Chuck Peddle

Chuck Peddle This man helped develop the MC6800 microprocessor at Motorola and later, together with Bill Mensch became the main force behind first sub $100 CPU (the $25 6502) at MOS Technologies.

He was also the chief designer of the KIM-1 and Commodore PET Micro Computers. The Victor Sirius was another design of Chuck Peddle. Beside Peddle's own designs many good things came from the 6502: the Apple II, the VIC20, the BBC Micro, the C=64 and the NES that revived Video Gaming after its '83 crash.

The PET, the Apple II and the Tandy TRS-80 where 1977's 3 personal computers that kind of changed the game.

Steve Wozniak, who engineered the Apple I and II, in his autobio "iWoz" claims that, compared to Peddle's PET, the Apple II was a really superior design. Still, without the 6502 CPU it would have become a more expensive and yet less powerful (Motorola, probably) mc or worse, yet another Zilog or Intel CP/M thing. Its success then might have been doubtful. Woz also mentiones that Peddle himself was the person who had sold him samples of the CPU at the WestCon fair. Any of these guys are welcome to their own nice memories.

We are not that shure of the claims: For shure a modern notebook with integrated display and storage is more similar to a PET and the average office PC more like the Apple II.

MOS 6502AD 4585

By pursuing the possibility of a 25$ CPU on a chip from Motorola to Commodore, together with Steve Wozniak, Mr. Peddle and Mr. Mensch are just the greatest PANC pioneers ever. That is our taste, anyway.

We'll write about the Z80 & CP/M line one day. That would be about Mr. Faggin, Mr. Shima amd Mr. Kildall. Great pioneers by themselves.

Mr. Peddle believes that the worlds first microprocessors are not the famous Intel 4004 or 8008: "I am not trying to be negative about the guys that did it ... these are nothing more than calculator chips". He believes the worlds first real CPU is Tom Bennett's 8bit Motorola 6800 "... it's terrible that guy never got any credit."

It seems to be true that of the guys that "invented" the microprocessor at Intel at least Marcian Hoff, Stan Mazor, Frederico Faggin and Masatoshi Shima are widely credited and Tom Bennett is not even mentioned in Wikipedia's 6800 entry. though mentions him in its 1971 - Microprocessor Integrates CPU Function onto a Single Chip article.

Not true anymore, since Tom Bennett is now in the wikipedia article as the chief designer of the 6800. And no matter what you count, Intel's 8080 was available from April '74 and the 6800 from August of the same year. Never mind. Both were expensive anyhow. But Peddle, Mensch, Faggin and Shima would soon lower real micro-cpu prices by a factor of 5 or so.

Now as a business person Mr. Peddle was not that sharp but still more apt than Mr. Wozniak. He seems to have also been a bit of an idealist freak: At MOS technology he got them to finance 200 research projects with the money earned. But like Mensch he wasn't that bad in business either.

Check out his deeds and life via his wikipedia entry and on the Commodore history pages.

More than any other person, Chuck Peddle deserves to be called the founder of the personal computer industry. (Byte Magazine)

Steve Wozniak built his computer from parts available on the market, but Chuck Peddle built his machines starting with raw sand.(Brian Bagnall)

last updated: 18.04.14 07:01

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