µDrive - What is it?
#1
The µDrive (pronounced "micro-drive") is a low-level, cycle exact, disk drive emulator.  It can emulate a 1541 disk drive, and with future firmware it will also be able to emulate a 1571, 1581, CMD FD-2000/4000, CMD HD-40, Tandy Disk Drive 1/2, Atari 1050/XF551, C2N tape drive, Speccy tape drive, and much more!

The hardware is small, but uses a powerful dsPIC33 processor with 512K of flash space and 48K of RAM.  It operates up to 70MIPS.  All of the code for the µDrive is written in 100% assembly language.  The 6502/6522/data separator emulation core for the 1541 uses about 2% of the CPU processing power (CPU set to 64MIPS), with the rest of the time left over for handling the optional OLED screen, push button inputs, and SD card reading/writing as needed.  Most of the time it is actually asleep to preserve power.  The µDrive (with OLED screen) needs about 48mA of current while it is awake, but has an average current draw of roughly 17mA.  This makes it ideal for being powered with a portable external 5v USB power source.  You can of course power the µDrive using the +5v from inside of your computer or any other +5v power source.

The µDrive connector port has 3 inputs for push buttons, 1 input for 5v, 1 output to supply 3.3v, 2 grounds, and 5 bi-directional I/O lines.  The board also has an I2C interface (typically used for the OLED sceen), a dedicated high speed (up to 1Mbps) serial port, a micro-SD card socket, 2 LEDs, 128Mbits of FLASH ROM, and 2K of EEPROM, all on a board that is just 1.2" x 1.5" (30mm x 38mm).  This combination of hardware allows for many emulation options, including composite video output.

Firmware can be updated/changed through the SD card, or wirelessly through our server if you have the wireless add-on.

The µDrive comes as the main board itself which can be wired internally (like inside of your Commodore computer).   The µDrive can be used as an external miniature "disk drive" by using an OLED/button add-on board and 3D printed enclosure, and you can even add wireless capabilities.
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