Recently, I have been developing an SBC based on the Zilog Z80 microprocessor. Since my first design, a serial connection has been essential for the board to communicate with a PC or terminal. For this purpose, I have been using Zilog's own Z80 DART (or SIO/0) because of how easy it is to interface with the Z80. However, it has been getting harder and harder to find distributors who sell these chips or similar ones, such as the 6850, for a reasonable price. Is there a newer chip or technology that I could use that would come in a DIP package and is relatively easy to interface with the Z80?
"But they aren't DIP!" you say. Well there is simple solution for that:-
I would just use the SMD part directly though - saves board space and is easier to solder than DIP.
Wow! I haven’t touched a Z80 since my TRS-80 in 1978!
Many PIC MCUs have very robust USARTs, along with most anything else you may want or need. They’re very affordable and if you need battery or low power, sleep currents down into the nanoamps. I’m talking $0.50 or less in volume.
Check out the 8-bit PIC12LF1822 or use the Microchip selector tool and choose device with multiple USARTS for RS-232 or RS-485. If you need something beyond old school serial, there’s I2C and more.
You can program them in C language or assembler.
And yes, they’re available in DIP packages as well as SMC.