Atari 2600 on an Altera FPGA

By Daniel Beer

This report presents a full redesign of Atari 2600 computer system using modern digital
design techniques and modern hardware. The system is designed to be synchronous and
modular, is implemented in Verilog and VHDL, and run on an Altera Cyclone II using a
VGA display. The hardware package chosen for this project is the Altera DE2
development board, which pairs an Altera Cyclone II chip with a number of useful
components. Almost all of the major components of the system have been designed from
functional descriptions and schematics. This includes the MOS 6532 RIOT chip and
Atari TIA chip that provide most of the needed functionality for the system. However, the
Atari’s CPU, a MOS 6507, was adapted from an open source project and sound hardware
was not implemented in this project. Other hardware made for this project includes an
NTSC to VGA converter, clock generator, bus controller, and software cartridge
emulator. Each piece of hardware was first tested separately, then combined into the full
system which was tested again. The original Atari software “Combat” was run on the
system, and performed well despite a few execution flaws.

Full Report

Source code (NOTE: corrected version of Reset_Delay.v. Use this version instead of the version in the ZIP file)

Images 1, 2, 3

Movies 1, 2