Released in 1982 in the UK by Sinclair Research, The ZX Spectrum is an 8-bit home computer, based around the Zilog Z80 A CPU, with a clock speed of 3.5 MHz. It is the successor to the ZX81, which had a black and white display, so the name ‘Spectrum’ is in reference to this machine being released as the first to feature colour display and during development the machine was referred to as the ‘ZX81 colour’ or ‘ZX82’.
This original ‘ZX Spectrum’ model was as a 16kb or 48kb RAM model and this machine was amongst the first home computers to attract a mainstream audience in the UK and the introduction of this machine let to companies emerging that started producing both hardware and software for the ZX Spectrum.
The machine has been noted as being responsible for launching UK IT industry and as a result, Clive Sinclair was given a knighthood for “services to the British industry”. The contemporary design and feel of the machine was brought to us by Sinclairs industrial designer, Rick Dickinson and the hardware design was taken care of by Richard Altwasser of Sinclair Research.