Raspberry Pi Turbo Boosts Amiga 500 Retro Computer

Raspberry Pi
(Image credit: Claude Schwarz)

In the 1980s the home computer market was dominated by the likes of Atari, IBM, Tandy and Commodore and one of the most popular machines was the Amiga. The most popular of the range was the Amiga 500 and with Claude Schwarz's Raspberry Pi Amiga PCB known as PiStorm you can seriously boost the power of this humble home computer.

PiStorm is an adaptor board that plugs into the socket for the Amiga's Motorola 68000, 7.16 MHz CPU. Upgrading the A500+ to a 68EC030 CPU running at 70 - 80 MHz. At the time that would've been a dream setup requiring a much more expensive machine, the A4000 and a huge injection of cash for third party accessories. 

PiStorm is designed to use a Raspberry Pi 3 A+ which functions in place of the CPU and according to Schwarz, there are plans in the works for a CM4 edition which could see a greater increase in performance. Other features provided by PiStorm are support for large amounts of RAM (up to 128MB), virtual SCSI devices, swappable Kickstart ROM images (the BIOS of an Amiga) and accelerated high resolution graphics via the Raspberry Pi's HDMI port.

The board was confirmed to work with an Amiga 500+. A USB hard drive can be used for additional storage, such as hard disk image files. An 8GB microSD card is needed for PiStorm and its dependencies.

The current plan is to offer pre-made boards for sale but the project is open source (the best Raspberry Pi projects usually are), meaning you can download the PCB files for free to use and modify on your own. PiStorm is a direct competitor to Apollo Accelerators who make their own hardware acceleration solutions.

Visit the project page on GitHub for more details and installation instruction. You can also find more pictures in the original thread at Twitter.

Ash Hill
Freelance News and Features Writer

Ash Hill is a Freelance News and Features Writer at Tom's Hardware US. She manages the Pi projects of the month and much of our daily Raspberry Pi reporting.