Adrian Black – VIC-II Kawari with the NTSC C64


The Commodore 64’s VIC-II (Video Interface Chip II) can now be replaced by the VIC-II Kawari. This initiative aims to swap out the video chips used in breadbins. It is not (yet) possible to replace the 8562/8565 with a C64-C.

In addition to compatibility with the original VIC-II 6567/6569 chips, some additional functions are also available. Through the VIC-II connector on a C64 motherboard, the PCB communicates with a genuine C64 address and data bus. All of the VIC-II chip’s tasks, including DRAM refresh, light pen interrupts, PHI2 clock availability for the CPU, and, of course, visual output, may be performed by the board. (NOTE: Only a genuine CRT utilizing composite would support light pens.)


    • No ‘VSP’ bug
    • Configurable color palette (18-bit color space)
    • No need for a working clock circuit
    • Can software switch between NTSC and PAL
    • Optional hardware switch for NTSC / PAL switching at cold boot
    • An 80-column mode and (possibly) some new graphics modes
    • Compatible with 1084-S, 1084-D, and 1080 monitors (with custom cable)
    • It’s not an almost 40-year-old device that may fail at any time


    • The dot clock is not propagated to Pin 6 of the cartridge port when using on-board oscillators
    • Large board HDMI port not easily accessible unless RF shield removed
    • The board can be powered by HDMI monitors requiring the monitor to be powered off
    • ‘Native’ motherboard clock circuit not suitable for generating HDMI (sometimes)

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