1088XEL Ultimate 1MB Firmware

In January 2017, Michael St Pierre (mytek) embarked on the project he’d been contemplating for two years: a completely redesigned Atari 8-bit motherboard, with an Mini-ITX form factor and using the original VLSI chips. After only nine months of gestation, the fully debugged version 1.1 boards arrived.

From the outset, the 1088XEL was built around the TK-II, Mousetari, UAV and Ultimate 1MB. Having already seen and used my alternative Ultimate 1MB firmware, Michael soon invited me to become involved in the 1088XEL testing process and asked if I could customise the BIOS in order to support the new motherboard’s unique features. Of course, the new firmware’s plug-in architecture made the creation of a drop-in 1088XEL module easy, although as time went on, a few modifications to the base code were also made.

Eventually, customised versions of the U1MB main BIOS, PBI BIOS and XEX loader were developed for the 1088XEL. Some changes – such as support for dual physical disks (used with the XEL-CF adapter) – proved highly challenging, but by the close of 2017, the new firmware was taking shape, although bug fixing and further development of the 1088XEL continued until April 2018. As the firmware neared completion. the task of updating the user manual and technical documentation began. By the beginning of June 2018, everything was finally completed.

Firmware Download

User Manual

The User Manual contains installation instructions and usage notes for the Main BIOS setup utility and XEL Loader:

Ultimate 1MB, Incognito and 1088XEL-U1MB Firmware Manual

Technical Documentation

Technical documentation describing the firmware memory map, configuration data layout and Plugin architecture is provided below:

Ultimate 1MB, Incognito and 1088XEL-U1MB BIOS Technical Documentation

Plugin Source Code

To complement the Technical Documentation, you can also download the source code for the U1MB BIOS plugins:

Ultimate 1MB BIOS Plugin Source Code

1088XEL Links

To learn more about the 1088XEL project, please visit the 1088XEL project home page, where you’ll find links to schematics, Gerbers, PIC firmware, and documentation.

As well as the 1088XEL and XEL-CF, Michael offers many other interesting projects at AtariBits.

If you’d like to purchase 1088XEL in ready-built or kit form, you can find ordering instructions at The Brewing Academy.

Licensing and Donations

While the firmware is free at the point of delivery for personal use, if it is to be included on commercially sold devices, the firmware is subject to a small licensing fee which should be arranged with the author in advance. Developers interested in customised versions of the firmware tailored to their particular hardware should contact the author.

In light of the fact firmware licensing revenue is modest and updates are offered for free to the end user via this website, donations are welcomed and appreciated. Indeed, it has been my mission to facilitate easy and safe firmware updates, and in-field upgrades are encouraged to ensure that devices remain up to date and bug fixes are delivered in a timely manner.

Thank you!