The Z80 microprocessor was created by Zilog Inc. in 1976 and it continues to be manufactured today. Its versatility and ease of customisation have allowed it to remain an important part of modern electronic circuit designs, from mobile telephones to interface circuits. Due to its low bit rate, the processor is limited in the amount of memory it can handle at any one time but it also requires very little power, so it functions well in compact, battery-operated systems.
The Zilog Z80 microprocessor incorporates an 8-bit central processing unit (CPU). This made it compatible with the original Intel 8080 processor used in early home computers and the precursor to the PC. The processor also incorporates a 16-bit address bus, allowing it to access memory "blocks" of 64 kilobytes at a time.
The Z80 processor requires a 5 volt power supply with a 60 milliamp current. The more recent Z80A processor requires a higher current of 90 milliamps but also uses a 5 volt supply. Despite its moderately low power requirements, the Z80 processor has a high range of operating temperatures; it can operate between 0 and 70 degrees Celsius.
The Z80 was originally produced with a clock speed of 2.5 Megahertz but this was superseded by the more powerful Z80A processor. The Z80A was initially produced with a 4MHz clock speed but more recent iterations, such as the Z80C architecture, have seen this increase to a maximum of 25MHz.
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