Ultimate 64 Elite II

What is it?! This board is a hardware implementation (FPGA) of the entire C64, and it includes the Ultimate-II+ as well. An ALL IN ONE solution!

Due to the poor availability of the Intel FPGA that is present on the original Ultimate 64 and Ultimate 64 Elite boards, a new board is being developed.

Status (June 2024): The first prototypes have been manufactured. The testing phase will soon start.

Questions you may ask:

  • What is the difference between this “MK2” or “-II” version, compared to the ‘good old Ultimate-64 Elite’? Well, there are many differences:
    • The L-shaped form of the board has been replaced by a regular shaped board in the size of a short C64-C board (390 x 135 mm). This eliminates the need for extra brackets to mount it in a breadbin or C64C style case.
    • The push button that was said to be one of the major complaints of the original U64 has been replaced with a rocker switch that is the same size as the original C64. The rocker switch has two momentary positions, which can still be used to enter the menu, reset the board, or do a cartridge freeze.
    • The board function has been split into a baseboard with mostly connectors for C64-I/O, like keyboard, joysticks, cartridge port, serial port, and analog video. Of course, the Ultimate64 ports are also there; USB, Ethernet, and HDMI. The ‘brains’ of the solution are placed on a separate board, which is only 7×7 cm in size. This allows different form factors in the future, using the same FPGA module.
    • The HDMI video resolution capability has been improved. Currently targeted at 1920 x 1080, also known as FullHD. Although the zero-latency mode will be preserved, it will also be possible to engage a frame buffer, which allows the display of 50 Hz content on a 60 Hz screen. These two changes will improve compatibility with crippled US TV sets or monitors.
    • The keyboard is no longer tied to the joystick ports, which allows an independent keyboard scan. Although this may incur incompatibility with some hardware keyboard hacks, it will allow for shortcut key combinations for the common user, e.g. to enter the menu.
    • The board will come with a 3.5mm audio jack. This audio jack can be configured to carry the sound directly from the installed SIDs (SID-TAP), or the analog audio from the integrated audio mixer.
    • This aforementioned audio jack also supports optical S/PDIF.
    • The board is now powered from a USB-C source. This eliminates the need to supply a country-specific power supply in the package. Thus: the power supply is no longer included!
    • The speaker for the drive sounds is now included on the board itself. There is no longer any need for an additional speaker accessory.
    • .. there is probably more that I am currently forgetting…
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