The Atari ST is a line of home computers from Atari Corporation and the successor to the Atari 8-bit family. The first ST model, the 520ST, was released in June 1985. "ST" officially stands for "Sixteen/Thirty-two", which referred to the Motorola 68000's 16-bit external bus and 32-bit internals. The Atari ST is the first personal computer to come with a bit-mapped color GUI, using a version of Digital Research's GEM released in February 1985. The 1040ST, released in 1986, is the first personal computer to ship with a megabyte of RAM in the base configuration and also the first with a cost-per-kilobyte of less than US$1.
The Atari ST is part of a mid-1980s generation of home computers that have 16 or 32-bit processors, 256 KB or more of RAM, and mouse-controlled graphical user interfaces. It includes the Macintosh, Commodore Amiga, Apple IIGS, and, in certain markets, the Acorn Archimedes. The Amiga and Atari ST both use the Motorola 68000, but whereas the Amiga has custom graphics processors and sample-based synthesis audio, the ST has a basic frame buffer and a three-voice synthesizer chip but with a slightly faster CPU and a high-resolution monochrome display mode ideal for business and CAD. Its simpler design allowed the ST to precede the Amiga's release by almost two months and at a lower price.
In some markets, particularly Germany, the machine gained a strong foothold as a small business machine for CAD and desktop publishing work.
Thanks to its built-in MIDI ports, the ST enjoyed success for running music-sequencer software and as a controller of musical instruments among both amateurs and well-known musicians.
The ST was later superseded by the Atari STE, Atari TT, Atari MEGA STE, and Falcon computers.
#1980 #Atari #Atari_ST #Atari_ST_520