z80 Development kit

About z88dk

z88dk is a z80 C cross compiler supplied with an assembler/linker and a set of libraries implementing the C standard library for a number of different z80 based machines. The name z88dk originates from the time when the project was founded and targetted only the Cambridge z88 portable.

The compiler featured in z88dk is a much enhanced Small C compiler; the compiler accepts many features of ANSI C and is only deficient in a few areas where implementation on a z80 processor might prove inefficient. The compiler performs simple optimisations, but the bulk of the optimisation is achieved by a set of peep-hole rules, which will typically reduce the size of a large project by up to a third.

The libraries supplied with z88dk are designed to be as generic as possible, indeed it is possible to port to a new machine simply by supplying two library routines and some startup code. It is hoped that one day z88dk will support as many z80 based machines as there is information available and sufficient interest in. Currently z88dk supports more than a hundred z80 family targets with the level of library support for each target varying with interest shown by users.

z88dk v2.0 released

Another year has passed, so it must be time for a new z88dk release!

Despite the project being almost 22 years old we're still making major changes and improvements

This release of z88dk sees support for two new processors:

- gbz80: zsdcc, sccz80 and classic now support gbz80 machines
- 8080/5: sccz80 and classic now support 8080/5 machines

Support for the following machines has been added:

- Nintendo Gameboy
- Tesla PMD85 (8080)
- CP/M based: Excalibur 64, Sony SMC-70/SMC-777, Sharp X1
- Hübler/Evert-MC, Hübler Grafik-MC, Kramer MC
- Nichibutsu My Vision, Hanimex Pencil II
- Toshiba Pasopia7, Bandai Supervision SV8000, Videoton TVC
- RomWBW based machines including Retrobrew and RC2014
- SCZ180 family machines

We've also improved floating point support:

- A (mostly) IEEE754 compliant maths library is available. This library takes full advantage of the z180 and z80n m ..........

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Posted by dom | Replies: 0 | Date Posted: 2020-02-03

z88dk v1.99C released

It's been a while since the last release and all of our doc refers to nightly builds, so a nightly build has been promoted into a release.

This release of z88dk contains many significant changes over the 1.99B, significantly increasing the number of supported systems, improving source code compatibility between the two compilers and natively supporting more z80 derivative CPUs. The major changes are detailed below:

* sccz80 has seen many changes, included frontend parsing enhancements and code generator optimisations
* sccz80 accepts the same extension syntax as zsdcc
* The sccz80 preprocessor has been changed to ucpp which is C99 compatible
* z80asm now supports Rabbit 2000/3000, z180 and ZX Next CPUs
* Appmake can now generate disc images for many CP/M machines
* Classic supports several new targets
* Classic provides a standard VT52 console for many targets
* newlib now provides extensive support for the ZX Spectrum Next

Read More!

Posted by dom | Replies: 1 | Date Posted: 2019-01-19

Source code migration to GitHub

Following the 1.99B release we've migrated the source code from CVS to git. The new location for repositories is http://github.com/z88dk

Moving to git should increase visibility and make it easier for us to perform a long overdue restructuring of the code tree.

The only things we're now using on Sourceforge are:

* File releases
* Mailing lists

Posted by dom | Replies: 0 | Date Posted: 2017-01-14

z88dk v1.99B Released

At Sourceforge:

It's been a year since the last release so it was time for another. This is another transitional release on the way to version 2.0 and hopefully we'll get there for the next one.

Some notes:

Z88DK - v1.99B 10 Jan 2017

Z88dk is a development kit for z80 computers that contains the tools and assembly language libraries necessary to develop code in either C or assembly language for z80-based machines.

Over 50 different z80 machines have CRTs in the toolkit, allowing C programs to be compiled for them out-of-the-box.

There are two C compilers supported (sccz80 and sdcc), two independent C libraries included (the classic and new), an assembler/linker/librarian (z80asm), and a data compression tool (zx7).

This is the second transition re ..........

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Posted by alvin | Replies: 0 | Date Posted: 2017-01-12

SSL enabled

I've been meaning to do it for a while (years), apologies for the delay.

All connections to the website are now redirected to SSL. The certificate is courtesy of letsencrypt so poke me if I forget to renew it by the end of February.

Looks like we get an A+ rating from ssllabs, so that's good.

Posted by dom | Replies: 1 | Date Posted: 2016-12-02

Downtime this week

The server is due to undergo the dummy whammy of having an IP address and a power switchover at some point this week - either Wednesday or Thursday evening (BST).

During this time the forum and wiki will be unavailable. Nightly downloads should continue to be available.

Posted by dom | Replies: 1 | Date Posted: 2016-08-10

sdcc has made chars unsigned by default rather than signed

Recently sdcc has changed its char type to be unsigned by default.  For programs that expect signed chars this can lead to errors and warnings.  Compiling with an additional command line flag "--fsigned-char" will cause sdcc to treat char as a signed type as was the default before the change.  This affects the current zsdcc binary supplied by z88dk.

The reason for the change is that small uPs, including the z80, are better suited to unsigned types and use of unsigned char rather than signed char leads to faster and more compact code.  The thinking is people who use "char" to declare variables are not consciously making a decision about whether "char" should be signed or unsigned.  The C standard specifically states that whether char is signed or not is implementation defined.  Portable C code should always use "signed char" or "unsigned char" to declare char-size variables.

Posted by alvin | Replies: 0 | Date Posted: 2016-04-02

zcc --c-code-in-asm for sdcc compiles

An option "--c-code-in-asm" for sdcc compiles will embed C code as comments in output assembly listings.  With the recent change to using sdcc's preprocessor for sdcc compiles, the C code is correctly placed in the output asm listing.

There is potential for use of this option to cause compile errros when strings containing non-ascii characters are listed in the C code comments.  The error arises because one of z88dk's tools, copt (a regular expression engine), is unable to deal with non-ascii character sets.  You will still get the asm listing but binary generation will fail.  To get the output binary in these cases, simply compile without this option enabled.

Example use:

zcc +zx -vn -SO3 -clib=sdcc_iy --max-allocs-per-node200000 test.c -o test --c-code-in-asm --list

Among the generated files will be .lst files containing the asm output of the compiler with c code mingled in as comments.

Posted by alvin | Replies: 0 | Date Posted: 2016-04-02

sdcc binaries now packaged with z88dk nightly builds for win and mac

The nightly builds for windows and mac osx are now completely self-contained such that compilation using sdcc as C compiler no longer requires separate installation of sdcc.  Necessary patches have been applied to z88dk's sdcc binary.  As usual, the sdcc binary has been renamed from "sdcc" to "zsdcc" so that a z88dk install does not interfere with an sdcc install.

z88dk is also now using sdcc's preprocessor for C code rather than z88dk's native preprocessor.  A side effect is line numbers for errors reported by sdcc are now correct.

Posted by alvin | Replies: 2 | Date Posted: 2016-04-02

zcc --list

New option "--list" has been added to zcc to generate list files when compiling binaries.  The crt will be among the list files generated.

For windows or osx users you can simply replace your zcc binary with one from a nightly build.  Other uses will have to recompile zcc from source to update.

Posted by alvin | Replies: 0 | Date Posted: 2016-01-22

Improved SDCC Compiles

A patch has been applied to z88dk's version of sdcc to make the peephole optimizer able to exactly determine register reference in instructions.  In the current sdcc, hex constants and label names can sometimes be erroneously searched for register names which can affect whether peephole rules are applied or not.  A fix in sdcc itself probably won't come until after its next release.

You can update your zsdcc executable in the usual way:  http://www.z88dk.org/wiki/doku.php?id=temp:front#sdcc1

Also included in that package is an updated rules set.  This rules set is regularly improved as we check the quality of code generated for test programs.  The readme describes where it should be copied to.

Posted by alvin | Replies: 3 | Date Posted: 2016-01-22

z88dk v1.99A Released

The new version is available from sourceforge.

CHANGES (brief)

z88dk 1.99A 23.Dec.2015
Major changes incorporated into z88dk.  This is a transition release in anticipation of v2.0.

Two C compilers are supported (sccz80 - z88dk's native C compiler - and sdcc).
Two different C libraries are present (classic - the same library as pre 1.99A - and new).

Accordingly, there are now three different compile modes:

1. Compile with sccz80 and the classic C library.  This is equivalent to pre-1.99A.
2. Compile with sccz80 and the new C library.  Compile lines include "-clib=new".
3. Compile with sdcc and the new C library.  Compile lines include "-clib=sdcc_ix" or "-clib=sdcc_iy".

[z80asm] Sections have been introduced for generating memory maps and compiling to bankswitched memory.
[z80asm] Modern logical operators have been adopted.
[z80 ..........

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Posted by alvin | Replies: 9 | Date Posted: 2015-12-24

z88dk v1.99A Release Candidate

Download from:

The release candidate will be available for testing until December 23 when it will be replaced by an official release of v1.99A.

The download options are a binary win32 build, a binary mac osx build and a generic source tree for other platforms. Installation hints can be found here: http://www.z88dk.org/wiki/doku.php?id=t … tallation. Instructions for installing the MacOSX binary are missing so if a MacOSX user is able to submit those, it would be appreciated

z88dk has undergone some significant development in the past two years. The version number reflects this (v1.99) and anticipates a v2.0 when the development roadmap is completed.


Quite a lot and ..........

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Posted by alvin | Replies: 1 | Date Posted: 2015-12-16

Nightly builds for Mac

I'm pleased to say that the build machine has been upgraded and is now generated Mac binary kits which can be grabbed from http://nightly.z88dk.org

Any feedback on them is much appreciated, I've not done much testing on them so it's possible the configuration isn't quite right.

If anyone has any other targets that they'd like built then let me know and if I can get a working toolchain, I can add them.

Posted by dom | Replies: 1 | Date Posted: 2013-11-11

Recent downtime

Apologies for the recent downtime - the server that z88dk.org is hosted on managed to drop off the network and it took a while to gain access to the cabinet to perform a server swapout.

The forums have now been migrated to the replacement server and hopefully things will start working again.

Not working (that I know of):

- Project hosting
- viewvc


- Forums
- Wiki
- Mail list bridges

I'll update with more info as I fix things.

Posted by dom | Replies: 0 | Date Posted: 2013-03-27

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