uChip Simple VGA Console (uSVC)

by ITACA Innovation

Portable, DIY, open hardware retro-gaming console

View all updates Nov 12, 2020

Getting Started Tutorials

by next-hack

Hi there,
Starting with this update, we are releasing a series of tutorials to help you try out the features of uSVC first hand. If you have not dug into the source code on your own yet, these tutorials will help you get a better understanding of many of uSVC’s powerful features.

How is that possible if one doesn’t have the hardware yet? Well, the secret behind uSVC is not just its hardware, which as we explain on our site, is quite simple. In actuality, regardless of hardware, the firmware plays a central role in rendering VGA graphics and more, which we will describe in step-by-ste detail in this series. Therefore, while we get closer, day-by-day, to the goal of shipping you a DIY uSVC kit, we thought you would like to start on some programming, enriched by our deep explanations.

The first tutorial will explain how to set up the programming environment. We’ll show you how to set up the scripts necessary for automating programming and debugging of the games and applications you plan to build with uSVC.

In the second tutorial, we will show you how to set up an example template and draw your first tiles to generate basic graphics using uSVC. This process iseasier done than said, since in a few steps you will be able to set up the kernel, import graphics, and lastly plot “_something_” on-screen.

For all these tutorials, in order to simplify the startup process,, we’ll provide you with pre-exported graphic files and templates. But you should feel free to experiment with your own files. As previously introduced, we’ll provide a useful, free Game Map Editor for uChip to help you create and export your own graphics.

Lastly, we are going to keep a list at the end of each tutorial of all available guides released to that point.

Here is the list up to now:

We hope you enjoy starting to code with uSVC.

About the Author



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Product Choices


uChip Simple VGA Console (uSVC) Kit

One DIY uSVC kit containing all of the components you will need to build your uSVC. The uChip is pre-programmed and MicroSD card slot is pre-soldered. All other parts are easy-to-solder, through-hole components.


3D-Printed Enclosure for uSVC

A stylish, 3D-printed case, designed and printed by Stefano Rubini to the precise specifications of uSVC.


Power & Data Cables

A (male) USB Type-B to (male) USB Type-A power cable and a (female) USB Type-A to (male) Micro-USB OTG cable


uChip Microcontroller Board

Arduino-Zero-compatible microcontroller board in a narrow, DIP-16 package. Includes solder-yourself pin headers.


ITACA Innovation

ITACA INNOVATION is a project started by four young researchers from Padova with the aim of applying academic knowledge of electronics to practical applications. ITACA supports your ideas by providing all of the technical and engineering knowledge you will need to implement them.


Antonio Rizzo



Prototype PCB Manufacturer

LCSC Electronics


Components & Hardware Sourcing



PCB Assembly



Packaging solutions

See Also

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