Rare Collection of Four 6502 Family Silicon Wafers - 6502 CPU, 6521 PIA, 6549 CVDG, 6551 ACIA/UART - 4",MOS,Rockwell


Availability: 1 in stock


About this Artwork 

These silicon wafers were fabricated by Rockwell International in the mid-1980s. These are representative of the 6502 family of processors and support processors. Included are the R6502 microprocessor itself, one of the video processors, the R6549 CVDG, the peripheral attachment processor, the R6521 PIA, and the communications processor, the R6551 ACIA. Each wafer has hundreds of chips on it. The 6502 wafer has about 410 microprocessors on it. Adjusted for inflation, the price per chip would be about $80, giving the wafer a value of about $32,800. Using the same methodology, the value of all four wafers would be about $62,800.

After Motorola introduced the 6800, some of Motorola’s designers left to start MOS Technologies. Introduced in 1975, the 6502 processor was MOS’s first successful product. Although influenced by the design philosophy of the 6800, the 6502 is clearly a different and more advanced chip design. More important to its success though, the 6502 was designed as part of a whole family of 6500 series processors. The 6502 was the heart of several early microcomputers and game systems. Commodore, Apple, and Atari were among the 6502 designs. Apple designer, Steve Wozniak, described it as the first chip you could get for less than a hundred dollars (a quarter of the 6800 price). It became the microprocessor of choice for many hobbyists.

Rockwell licensed the 6502 from MOS and became the second source of choice for the 6502. Soon Rockwell began producing other 6502 and 6800 components. As Rockwell’s experience increased, they began creating original variations that MOS did not make, such as the R6500 and R6511. Rockwell produced 6502 microprocessors longer than any other company.

About the Rockwell 6502 - The Microprocessor
Rockwell was MOS’s second source for 6502. Rockwell lowered 6502 costs and was the long-term provider of 6502 technology, helping the 6502 to be even more successful. Rockwell developed and marketed several 6502 versions of its own. The 6502 generated more revenue than Rockwell’s own processors.
About the Rockwell 6549 - Color Video Display Generator 
The Rockwell 6549 was the first video chip to support the North American Presentation Level Protocol Syntax, Videotext, and Teletext specifications. The 6549 handled direct memory access and video synchronization signals. This chip was one of the first efforts to merge computer and television functionalities.
About the Rockwell 6521 - Peripheral Interface Adapter 
The 6502 used the Peripheral Interface Adapter (PIA) chip to interface to byte-oriented peripheral devices. The PIA included an 8-bit bus for communication with the 6502, two 8-bit bi-directional data buses along with interrupt and control lines, and two data direction registers. The model for the 6521 was the Motorola 6821.
About the Rockwell 6551 - Asynchronous Communications Interface Adapter (UART) 
The 6551 ACIA provided for interfacing the 6502 microprocessor families to serial communication data-sets and modems. The 6551 included an on-chip programmable baud rate generator, with a crystal being the only external component required.



The artwork is a 16"x20" in a black shadow box frame, with glass. All framing materials are acid-free. A narrative about the artwork that includes the artist’s signature is placed on the back of the artwork.

Please note:  The look of the artifacts in the artworks may vary, each piece is unique.