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The VIC-II, the video chip used in the Commodore 64, was the most sophisticated video chip of any 8-bit personal computer. I'm curious about how long it took to design.

According to Wikipedia

In order to construct the VIC-II, Charpentier and Winterble made a market survey of current home computers and video games, listing up the current features, and what features they wanted to have in the VIC-II...

The work on the VIC-II was completed in November 1981

So that gives a completion date, and also notes there was a preliminary period of figuring out what features they wanted. When did they finalize the feature list and start working on the chip design?

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  • There might be some detail on this VCF talk youtube.com/watch?v=QNLbi6ZanUE but I don't think I've seen an official start.
    – PeterI
    Mar 4 at 23:00
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    I'd be careful with superlatives like "most sophisticated" - The Yamaha V9958, for example, used in MSX-2+ computers was certainly much "more sophisticated" than the VIC-II
    – tofro
    Mar 4 at 23:55
  • @tofro Ah, good point, so it was! Looks like that was introduced in 1988, but still definitely 8-bit hardware.
    – rwallace
    Mar 5 at 0:01

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6560 VIC chip was designed for usage in video terminals on 1977. But Commodore could not find a market for the chip. So it was not used. In 1979 MOS Technology began work on two new video chips named 6564 and 6562. 6564 was intended for TOI computer and 6562 was intended for color PET. Both chips failed due to memory timing issues. In 1979 Commodore cancelled both projects. Instead 6560 was revised with features from 6562 and 6564 and used in VIC-20.

Considering the first VIC-20 produced in 1980 and the 6560 being revised in paralel so that the team was busy with it, development of 6567 VIC-II should have earliest been started on 1980.

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