The Commodore 64 is an 8-bit home computer introduced by Commodore International in January 1982. Volume production started in the spring of 1982, with machines being released on to the market in August at a price of US $595. Preceded by the Commodore VIC-20
and Commodore MAX Machine, the C64 features 64 kilobytes of memory with sound and graphics performance that were superior to IBM-compatible computers of that time. It is commonly known as the C64 or C=64 (after the graphic logo on the case) and occasionally as the CBM 64 (for Commodore Business Machines), or VIC-64. It has also been affectionately nicknamed the "breadbox" and "bullnose" due to the shape and color of the first version of its casing.
In January 1981, MOS Technology, Inc., Commodore's integrated circuit design subsidiary, initiated a project to design the graphic and audio chips for a next generation video game console. Design work for the chips, named MOS Technology VIC-II (graphics) and MOS Technology SID (audio), was completed in November 1981. At the same time, Robert "Bob" Russell (system programmer and architect on the VIC-20) and Robert "Bob" Yannes (engineer of the SID) were critical of the current product line-up at Commodore, which was a continuation of the Commodore PET
line aimed at business users.
In 1984, Commodore released the SX-64
, a portable version of the C64. The SX-64 has the distinction of being the first full-color portable computer. The base unit featured a 5 in (130 mm) CRT and an integrated 1541 floppy disk drive.