to give an opportunity to build a computer for young people. This computer had to be very easy in building, contain only easy accessible components that could be built block by block with easy debugging of each unit.

In minimal configuration this computer had only a power supply unit, CPU unit, a memory unit with small amount of memory on it. It is also required an interface unit that contained six 7-segment indicators and 17-keys keyboard to enter hex data.

In full configuration a display unit and an extended memory unit were added. The display unit provided the opportunity to use a normal TV set as a computer display. Full size keyboard was connected to the unit as well. With the extended memory unit the computer had 64k of RAM and up to 256k of “RAM-disk” which could be used by OS CP/M that was adapted for it.


Minimum configuration:

CPU: KR580VM80A (Intel 8080)

Memory: RAM – 1k, ROM 1k

Output: six 7-segment indicators

Input: 17-keys keyboard

External memory: tape recorder

Full configuration:

Memory: RAM – 64k, video RAM – 1k, ROM – 2k, “RAM-disk” – 256k

Output: TV set, b/w text mode only, 64×28 characters (5×7 dots each).

Input: 59-keys keyboard

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