Reverse engineering Tandy’s CoCo 3 “GIME” chip, updates.

It has only been a week since Roger Taylor announced his project to reverse engineer the custom ASIC Radio Shack used in their Color Computer 3 and we have already learned a few interesting things.

He sent two versions of the “GIME” chip off to be opened up and photographed under a microscope. These images revealed some messages etched in to the chip.

Tequila, anyone?

Written on the original 1986 GIME chip was the word “TEQUILA.” Can we now call the original 1986 release version of this chip the “Tequila GIME”?

CoCo 3’s 1986 GIME – Codename: Tequila (Photo from Roger Taylor)

Tortilla, anyone?

And on the 1987 updated GIME, the word “TORTILLA” can be found:

CoCo 3’s 1987 GIME – Codename: Tortilla (Photo from Roger Taylor)

Since Tandy/Radio Shack is base in Texas, perhaps a love of Mexican food inspired these code names.

Credit where credit is due, too.

The imaging has also revealed the names of the designers, John Prickett (Tandy) and Jim Bruister (VLSI).

CoCo 3’s 1987 GIME – Designer names (Photo from Roger Taylor)

These names were previously known, as documented in CoCo: The Colorful History of Tandy’s Underdog Computer, a book by Boisy Pitre and Bill Loguidice.

Roger has been providing near-daily updates to his project on his Patreon page, but the real fun is expected later once the actual reverse engineering of the circuitry begins.

Until then…