Atari 65XEM Personal Computer System. This unreleased
computer was a standard Atari 65XE computer fitted with a
special Audio Processor called "AMY" Shown at the 1985
CES, the 65XEM was touted as having remarkable capabilities
for sound/voice synthesis.
The AMY Sound
Processor was originally a chip designed for newer high end
computer systems in 1983 in the Advanced Engineering
Division (also referred to as the Atari Corporate Research
Lab) in Sunnyvale, CA. AMY was part of a new chipset called
graphics portion of the chipset consisted of two chips
called Silver and Gold. Together these chips created a
formidable computer system capable of graphics and sound
rivaling many computers which came out years later.
Unfortunately these computers would never see the light of
day due to the sale of Atari in 1984.
AMY was demonstrated
in 1983 performing a demonstration of a Female Opera singer,
then on the fly was instructed to perform the same opera in
a Male voice.
potential of this new audio chip, Atari's chief engineer -
Shiraz Shivji intended to implement it into the new "RBP"
projrect. "RBP" was the acronym for "Rock Bottom Price" and
was to be a new high end 16 bit computer system that would
rival the Apple Macintosh but would cost under $1,000 for a
color version of the system. With a very demanding deadline
schedule to have a working demonstration system readied in
only 5 months after the purchase of Atari by the Tramiels,
the AMY processor's viability was in doubt so it was quickly
removed from the Atari ST specifications and replaced with a
Yamaha sound processor. The AMY chip was then slated for
use in the 65XE series computer which was a direct
replacement for the Atari 800XL computer.
of the original programmers of the AMY chips software in
1983 was Jack Palevich (who earlier had wrote a game called
Dandy as part of the APX (Atari Program Exchange, a division
of Atari that published high quality software from
independent programmer), which was an amazing D&D type game
that Atari would later base its Atari Gauntlet franchise
on. John also did Atari Dark Chambers which was another
Dandy variant for the Atari home consoles ) and some of his
original software still exists on some demonstration and
development disks that came with this 65XEM prototype.
read all about AMY, its history and to access a large amount
of technical documents, IC design files and the software to
generate the Harmonics and sythensis with the AMY, please
follow the link below:
The Atari AMY Sound Processor