CHIP-8 Emulator – inspired by MITx Computation Structures (6.004)!

I am currently enrolled in MITx’s Computational Structures (6.004) on edX. I have learnt about registers, stacks, procedures, compilers, opcodes etc.

To put my new knowledge to work, I decided to program an emulator. I read about many systems and decided that CHIP-8 would be perfect as my first emulation project. It has just 36 instructions which encompass all features – math, branching, graphics, sound, input. These instructions are themselves easy to program.

CHIP-8 is not actually a computer system. It is a really low level programming language – deals directly with registers, stack pointers, sprite data and RAM – that ran on 1970’s computers such as COSMAC VIP and Telmac 1800. When handheld programmable calculators became powerful enough in the 1990’s, CHIP-8 presented an easy way to quickly program games for them.

So far, I have completed the core work – the emulator can load programs, take inputs and execute them. There is no sound yet – I am working on it. The emulator uses SDL 2.0 for I/O.


Minor bugs left in code.

Screenshot of CONNECT4

Stay tuned for updates! 😀

Thanks to Thomas P. Greene; I used his page as reference.

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