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[hemmerling] FORTH 2/6 - Hardware, Commercial Products & Services, Intellectual Property ( IP )

Hardware for FORTH Systems

Standard Hardware suitable for FORTH Systems and FORTH Systems for Standard Hardware

FORTH Systems for Standard Hardware

⇒ See FORTH 4/5.

Standard Hardware suitable for FORTH Systems ( any PC with standard OS, any Eval-Boards & Embedded Boards with its CPUs, MPUs )

⇒ See Topics.

Special FORTH-enabled Hardware, commercial Hardware Products with FORTH


  • EN.Wikipedia "AIM-65", DE.Wikipedia "AIM-65" - “The Rockwell AIM-65 computer was a development computer introduced in 1978 based on the MOS Technology 6502 microprocessor. The AIM-65 was essentially an expanded KIM-1 computer. Available software included a line-oriented machine code monitor, BASIC interpreter, assembler, Pascal, PL/65, and FORTH development system”.

Amethyst, 2019


AMSAT Space Projects

Acornsoft - FORTH ROMs

Canon Cat

Hewlett-Packard Calculators

Hewlett-Packard Calculators with Reverse Polish Lisp ( RPL ), 1986 - 2015


  • "iTVC '4os'" ( - 2001-08-06 ) - “4os is the first Operating System written completely in Forth”.
  • Forth Interest Group (FIG) "comp.lang.forth Frequently-Asked Questions, part 4 of 7. A discussion of available Forth Systems: Commercial, Shareware & Freeware", 1999-07-23 - “The iTV Corporation <http://www/> has developed 4os, a real-time OS that utilizes the i21 Forth microprocessor. 4os is a complete networked information appliance operating system. The entire system (OS, live Forth system, network, file system, graphic decoders &etc.) requires less than 512Kb of program memory”.
  • GitHub "ForthHub / ForthFreak / 4os" - “4os was a proprietary OS intended to run on a MISC-based set-top box. Developed by iTVC, it was claimed to be the first operating system written completely in Forth. A brief description follows: A complete Internet system (OS, live Forth system, network stack, flash file system, GIF and JPEG decoder, fonts, network support applications, email and browser customer applications) requires less than 1/2 megabyte of program memory. With boot compression (comes standard, takes about 1 second) that system fits in a 128Kbyte ROM. Sadly money and other business aspects conspired and it never got released. ForthSystems”.
    • 4os.
      • “iTV has been out of business for decades, and Jeff Fox, who was the head of development there is dead”.
      • “It was written for a Forth chip which, AFAIK, isn't available”.
      • ” Worst of all, according to many posts from Jeff over the years, it's extremely bad (large, inefficient) code due to the fact that the leader of that team instructed the programmers to literally translate C code to ANS Forth, which is rarely a good practice”.
      • “They demoed fully functional set top box on SVFIG meeting. So, it *was* operational”.
    • SwiftX.
      • “SwiftX includes, for its target, a fully native, independent OS suitable for supporting a dedicated application (as opposed to a general-purpose OS to run whatever users want to run on it). It includes all I/O support for the target host (20+ embedded targets), a large library of standard routines, hosted cross-compiler, etc. Networking libraries may include parts of a TCP/IP stack, but we have never had need for a web browser.
    • Greg Bailey, of Athena Programming.
      • “The most comprehensive native Forth OS I know is from Greg Bailey, of Athena Programming, who for many years supported a fully native and incredibly fast Forth on PC architecture with full TCP/IP stack (FTP and PPP, no HTML), database management, and other facilities under a monthly maintenance agreement. His systems supported networks of >1,000 users”.
  • SameTwice "Jeff Fox" - “Jeff was the first employee and 'cool software developer' at iTV, a company formed by Chuck Moore to make Internet appliances using one of his Forth chips. Later Jeff was Director of Software at iTV and helped develop 4OS and the email and web browser appliance software. iTV never produced chips in volume or sold any Internet appliances”.
  • Almost the same story, about the same time, just without FORTH: DE.Wikipedia "Metabox".

Jupiter Ace

The original Hardware
Minstrel 4th
Jupiter Ace Simulators

Micronique Hector HRX, Micronique Hector MX - L'ordinateur personnel francais

Micronique Hector & Interact Family Computer ( both without FORTH )
Micronique Hector HRX
Micronique Hector MX
  • Old-Computers On-Line-Museum since 1995 "Micronique Hector MX" - “It has the same characteristics as the 2HR and the HRX. The 2HR uses Basic, the HRX uses Forth, the MX uses both as available programming languages ! Its 64 KB ROM contains BASIC 3X, HRX Forth, a version of Logo and a machine language editor/assembler”.

New Micros, Inc. (NMI)

Robotic Applications

Special Effects Camera with robotic-controlled Movements
Robot at TRW Near Field Tst Facility ( NFTF )

Scamp, 2019

ST Robotics' Robots, controlled by ROBOFORTH

Special FORTH-enabled Chips ( Processors, CPUs, SOC,... )

32-bit CPUs

INTEL 80x86
    • “The 80×86 processor family, which includes the 8088, 8086, 80186, 80286, and 80386 is a family of microprocessors with a general purpose register architecture. Simple PUSH and POP instructions are supported to manipulate the stack. Many high level language compilers produce code that uses the BP (base pointer) register as a frame pointer to a combined return address and parameter passing stack. When used in this mode, the 80×86 family can be considered to be doing stack processing. In the context of stack computers, the 80×86 is simply included in this listing as a representative example of a conventional machine that can be used as an SS2 architecture”.
Motorola / Freescale / NXP - 68K, Coldfire, PowerPC
    • “MOTOROLA 680×0. The 680×0 processor family, which includes the 68000, 68010, 68020, and 68030, is a family of microprocessors with a general purpose register architecture. Registers are divided into two groups: address registers and data registers. The address registers support postincremented and predecremented addressing modes. This allows a programmer to use up to eight stacks, one stack per address register. By convention, the A7 register is used as the stack frame pointer for most languages. Of course, the 680×0 family is usually not used as a multiple-stack machine, but nonetheless this capability exists”.
ARM Cortex
  • ?

James Bowman & Richard James Howe

"J1 Forth CPU" by James Bowman
"H2 Forth CPU" by Richard James Howe

Gerhard Hohner

Andrew Holme

Hans Hübner

Charles H. Moore

Bernd Paysan

John Rible

Rockwell R65Fx, R65FRx, R65FKx and F68K

Forth Based Microcomputers

Chen-Hansong Ting

Silicon Composers, Inc. "SC32 Stack-Chip Microprocessor"

Zilog SuperZ8

System On Chips ( SOC ) & FPGAs Manufacturers - Intellectual Property Databases ( 2021-07 )


Commercial FORTH Systems & Professional Companies offering Implementation Services based on FORTH



ATARI Coin-op Forth, ATARI Colleen Forth, fig-FORTH on ATARI 800


    • “I.4 Coin-Op FORTH vs. Starting FORTH”, page 6.
    • “II.1 The FORTH Kernel... the 250 or so words which constitute the heart of FORTH) is based on fig-FORTH. However, a number of modifications have been made...”, page 10.


  • ATARIage "[Forth] Coin-op Forth?" - “Coin-op Forth, a sort of inhouse version at Atari”.
  • "Atari Languages" - “The development speed of Forth has not been overlooked by Atari. Atari's Coin-Op group has a semi-legendary “Coin-Op Forth” which is supposed to be quite something to use. The Atari demo disk with the 'Disco Dirge' background music is all 'coin-op Forth' Rumor also has it that many of the new Coin-Op games are written in Forth (Battlezone, for one)”.
  • ATARI Magazines "Strolling Forth" - “There are currently about a half-dozen Forths for the 400/800's. In approximate chronological order of appearance, they are: Coin-op Forth, a sort of inhouse version at Atari;... ”.
  • "CoinOp FORTH" - “Here's some more info on the language from Mike Albaugh, via email to me on June 19 2015: “Coinop forth was developed in Atari coinop division by Steve Calfee and I, based on DECUS forth for the PDP-11. Steve modified the dictionary structure to speed compiles, and used direct threaded code rather than the standard indirect threaded code. This makes it not really forth, but improved performance. I ported the base system to the 400/800. Ed Logg added hooks for the graphics and sound routines in the OS, making Colleen Forth. Later, as Forth became popular and fig forth came out, we did a port of it to the 800 as well. A major visible difference is that fig forth uses the new operators for stores ( ! and C! ) rather than the original ( = and \= ) which DECUS, coinop, Colleen forth does. Fig forth also allows meta compilation, which came in handy for the cartridge version of my Point Of Purchase demo. Compared to Colleen Forth, though, it compiles (LOADs) really slowly. That was longer than I expected. Anyway, CoinOp forth was created mainly to allow relatively quick development of software tools on the 6502, where performance was not crucial, but was still important”.
  • Quora "Did Atari use the Forth language for any of their software?" - “I was there from late 1981 to early 1984, and was not aware that FORTH was used in any Atari systems. However, it is certainly possible that a use escaped my notice”.
  • Spectrum Computing Forums "First console and computer not progammed in assembly?" - “Atari used Coin Op Forth in house (A version of Fig Forth but with Atari specific add ons like a usable block editor that could also use files (Like ValForth), could use graphics and sound. , not sure how many applications/games got written with it but looking at the size of the manual for an internal program it must have been pretty widely used within Atari to get so much love to write a huge manual with multiple versions”.
  • Vector Forums "Languages used to program a Vectrex" - “Atari used 2 or 3 custom Forths developed for arcade and home computer, notably “Coin-op Forth”, this is documented on and comp.lang.forth. Several Atari home computer games were written directly in Forth and I know arcade Gorf was written directly in Forth and using the built-in Forth assembler”.
  • Atari History Timelines by Michael Current "A History of WCI Games / Atari / Atari Games / Atari Holdings - “June 1?: Atari released the Atari Program Exchange (APX) Software Catalog Summer Edition 1981, introducing for the 400/800: ... FIG FORTH (also known as “Coin-Op Forth” or “Colleen Forth”; never shipped)”.
  • EN.Wikipedia "Gorf" - “A planned sequel, Ms. Gorf, was never released. It was programmed in the programming language Forth. The source code for the prototype is owned by Jamie Fenton. The game exists only as source code stored on a set of 8-inch floppy disks, and would require access to a development environment that no longer exists in order to compile it into executable machine code”.
    • “Management identified two sweet spots for the new computers: a low-end version known internally as 'Candy', and a higher-end machine known as 'Colleen' (named after two Atari secretaries)”.
    • “Die Entwicklungsarbeiten für die erste Variante wurde im November in ein separates Projekt mit dem Namen Candy – dem späteren Atari 400 – ausgegliedert, die für das hochwertige Gerät unter dem Namen Colleen weitergeführt”.

FORTH on Apple II+

ColorForth / arrayForth & polyForth

Charles H. Moore - ColorForth / arrayForth & polyForth

The OpenSource R3 & R4

FORTH,Inc. - SwiftForth, PolyFORTH



    • Still just for sale in 2017, no freeware. “How to order iForth for Windows, OSX and Linux. The set of three iForths for Windows, OSX and Linux costs 100 Euros. Buy iForth with PayPal”.
    • No further development since 2017-11-19.
    • “Links to all iForth pages on this server”.

MicroProcessor Engineering Limited - VFX Forth

MVP Forth

  • The Shareware MVP Forth for MSDOS and AMIGA OS.
    • AMIGA OS:
      • Aminet - dev/lang/MVP-FORTH.lha - “Architecture: m68k-amigaos”. “A shareware version of forth from Fantasia Systems. Runable from the workbench, comes with icons and such. If you use this, you should send a contribution to Fantasia Systems / Mountain View Press”.
    • MSDOS:
    • “Public Domain Forth Implementations. Implementation Levels. Level 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5”.
  • TheFourceSource "Glen B. Haydon: The Forth Guide" - “After two years of weekly evening tutorials, I found students had a number of stumbling blocks. I wrote the Forth Guide to complement Starting Forth in assisting the beginner to understand the MVP-FORTH implementation”.

Quartus Forth for Palm OS Handheld Computer

Testra Corporation

Commercial Application Software based on FORTH



  • Pumpkin OS "Starflight" - “Starflight was a great computer game for the IBM PC released back in 1986. ... Starflight was written in a mix of FORTH and x86 Assembly.”.

Commercial Services

Training, Education

Commercial FORTH Experts & FORTH Development Services

Appropriate OpenDirectory Directory Pages

en/forth02.html.txt · Last modified: 2021/09/25 12:05 (external edit) · []
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