MOS Technology 8563 - Programming


Addressing the VDC's internal registers and dedicated video memory must be accomplished by indirect means. First the program must tell the VDC which of its 37 internal registers is to be accessed. Next the program must wait until the VDC is ready for the access, after which a read or write on the selected internal register may be performed. The following code is typical of a register read:

ldx #regnum ;VDC register to access stx $d600 ;write to control register loop bit $d600 ;check bit 7 of status register bpl loop ;VDC not ready lda $d601 ;read from VDC register ...

The following code is typical of a register write operation:

ldx #regnum ;VDC register to write to stx $d600 ;write to control register loop bit $d600 ;check bit 7 of status register bpl loop ;VDC not ready sta $d601 ;write to VDC register ...

Owing to this somewhat cumbersome method of controlling the VDC, the maximum possible frame rate in bit-mapped mode is generally too slow for arcade-style action video games, in which bit-intensive manipulation of the display is required.

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