MOS Technology KIM-1


Launched in 1976, the MOS Technology KIM-1 (KIM being short for Keyboard Input Monitor), was a small 6502-based single-board computer. MOS Technology was a semiconductor designer and manufacturer based in Norristown, Pennsylvania. It is most famous for the 6502 microprocessor. In late 1976, Commodore Business Machines (CBM) acquired MOS.

Chuck Peddle, leader of the 650x group at MOS designed the KIM-1 and it was created primarily to “show off” the 6502 chip to engineers. However, it also quickly found a large market with hobbyists. You could create a complete system for less than $500, after buying the kit for only $245, by adding a used terminal and a cassette tape drive.

The KIM-1 contained a 1MHz 6502, 1024 bytes of RAM, six digit LED display and a 24-key calculator style keypad. At Commodore, Chuck Peddle convinced the owner, Jack Tramiel, that calculators were a dead end, and that the future was in personal computers. The KIM-1 lead to the Commodore PET 2001 in 1977.

Several external sources of information about the KIM-1 can be found here:
Rare Commodore KIM-1 hits eBay, shows you the PET’s barebones roots
Briel Computers micro-KIM

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