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Atari Lynx first Color LCD portable console in 1989

Atari Lynx first Color LCD portable console in 1989


The Atari Lynx is a 16-bit handheld game console that was released by Atari Corporation in 1989. The Lynx holds the distinction of being the world’s first handheld electronic game with a color LCD. The system is also notable for its forward-looking features, advanced graphics, and ambidextrous layout. The Lynx was released in 1989, the same year as Nintendo’s (monochromatic) Game Boy. [WikiPedia]


120 games are available, I own currently only one: Gates of zendocon:

Gates of Zendocon is a 1989 action video game by Epyx for the Atari Lynx which was highly rated. This game is an action platform scrolling shooter where the player controls a space ship across 51 levels (“universes”). During gameplay there are a number of little alien allies to aid the player and protect the ship. The style of the game has an organic feel and the foes are numerous. There is a bonus level hidden inside the game where the player can earn high scores by destroying the faces of the game’s creators. [WikiPedia]


Technical specifications

  • MOS 65SC02 processor running at up to 4 MHz (~3.6 MHz average)
    • 8-bit CPU, 16-bit address space
    • Sound engine
      • 4 channel sound (Lynx II with panning)
      • 8-bit DAC for each channel (4 channels × 8-bits/channel = 32 bits commonly quoted)
    • Video DMA driver for liquid-crystal display
      • 4,096 color (12-bit) palette
      • 16 simultaneous colors (4 bits) from palette per scan line (more than 16 colors can be displayed by changing palettes after each scan line)
    • 8 System timers (2 reserved for LCD timing, one for UART)
    • Interrupt controller
    • UART (for ComLynx) (fixed format 8E1, up to 62500 Bauds)
    • 512 bytes of bootstrap and game-card loading ROM
  • Suzy (16-bit custom CMOS chip running at 16 MHz)
    • Graphics engine
      • Hardware drawing support
      • Unlimited number of high-speed sprites with collision detection
      • Hardware high-speed sprite scaling, distortion, and tilting effects
      • Hardware decoding of compressed sprite data
      • Hardware clipping and multi-directional scrolling
      • Variable frame rate (up to 75 frames/second)
      • 160 × 102 standard resolution (16,320 addressable pixels)
    • Math co-processor
      • Hardware 16-bit × 16-bit → 32-bit multiply with optional accumulation; 32-bit ÷ 16-bit → 16-bit divide
      • Parallel processing of CPU and a single multiply or a divide instruction
  • RAM: 64 KB 120ns DRAM
  • Storage: Cartridge – 128, 256 and 512 KB exist, up to 2 MB is possible with bank-switching logic. Some (homebrew) carts with EEPROM to save hi-scores.
  • Ports:
    • Headphone port (3.5 mm stereo; wired for mono on the original Lynx)
    • ComLynx (multiple unit communications, serial)
  • LCD Screen: 3.5″ diagonal
  • Battery holder (six AA) ~4–5 hours (Lynx I) ~5-6 hours (Lynx II)

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I worked with various Insurances companies across Switzerland on online applications handling billion premium volumes. I love to continuously spark my creativity in many different and challenging open-source projects fueled by my great passion for innovation and blockchain technology.In my technical role as a senior software engineer and Blockchain consultant, I help to define and implement innovative solutions in the scope of both blockchain and traditional products, solutions, and services. I can support the full spectrum of software development activities, starting from analyzing ideas and business cases and up to the production deployment of the solutions.I'm the Founder and CEO of Disruptr GmbH.