Hardware Description

The Atari 1450XLD computer system. This was to be the flagship of the "Next Generation" of Atari computers. Even though the new 1400XL and the 1450XLD would bring a new look and new features to the Atari 8-bit line, they were still using the same 6502c, the same chipset and some additional DRAM and MMU enhancements. The two systems would incorporate Modem, Speech and with the 1450 series - Parallel Bus Disk Drives.. The 1450XLD may not have had a newer 16bit CPU or faster clock speed. What it did have were some new additions to the Atari chipset (which comprised the ANTIC, GTIA, POKEY and PIA). These new chips were called the "FREDDIE" (a DRAM controller which was an enhanced consolidation of TTL chips found in earlier XL's) and the CO61618 Memory Management Unit. What these little chips could do was something that was sorely needed in the Atari 8bits. Freddie was an MCU (Memory Control Unit), this new chip would have allowed BOTH the CPU and the ANTIC chip to independently access different areas of memory for their own use. What did this mean for the end user or more importantly , for programmers? It meant that new Atari's with Freddie MCU DRAM controller and the CO61618 MMU could allow the CPU to access memory for programs (up to 64K) and the ANTIC could access up to 8K or more if needed to display graphics. This meant that programmers would have more freedom and flexibility in writing programs that could have had more complex commands, better graphics and enough memory to accomplish what they had in mind.