The Amethyst Colour Video System
The Amethyst is a retro-styled "home computer" built around an Atmel ATmega1284 microcontroller. It features composite (NTSC) video output with both high-color and high-resolution modes, mono audio output, and a full-travel mechanical keyboard. It includes a full-featured implementation of the powerful Forth programming language, with graphics and sound commands, debugger, and screen editor. A single USB Type-B cable provides 5V power as well as serial communication with a PC. Amethyst is compatible with the Optiboot (Arduino) bootloader, and new firmware may be uploaded to it without a specialized programming device.
ATmega1284 microcontroller (8-bit) running at 14.318 MHz
16KB internal memory (16352 bytes available for applications)
4KB nonvolatile EEPROM memory
Mechanical keyboard with Cherry MX keyswitches
NTSC color and monochrome composite video output:
- 256-color, 16-color, and 4-color bitmap graphics at resolutions up to 160x200 pixels
- Monochrome bitmap graphics at resolutions up to 640x200 pixels
- 40x25 and 80x25 monochrome text modes
- 40x25 color text mode
- 40x25 color tiled graphics modes
Single-channel audio output (pulse wave or PWM)
USB serial communication at speeds up to 57600 baud
Four SPI expansion ports for peripherals, controllers, and storage devices
Only 6 chips (ATmega1284, FT320X, 2x 74HC157, 2x 74HC166)
TODO 1/5/20: add more detailed docs, instructions, and BOM
Amethyst is a hobby project and is not currently available for purchase in kit or built form.
Copyright 2019 Matt Sarnoff.