Document Type

Student Research Paper


Spring 2020

Academic Department

Computer Science


The MOS 6502 is an 8-bit microprocessor released in 1975 by MOS Technology. It is notable for being wildly inexpensive compared to other microprocessors of the era, and as such, was incorporated in some form or another across important systems of the time, such as the Apple II, Commodore 64, and Nintendo Entertainment System (NES). While 6502s are no longer common in home computers or consoles, updated versions of the processor are still used quite frequently in the embedded systems industry. This paper will go in detail about how to emulate a 6502 microprocessor on a modern computer. The meaning of emulate in this case, is to reproduce the functionality. There is certainly more than way to go about emulating a processor, but this paper is primarily focused on the behavior of the CPU, rather than simulating transistors in software.


Senior thesis.