Flashback Sinclair ZX Spectrum

ZX SPECTRUM core for Multiple Classic Computer


the good, old ‘speccy’



In April 1982 a small British company, led by Sir Clive Sinclair, launched the ZX Spectrum computer and sparked a revolution.

The small, black computer with iconic rubber keys ignited the home computer age in the UK and beyond, led to an explosion in computer manufacturing and developed software programming talent that is still in evidence today.

The computer was the brainchild of British technology entrepreneur Sir Clive Sinclair who also, with the Sinclair Cambridge, developed one of the first cheap and slim pocket calculators in 1972.

The Spectrum was the third home computer to be released by Sinclair – following the ZX80 and ZX81 – but was the first aimed squarely at the home.

The machine came in two models – £125 for a 16KB machine and £175 for a 48KB machine, making it one of the first affordable machines.

The hardware designer was Richard Altwasser of Sinclair Research and the software was written by Steve Vickers on contract from Nine Tiles Ltd, the authors of Sinclair BASIC. Sinclair’s industrial designer Rick Dickinson was responsible for the machine’s outward appearance. Originally dubbed the ZX82, the machine was later renamed the “Spectrum” by Sinclair to highlight the machine’s colour display, compared to the black-and-white of its predecessors, the ZX80 and ZX81.

Games and Applications[3]:


The Spectrum family enjoys a very large software library of more than 23,000 titles[5] which is still increasing. While most of these are games, the library is very diverse, including programming language implementations, databases (e.g. VU-File[6]), word processors (e.g. Tasword II[7]),spreadsheets (e.g. VU-Calc[6]), drawing and painting tools (e.g. OCP Art Studio[8]), and even 3D-modelling (e.g. VU-3D[9]) and archaeology software[10] amongst many other types.[11]

The hardware limitations of the Spectrum imposed a special level of creativity on video game designers, and so many Spectrum games are very creative and playable even by today’s standards.[12] The early Spectrum models’ great success as a games platform came in spite of its lack of built-in joystick
ports, primitive sound generation, and color support that was optimized for text display.[13]

Original architecture and re-implementation[4]:

Based on a Zilog Z80 CPU running at 3.50 MHz, the Spectrum came with either 16 KB or 48 KB of RAM.

Specifications of the Sinclair ZX Spectrum

Manufacturer – Sinclair Research

Period – 1982 – 1984

CPU – Zilog Z80A

Frequency – 3,5 MHz

ROM – 16 KB

RAM – 16 of 48 KB

Text mode – 32 x 24

Graphic mode – 256×192

Colours – 8

Sound- speaker, 1 channel, 5 octaves

I/O -tv, cassette, extension port

Price – 125 British pounds for the 16 K-model

–  175 British pounds for the 48 K-model

ArcadeRetroGaming (ARG) implementation is based on the excellent work out of the retro gaming
community from Alessandro Dorigatti [5] together with additional modifications and enhancements.


The ZX Spectrum for the MCC includes the following features and enhancements:

  • Faithful emulation of the original 6C001 ZX Spectrum 48K ULA
  • ULA+ 64 color mode support
  • Issue2 keyboard emulation, Early/Late timing emulation
  • ZXMMC+ interface emulation (SD Card and 512KB RAM)
  • ResiDOS supported and available immediately at start up
    (supports SNA, Z80 and TAP file loading) with Auto Load function
  • Tape player emulation (TAP) with Auto Load function
  • Kempston Joystick Emulation (using real joysticks or keyboard)
  • Scan line video effect emulation

Games and Demos:







To combine the powerful hardware with the right content we recommend searching the Internet. Please visit the following sites:

Link: To download always the latest ZX Spectrum core for the Multiple Classic Computer please use this link:



[1] http://computermuseum.50megs.com/brands/zxspectrum.htm

[2] http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/technology/6572711.stm

[3] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ZX_Spectrum

[4] http://www.computernostalgia.net/articles/spectrum.htm

[5] ^ ab van der Heide, Martijn. “Archive!”. World
of Spectrum. Retrieved 2006-08-11

[6] ^ ab Pearce, Nick (October/November 1982). “Zap! Pow! Boom!”. ZX Computing: 75. Retrieved 2008-08-05.

[7] ^Wetherill, Steven (June 1984). “Tasword Two: The Word Processor”. CRASH! (5): 126. Retrieved

[8] ^ Gilbert, John (October 1985). “Art Studio”. Sinclair User (43): 28. Retrieved 2007-01-18.

[9] ^ Carter, Alasdair (October/November 1983). “VU-3D”. ZX Computing: 76–77. Retrieved 2008-08-05.

[10] ^ Brown, Paul N.. “Pitcalc — simple interactive coordinate & trigonometric calculation software”.
Retrieved 2008-09-16.

[11] ^ van der Heide, Martijn. “World of Spectrum”. Retrieved 2008-09-16.

[12] ^ McCandless, David (1998-09-17). “Retrospectrum”. Daily Telegraph.

[13] ^ Adamson, Ian; Richard Kennedy (1986-10-30). Sinclair and the “Sunrise” Technology: The Deconstruction of a Myth. Penguin Books Ltd. ISBN 0-14-008774-5.

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