With out an inexpensive CPU, Steve Wozniak may by no means have invented the Apple computer systems that introduced a technological revolution. Woz’s system and lots of of its friends have been powered by means of the paintings of Chuck Peddle.
Peddle, engineer and previous Marine, joined Motorola in 1973. There, he helped increase the 6800, an impressive however pricey microprocessor. When he noticed attainable consumers recoil at its $175 ticket (greater than $1,000 in 2020 greenbacks), he got down to increase a low cost choice.
After his pitch used to be rejected by means of Motorola, Peddle recruited a half-dozen of his colleagues — nearly 1/2 of the 6800 crew — to sign up for him at MOS Generation, the place Peddle led the efforts to increase a brand new chip.
In 1975, MOS launched the 6502, an Eight-bit microprocessor that bought for simply $25, a 7th of the 6800’s value. Its affordability and flexibility resulted in it powering dozens of early house electronics, amongst them the Apple II, the Commodore 64, the Atari 2600, and the Nintendo Leisure Machine. An enhanced model of the chip, the 65C02, continues to be to be had from Western Design Middle.
When Commodore bought MOS in 1976, Peddle used to be put answerable for growing a non-public pc constructed across the 6502. The outcome used to be 1977’s Commodore PET. In 1980, Peddle left MOS to co-found Sirius Methods Generation, the place he invented the Victor 9000 pc.
Peddle died at 82.
Editor’s observe: Peddle died in December 2019, too overdue to be integrated in final 12 months’s “Tech luminaries we misplaced” slideshow.