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Chameleon v2 first Prototype
Chameleon Main Menu (Screenshot downloaded from VGA framebuffer)
Chameleon Filebrowser (Screenshot downloaded from VGA framebuffer)
BASIC startup screen (Screenshot downloaded from VGA framebuffer)



Chameleon is an extremely user-friendly multipurpose cartridge that can be used without opening the computer. It is just plugged to the expansion port of the C64. It can also be operated as a stand-alone unit (since it's basically an FPGA computer like the C-One in a C64 cartridge case), replacing the computer, the floppy drive and the heavy power supply. A docking station providing 4 joystick ports and connectors for an Amiga or C-64 keyboard is available.

Technical Data

  • Altera FPGA with 24624 LEs
  • 16MiB Flash Memory, 32MiB RAM
  • VGA connector
  • MMC/SD card slot
  • Connectors for PS/2 mouse, PS/2 keyboard and IEC bus
  • Battery-backed real time clock (RTC)
  • IR receiver for CDTV remote control.
  • Connector for RR-Net (MK2 needs a patch to work in standalone mode).
  • USB link to a PC for debugging and data transfer.

Turbo Chameleon 64 FPGA Core

  • In cartridge mode the C64 core can be used with a european (PAL-G) or the "new" american 65-cycle (NTSC-M) C64. The "old" american 64-Cycle C64 and the argentinian "Drean" (PAL-N) C64 can not be used.
  • In standalone mode both a PAL-G or NTSC-M C64 can be emulated
  • VGA-output with 60 Hz refresh rate or more.
  • Turbo function with full 6510 processor compatibility (incl. illegal opcodes). For the first time, a C64 accelerator that does not use a 16-bit processor, but an accelerated 6510. (see Benchmarks)
  • REU (memory expansion) with up to 16 MiB RAM.
  • GEORAM (memory expansion) with up to 4 MiB RAM.
  • MMC/SD card slot with MMC64 compatibility and optional MMC64 ROM emulation.
  • Full 1541-emulation (2 Drives)
    • supports D64 and G64 files
  • SID emulation with filters (Two SIDs are emulated with selectable filter characteristics and base address of 2nd SID).
  • PS/2 mouse support (emulation of 1351 and Micromys).
  • PS/2 keyboard support (Joystick emulation available on numeric keypad).
  • Freezer (compatible with Retro Replay). ROMs can be stored in onboard flash or read from MMC card (as .crt or binary files).
  • Emulation of the following utility and game cartridges is available: 8 or 16 KByte (EP)ROM cartridges, Simons' Basic, Ocean type 1, FunPlay, Super Games, Epyx Fastload, Westermann Learning, C64 Game System (system 3), Warpspeed, Dinamic, Zaxxon, Magic Desk, Comal-80, Ross, Mikro Assembler, StarDos, EasyFlash, Prophet-64, Mach-5, PageFox, Business Basic (S'More).
  • Emulation of the following freezer cartridges is available: Action Replay, Retro Replay, Final Cartridge 3, Expert Cartridge, KCS Power Cartridge, SuperSnapshot 5, Capture.


  • Chameleon Beta-9h release (January 11th 2019): Combined core, menu and ChaCo update including manual (12 MBytes, includes automatic updater for Windows and ChaCo versions for Win32 and Linux64) (what's new)

Earlier releases: Beta-7 Beta-7a Beta-7b Beta-8 Beta-8a Beta-8b Beta-8c Beta-8d Beta-8e Beta-8f Beta-8g Beta-8h Beta-8i Beta-9 Beta-9a Beta-9b Beta-9c Beta-9d Beta-9e Beta-9f Beta-9g

User Information

Developer Information

System Overview
  • USB Library and Tools Source is available as well


  • icomp forum - sign up here to get in touch with the developers and other Chameleon users. Since all developers read this, it is also the preferred way to report bugs.

Feel free to contact us if you have any questions not answered in the available documents.

Related projects

Here are some Chameleon related projects that we know of. Please notice that all of these are created and maintained by other Chameleon users, which means that Individual Computers does (and can) not provide any support for them.


Home Computers

8 bit
  • TCA2601 is another Atari 2600 VCS core (A2601) ported by Frank Buss.
  • ZX-One is a Sinclair Spectrum FPGA core which has been ported to the Chameleon hardware by Alessandro Dorigatti.
16 bit
  • MiniMig is an Amiga FPGA core which also has been ported to the Chameleon hardware.
  • Alastair M. Robinson ported the Sega Genesis FPGAgen core


  • Alastair M. Robinson ported the PACE cores Pacman, Pengo and Moon Patrol.


  • Chameleon Pong is a simple FPGA starter project which has been created by Alastair M.Robinson.
  • Hardware test core by Peter Wendrich: hwtest1 hwtest2 (includes source)

USB Tools

a few different tools are available in the Chaco repository:

  • updater - update program from the release packages
  • chacocmd - original commandline USB client
  • Chaco - original GUI USB client
  • chshot - make screenshot from C64 screen over USB
  • chcodenet - a "codenet" clone that works over USB
  • chtransfer - port of "EasyTransfer" by Skoe (GUI USB client)
  • chxfer - port of "ef3xfer" by Skoe
  • chmon - port of "netmon" by Hannenz
  • chusb - port of "ef3usb" by Tom-Cat
  • chmount - commandline tool to send disk images to chameleon ram (used for the testbench)

download binaries for Linux, OSX, Windows or Source

  • Qchaco is "a frontend running chacocmd with parameters to upload a file, a diskimage or flash it with new firmware."
  • Chameleon Server is "a utility [...] that allows you to send C64 prg files directly to the machine via USB."
  • Chameleon CC65 is "a scratchpad application that uses the CC65 compiler to compile C language programs that can then be sent directly to the C64 over USB"
  • Ultimate1541 Sid Remote 1.1 is a remote SID player application

C-64 Software

Listing software that requires one or another special feature only available on "modern" hardware and/or emulators such as Chameleon or VICE.




Personal tools