Olimex Neo6502pc delivers Apple II emulation with modern peripherals — W65C02 and RP2040 co-processor in one $32 SBC

The Neo6502pc
(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

Olimex, a leading provider of microcomputing development tools, is now shipping a modern mini-computer capable of running vintage software. Its Neo6502pc combines an Apple II-compatible processor with a modern Raspberry Pi microprocessor to make retro computing easy for anyone to enjoy in 2024.

The open-source hardware starts with a 6.25 MHz W65C02 processor (as hinted at by its name). Since this processor is similar to the 6502 chip used in classic PCs and game consoles, like the Atari 2600 or the Apple II, the tiny computer can easily run emulators for those devices.

What’s even better is the inclusion of a 133 MHz Raspberry Pi RP2040 microcontroller. This bad boy makes it possible to support modern computing essentials like USB and HDMI video output. It features a USB-C port for power, just like the Raspberry Pi 4 and 5. It also provides a USB-A port for peripherals, like a mouse, keyboard, storage, or other devices. Finally, it has a 3.5mm audio jack and a built-in buzzer.

Olimex offers the Neo6502 single-board computer on its own, or you can opt for a small all-in-one Neo6502pc, which includes a 256-color 320 x 240 pixel LCD touchscreen display, LiPo battery, and a case with a built-in kickstand. The all-in-one option also gives you a total of three USB-A ports, four UEXT connectors for connecting to other development boards, and an EXT 12 GPIO connector.

The board measures 80mm x 55mm (3.1 inches by 2.2 inches), while the all-in-one computer is 220mm x 130mm x 35mm (8.7 inches by 5.1 inches by 1.4 inches).

If you buy just the Neo6502 board, you can find files to 3D print your case on Printables. The Neo6502pc is listed at 128 euros (approximately $137.) By itself, the Neo6502 SBC is 30 euros (around $32).

The Neo6502 single-board computer

(Image credit: Olimex)

Since the whole project is open-source hardware, there’s plenty of documentation and samples available on GitHub and the Neo6502 website and wiki. The Neo6502 can emulate Apple II, Apple IIe, Oric Atmos, and more. You’ll also find several retro games written specifically for the platform. The Neo6502 has a NeoBasic programming environment but does support Pascal and C programming as well.

Jeff Butts
Contributing Writer

Jeff Butts has been covering tech news for more than a decade, and his IT experience predates the internet. Yes, he remembers when 9600 baud was “fast.” He especially enjoys covering DIY and Maker topics, along with anything on the bleeding edge of technology.