Chuck Peddle -- inventor of 6502 processor -- RIP

obit from today's New York Times:

Chuck Peddle Dies at 82; His $25 Chip Helped Start the PC Age - The New York Times

Chuck Peddle, the engineer and entrepreneur who helped launch the age of the personal computer after designing a microprocessor that sold for a mere $25, died on Dec. 15 at his home in Santa Cruz, Calif. He was 82.

His partner, Kathleen Shaeffer, said the cause was pancreatic cancer.

In 1974, Mr. Peddle and several other engineers were designing a new silicon chip at the Motorola Corporation in Phoenix when the company sent him a letter demanding that he shut the project down.

Mr. Peddle envisioned an ultra-low-cost chip that could bring digital technology to a new breed of consumer devices, from cash registers to personal computers. But his bosses saw it as unwanted in-house competition for the $300 processor Motorola had unveiled that year.

So Mr. Peddle moved the project to MOS Technology, a rival chip maker near Valley Forge, Pa., taking seven other Motorola engineers with him. There they built a processor called the 6502. Priced at $25 — the cost of a dinner for four, and the equivalent of about $130 today — this chip soon powered the first big wave of personal computers in both the United States and Britain, including the Apple II and the Commodore PET.


Paid Member
2003-06-12 7:04 pm
Maine USA
Chuck Peddle, UMaine grad whose invention paved the way for personal computing, dies at 82 — Bangor — Bangor Daily News — BDN Maine
"Charles “Chuck” Peddle, a 1959 graduate of the University of Maine’s engineering program whose 1975 invention of a microprocessor paved the way for the era of personal computing.....Peddle was born in Bangor and grew up in Augusta. After graduating from Cony High School, he enrolled at UMaine, unsure of what field to study. After enrolling in one of the school’s first-ever computer engineering classes, he quickly became a convert to the burgeoning field."


2003-08-03 11:43 am
The motorola chip would have been the 6800 which was also an 8 bit processor. I've never dealt with that chip. Did have experience of the 6502 in the commodore 64 and apple II though.

The chip I think you are thinking of jackinnj would be the motorola 68000 chip, which was used in the first Macintosh and Amiga computers, and quite probably a range of unix based machines. That was a 16 bit processor, and it evolved to 32bit with the 68020 and had 68030 and 68040 variants that I remember (68010 was a 16 bit evolution of the 68000). Later motorolla released the powerpc chip which took over from the 680X0 line, which was the processor used in apples until they changed over to intel x86.

Last edited: