Did any retro computers ship with the SP0256-AL2 speech chip or its equivalent?

2018-10-14 18:41:47

The SP0256-AL2 Speech IC was a popular solution for text to speech translation but is now out of production. There where several other chips that entered the market but as far as I know did not have the popularity or quality of the SP0256-AL2.

Did any computers ship with the SP0256-AL2 speech chip or its equivalent?

Were there any computers that provided native speech support?

Did any retro computers ship with the SP0256-AL2 speech chip or it's eqivilent?

Short answer: None.

At least not with the SP0256 and not in reasonable numbers. The TI 99/8 was developed with a build TMS52xx Speach chip, but canceled before general delivery. Similar was the Atari 1400XL, equipped with an SC-02, was canceled early on and only sold in small numbers.

More detailed answer:

The SP0256-AL2 Speech IC was a popular solution for text to speech

Yes, it was used by several early machines, including the Magnavox Odyssey2 or by Tandy for their TRS-Line.

There where

  • Did any retro computers ship with the SP0256-AL2 speech chip or it's eqivilent?

    Short answer: None.

    At least not with the SP0256 and not in reasonable numbers. The TI 99/8 was developed with a build TMS52xx Speach chip, but canceled before general delivery. Similar was the Atari 1400XL, equipped with an SC-02, was canceled early on and only sold in small numbers.

    More detailed answer:

    The SP0256-AL2 Speech IC was a popular solution for text to speech

    Yes, it was used by several early machines, including the Magnavox Odyssey2 or by Tandy for their TRS-Line.

    There where several other chips that entered the market

    Most notably Texas' LPC series, based on the same principle, and eventually sould most units of all, not at least due the omnipresent Speak & Spell/Math/Read series and the TMS5200 used in the Speech Module for the TI-99/4. It's still manufacured today, although they have recently stoped to take orders for new ROM designs, as better speech output can nowa

    2018-10-14 19:22:54
  • The CEMCORP / Burroughs / Unisys ICON (Ontario, Canada - 1984) had a TMS5220 on the main board. Fairly advanced for its time (80186, 384 KB RAM, colour [EGA] graphics, multitasking, running QNX) this educational computer is now extraordinarily rare to find in working condition, for several reasons:

    The ICON workstation is useless without the accompanying server connected over ARCnet

    Very little software was written for the ICON

    The entire educational fleet of ICONs was scrapped in 1994, and Ontario's archives refused to preserve any of the systems.

    There are a couple of known-working ICON systems left, but no emulators or disk images available. Later machines were PC-compatible and mostly ran MS-DOS or Windows.

    2018-10-14 19:41:05