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Chuck Peddle
Peddle in 2013
Born Charles Ingerham Peddle
(1937-11-25)November 25, 1937
Bangor, Maine, U.S.
Died December 15, 2019(2019-12-15) (aged 82)
Santa Cruz, California, U.S.
Nationality American
Other names Chuck Peddle
Occupation electrical engineer
Known for personal computer pioneer
Notable work(s) 6502 microprocessor
Commodore PET PC

Charles Ingerham Peddle[1] (November 25, 1937 – December 15, 2019)[2][3] was an American electrical engineer best known as the main designer of the MOS Technology 6502 microprocessor, as well as the KIM-1 SBC (single-board computer) and its successor the Commodore PET PC (personal computer), both based on the 6502.[4]


Peddle was born in Bangor, Maine, United States on November 25, 1937.[5] He worked in a radio station while in high school.[4]

In 1955, Peddle joined the Marine Corps. He attended the University of Maine where he earned a BSc degree in Engineering Physics. Afterwards, he went to work for General Electric working with time sharing systems.[4]

In 1973, Peddle worked at Motorola on the development of the 6800 processor.[4]

Peddle recognized a market for an ultra-low-price microprocessor and began to champion such a design to complement the $300 Motorola 6800. His efforts were frustrated by Motorola management and he was told to drop the project. He then left for MOS Technology, where he headed the design of the 650x family of processors; these were made as a $25 answer to the Motorola 6800. The most famous member of the 650x series was the 6502, developed in 1975, which was priced at 15% of the cost of an Intel 8080, and was subsequently used in many commercial products, including the Apple II, Commodore VIC-20, Nintendo Entertainment System, Atari 8-bit computers and arcade video games, Oric computers, and the BBC Micro from Acorn Computers.[4][6]

The 6502 microprocessor design was also modified to support other computers while maintaining backward compatibility. The 6507 is the CPU of the Atari 2600,[7] and of peripherals such as the Atari 850 Interface, and 810 and 1050 disk drives. Atari used a custom in-house derivative, the 6502C "Sally" in the XL/XE computers and 7800, which is based on the 6502B but with added logic to disable the clock signal, called HALT. Using DMA, this allows a second microprocessor "ANTIC" to shut off the CPU whenever it needed the data/address bus, allowing them to coexist.[8] The 6510 is in the Commodore 64.

In 1980, Peddle left MOS Technology, together with Commodore Business Machines (CBM) financer Chris Fish, to found Sirius Systems Technology. There, Peddle designed the Victor 9000 personal computer.[6]


Peddle and Bill Mensch are regarded as personal computer pioneers, in that both the 6502 technology and business model were instrumental in helping launch the personal computer revolution. After his death, Mensch wrote in memoriam of Peddle.[9][10][11]

See also

  • Group coded recording


  1. "Integrated circuit microprocessor with parallel binary adder having on-the-fly correction to provide decimal results". 1976. US 3991307. 
  2. Daramola, Opeyemi (2019-12-20). "Chuck Peddle Death – Obituary: Cause of Death" (in en-US). 
  3. "Team 6502". 
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 "Chuck Peddle BYTE Interview". BYTE Magazine. 
  5. Metz, Cade (December 24, 2019). "Chuck Peddle Dies at 82; His $25 Chip Helped Start the PC Age". 
  6. 6.0 6.1 "Chuck Peddle - Computing History". 
  7. Goldberg, Marty; Vendel, Curt (December 25, 2012). "Atari Inc: Business is Fun". Syzygy Company. 
  8. "FAQ Atari 400 800 XL XE: What were the Atari 1400XL, 1450XLD, 65XEP, and 65XEM?". 
  9. "Microchips That Shook the World". IEEE Spectrum. 
  10. "Digging Into The 6502". Apple II history. 
  11. In Memoriam of Charles “Chuck” Peddle, Western Design Center, 2019-12-20.


  • On the Edge, The Spectacular Rise and Fall of Commodore. Winnipeg: Variant Press. 2005. ISBN 0-9738649-0-7. 

External links

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