During the final days in 1984 of Atari's ownership under Warner Communications,
new designs for Atari 800XL were in the works. One such
design called the Atari 800XLK aka the 800XLCR (Cost Reduced) involved a new motherboard
design which not only incorporated the "FREDDIE" Memory processor, but
also incorporated an entirely new chip design called "KERI". KERI was the codename for
a new combination chip, which combined the ANTIC, GTIA and POKEY chips into one.
Many years ago a test
board was found called the "Keri
Performance Tester" and it was marked with Atari Inc marking from the Warner days of Atari.
This was rather surprising since the center of the board had a new chip
holder which was a PLCC type and not a standard chip package that Atari
had used in the past.
However it appears that Atari
was finally making the break from its 40 pin DIP package limitations due to cost
and was moving in to the realm of higher density PLCC type chips.
Project KERI goes all the way back to June 1983 when the
800XL was being publicly shown. Schematics for an 800XL with a CGIA
(ANTIC & GTIA combined)
and FREDDIE were already drawn up for it. (See side bar for
Schematics) KERI would take the CGIA one step further in adding into it
the POKEY chip as well.
The Tramiels initially planned to take this 800XLK design and release it in 1985
as the 900XLK as part of their original XL Products line.
Products Memo - September 9, 1984