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Argon Light V2 Z80 Computer

Started by Iridium+, 23:31, 21 March 23

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Hi everyone, 

Not sure if anyone has seen this yet, but it's a real (new) Z80 microprocessor retro computer which also utilises the Esp32 as a coprocessor. It also runs BBC BASIC. Oh, and in benchmarks it's much faster than the very much anticipated Spectrum NEXT! 

It's available for €50 and £58 from the links at the bottom of this message. 

From the OLIMEX website:

AgonLight2 is OSHW certified Open Source Hardware with UID BG000090

  • eZ80 processor with 128KB flash 8KB SRAM
  • 512KB external SRAM
  • ESP32-D4-PICO co-processor for IO
  • VGA output
  • USB/PS2 keyboard
  • MicroSD card connector
  • Li-Po battery charger and step-up converter
  • UEXT connector
  • GPIO 34-pin connector

OLIMEX Argon Light V2
The PiHut Argon Light V2


Can this be plugged on a screen? What is the video output? texte only, graphics?

The video information is missing everywhere, your post, reseller technical description, project description, ... :-X
My pronouns are RASM and ACE


Isn't that a VGA port at the top? 


Sure. Now, there is no information about the screen mode related to it.
Probably it provide a 640x480 60Hz/31KHz default signal, but what else?
"You make one mistake in your life and the internet will never let you live it down" (Keith Goodyer)

Sykobee (Briggsy)


It has a VGA output driven by the ESP32, however it's connected via UART to the eZ80, it's not on the CPU buses directly.
It does handle sprites and bitmaps - these are preloaded into ESP32 memory and then controlled with commands.
So if the hardware (or ESP32 VPU firmware) does what you need natively, it'll be fast, and if it doesn't, it'll be very very slow with a CPU-based renderer of any sort with the bandwidth limitation of the UART.
640x480 in 64 colours


thanks, i thought ESP32 was only computing purpose, not display!

so it's more a video game console hardware organisation if CPU based rendering is (very?) slow
My pronouns are RASM and ACE

Sykobee (Briggsy)

Yeah, I think the CPU on the ESP32 is fast enough to drive a VGA display over GPIO using FabGL software library.


...also the PS/2 keyboard and sound output
...proudly supported Schnapps Demo, Pentomino and NQ-Music-Disc with GFX


I did something similar driving a VGA screen with an atmega 1284, in this case it reproduce the video output of a speccy, attribute clash included 8) . The external control of the atmega is based on SPI. It's an unfinished thing.
I guess that the ESP32 can be fast enough to emulate hardware sprites and scrolling.
A raspberry pico can make impressive things driving a VGA display with this library: . It could be a good starting point for a VGA external expansion for the CPC.
CPC 664

Empiezas a envejecer cuando dejas de aprender.
You start to get old when you stop learning.


We may be able to use agon light with the cplink card to gain the current capabilities but after chatting with the designer of the agon light, it works like a computer with a dumb terminal where the graphics subsystem is entirely separate from the computer although they are on the same board.  Since it is open source, someone with electronics skills more than myself (Bryce or Toto perhaps?) Should be able to redesign the board layout to remove all the computer section and interface it directly with the cpc.  This actually would be one of the fastest ways to bring a new gfx card to the cpc.

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