Back to main menu  

Atari - Project Sierra

This is still as yet unconfirmed, but what you may be looking at above is the concept case for the Atari "Sierra 68000" Project or the Gaza Project. Atari was already looking into the possibilities of a new high end computer system based around the Motorola 68000 CPU and utilizing a new chipset being designed by at the Sunnyvale Advanced Research Centre in California. The chipset was called "Silver & Gold". Another system even more impressive then Sierra was GAZA, a MC68000 multiprocessor based graphics system was also designed. Using a chipset called Rainbow, several prototypes of the GAZA system had been completed and had 2 MC68000's working together using CP/M-68K. Originally Warner management took a liking to the project, but later on felt it conflicted with Atari's overall purpose of being an entertainment company so the plug was pulled. When the Tramiels arrived, they had no idea that completed prototypes of what may very have been systems far superior to the ST's and the Amiga's were already completed. The GAZA staff was fired, two of the engineers went onto to Digital Research, Inc.

The case design may look familiar to some. It very closely resembles the Apple /// computer, except the Sierra sports two 3.5" diskette drives. Additional photo's will follow in the coming weeks and hopefully more data will follow as well. Photo was taken in November 1983. Tom Palecki of Atari's Industrial Design group graciously donated the above photo's and the slides which will be converted into photo's.

 Historical Facts
 The "Sierra" Project
 Atari Unix V
 DRI and GEM