CPU Manuals And Datasheets

Welcome to the CPU manuals and datasheets page. Here you'll find a list of manuals and datasheets for a variety of CPU's that are used on the computer boards found in arcade machines. So what is a CPU anyway? And what does it do?

A central processing unit (CPU) is the hardware within a computer that carries out the instructions of a computer program by performing the basic arithmetical, logical, and input/output operations of the system. In terms of the arcade machines we all play and love, it's what runs the game code.

Below is an internal block diagram of the Zilog Z80 8 bit CPU. This was a very popular chip which appeared not only in lots of amazing arcade machines including such classics as Pacman, MS Pacman, Galaga and Galaxian, but also in classic early home computers sush as the ZX spectrum, commodore 128, and Amstrad CPC. It even appeared the Sega megadrive as the secondary CPU which along side the Motorola MC68000 series CPU!

The CPU is a very complex piece of electronics and is really beyond the scope of retro-arcades. If you are really interested in CPU internals and want to learn more about them check the following links.