ZX Spectrum Next

category: general [glöplog]
Found that on Facebook. I would normally ignore such things, but this part got me curious:
The Spectrum Next is a reimplementation of the original at hardware level, ensuring it runs all the software out there -- old and new. And it's also compatible with most expansions made for the ZX Spectrum.

Any idea? Another ARM board full of GPIO ports running an emulator?
added on the 2016-05-01 01:53:22 by xernobyl xernobyl
It is hard to say (I just subscribed to it). However, given the talk of new video modes and promises of HDMI support I find it hard to believe that they can truly ensure 100% compatibility.
added on the 2016-05-01 01:58:07 by introspec introspec
There's a thread going on WOS with some more info.
added on the 2016-05-01 16:11:29 by 4mat 4mat
Hi everybody.

This Project was developed by Victor Trucco and Fabio Belavenuto (my friends).

Is heavly based on TBBlue project.

See :



http://oldplayers.com.br/wp/computadores/zx-spectrum/tbblue/tbblue-por-fabio-bel avenuto/

Sorry, only in Brazilian Portuguese.

Recently Trucco tell us about a HDMI signal, and post some advanced progress. The olders TBBlue don't have HDMI.

Will be planned to an LED for Caps Lock.

The Spectrum NEXT support too the TK90X / TK95 the Brazilian clones of the original ZX48Kb.

The design of NEXT was signed by Rick Dickinson.
Renders look great; looks like it's FPGA-based. Wonder if ISP is supported so we can hack on these ourselves?
added on the 2016-05-02 03:41:49 by ferris ferris
The goal at first is periodically launch with firmware updates.

I believe that the sourcecode is also released with time , even more , I think there are great chances of being an opensource project.

Some time ago I asked Trucco about the possibility of for example the Amstrad CPC work on this platform , and he said that only depend on who wanted to carry , so this gives hope that the sourcecode is released.

Regarding TBBlue it is a very precise implementation of the ZX Spectrum , as several programs, including demos, were tested and evaluated the timing and how the effects produced .

Until now all the software were tested in TBBlue they worked perfectly, so the same degree of compatibility and accuracy remain in NEXT.

Really the ZX Spectrum NEXT will be a real ZX but with modern components .
Some news.


Beautiful plastic cases.
added on the 2016-05-10 04:44:57 by ham ham
Hi folks!

I'm one of the team behind the Next, sorry for not catching up this thread before...

The Next is a full FPGA implementation, it's hardware down there -- not a software emulation running on an ARM.

We hope to make it work with the Russian clones as well, chasing some documentation and information to get it right. There's little about these hardwares that we can read (ie. not in Russian!)

There's a daughterboard with an ARM CPU and a Broadcom GPU working as a slave to the Z80. This daughterboard is both an accelerator (it can be tasked by the Z80) and responsible for generating the HDMI signal, without interfering with the Spectrum hardware. That's how we achieve compatibility without sacrificing the HDMI.

We're almost there now. Taking some devkits to developers today (on my way to Revival in the UK) and by the end of August the first batch of devkits will be in the wild. There's also emulator support with ZXsarUX -- although the emulator does not implement the daughterboard yet.

Hope this helps!
added on the 2016-07-30 10:41:04 by olifiers olifiers
Out of curiosity, what ROM will it have? One of the original ones, or some kind of bugfixed version? ...or can we even *pick* which ROM we want....?
the crowdfunding for this is live:

can't make up my mind if i should get one or not. :S

on one hand i want hardware to run speccy stuff and maybe, finally, do some code of my own for it. on the other hand i'm not confident it will a) ship within the year, b) actually play pentagon stuff, c) that i really will find time to learn to code for it

added on the 2017-05-03 06:36:48 by psenough psenough
We added the option to add a Raspberry Pi Zero as a slave co-accelerator board, taking the Spectrum Next to a whole new level. In other words, with a Raspberry Pi Zero slotted into its place, the Spectrum Next can use the RPi memory, CPU and GPU to do its bidding. Imagine what demosceners can do with this… An OpenGL ZX Spectrum? Who knows!

added on the 2017-05-03 06:40:34 by psenough psenough
pledged now, hope it comes through.
added on the 2017-05-03 06:54:25 by psenough psenough
I am going to pledge the support for it too. The technical details are sketchy, but I am hoping that open-source FPGA will provide enough opportunities to get things right eventually. The authors demonstrated that at least SOME pentagon stuff runs on it correctly (they showed several demarche and thesuper demos running on it). How close they are to 100% compatibility remains to be seen, esp. with all the added features.
added on the 2017-05-03 09:23:09 by introspec introspec
That price tag though, fucking hell.
added on the 2017-05-03 09:30:58 by Gargaj Gargaj
Went back and forth whether to back or not, then decided to go for it, just for the fact that it can be used as a "generic" fpga board with a nice case..
added on the 2017-05-03 11:10:51 by sol_hsa sol_hsa
I feel conflicted, I had a Zx spectrum before and I would love to buy a modern clone, however the price tag is quite steep.

Went back and forth whether to back or not, then decided to go for it, just for the fact that it can be used as a "generic" fpga board with a nice case..

For me this is a plus actually.
added on the 2017-05-03 11:40:49 by Jae686 Jae686
Went back and forth whether to back or not, then decided to go for it, just for the fact that it can be used as a "generic" fpga board with a nice case..

For me this is a plus actually.

yes, it's a plus for me too, that's why I went for it. =) Here's hoping they'll deliver..
added on the 2017-05-03 11:56:44 by sol_hsa sol_hsa
That price tag though, fucking hell.

I agree. However, every time someone makes an FPGA-based clone of ZX Spectrum it ends up costing around the magic figure of ~100 euro (this includes pretty much all existing Russian FPGA clones). All of these clones come as bare boards, without HDMI-output option; Western clones rarely support even basic features of Pentagon 128K, most Russian clones are typically not very compatible with the classic models.

The extended features in these clones tends to vary wildly, however, personally I am only interested in precise emulation of old models.

Here at least you can get something that comes in a good-looking case and is complete in the sense of having the fundamental feature set. Or you can get ZX Next as a bare board for 100 quids, just like most of the other similar ZX-related clones tend to be, and then it would be just another FPGA clone.
added on the 2017-05-03 17:51:22 by introspec introspec
honestly, this does look pretty great and promising. I don't think the price tag is *too* ridiculous but I'm not sure I'd spend that kind of money either, as I'm not a huge spectrum aficionado.
Just backed it. I'm sure that will come as a surprise to exactly no-one here, but it took a fair bit of soul-searching to reach this point...

- yeah, it's a bit pricey
- I'm completely *meh* about 7MHz, 256 colour graphics and hardware scrolling. If I wanted to code for that spec, I'd get an Amiga...
- an FPGA-based system is one step closer to "fuck it, why don't I just use an emulator for everything"
- between the Speccy2010 and Just Speccy 128, I already have the things I do want from a Spectrum (i.e. running the existing stuff, fast loading, decent video output, fitting into a backpack)
+ ...but the Spectrum Next will do it all in one machine
+ ...and not require faffing around with an external keyboard and/or scandoubler
+ ...and have a case that's cooler and less falling-apart-prone than my shonky hand-drilled ones
+ all the cool kids are getting one
+++++ if (as seems increasingly likely) the lying corrupt shitbags running the ZX Vega+ crowdfunder are going to run off with my 90 quid, then the least I can do to restore karmic balance to the universe is to put my money behind people who are truly dedicated to the retro scene and going to make something awesome.
added on the 2017-05-05 21:55:03 by gasman gasman
last weekend, seeing basic models go away in few days... lost my patience and backed one with wifi and rpi0... I hope they will make most of pentagon stuff work too... HC Speccy guys in Slovakia take boards so there is hope to record plenty of demos in advance for the next Demobit (that was pain to make it "work" via lowcost converter and plenty of demos didnt work or quality was meh)
added on the 2017-05-05 23:29:52 by zden zden
Have also now backed the project as well, looking forward to receiving the machine in due course. There should be a built-in SDK within the machine itself, from what I have heard from one of the developers in the UK, allowing for easy game / demo development, though I guess using a Mac or PC will also suffice :)
added on the 2017-05-06 00:03:15 by Felice Felice
does ZX Spectrum Next platform needs to be subdivided?
added on the 2017-05-06 00:27:42 by Sir Sir
It has been already, but it does mean that ZX Enhanced is likely to become a lot much more multinational soon.
added on the 2017-05-06 01:06:37 by introspec introspec