CPU Comparision with Z80

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Comparison with 8080

The Game Boy CPU has a bit more in common with an older Intel 8080 CPU than the more powerful Zilog Z80 CPU. It is missing a handful of 8080 instructions but does support JR and almost all CB-prefixed instructions. Also, all known Game Boy assemblers use the more obvious Z80-style syntax, rather than the chaotic 8080-style syntax.

Unlike the 8080 and Z80, the Game Boy has no dedicated I/O bus and no IN/OUT opcodes. Instead, I/O ports are accessed directly by normal LD instructions, or by new LD (FF00+n) opcodes.

The sign and parity/overflow flags have been removed, as have the 12 RET, CALL, and JP instructions conditioned on them. So have EX (SP),HL (XTHL) and EX DE,HL (XCHG).

Comparison with Z80

In addition to the removed 8080 instructions, the other exchange instructions have been removed (including total absence of second register set).

All DD- and FD-prefixed instructions are missing. That means no IX- or IY-registers.

All ED-prefixed instructions are missing. That means 16bit memory accesses are mostly missing, 16bit arithmetic functions are heavily cut-down, and some other missing commands. IN/OUT (C) are replaced with new LD ($FF00+C) opcodes. Block commands are gone, but autoincrementing HL accesses are added.

The Game Boy operates approximately as fast as a 4 MHz Z80 (8 MHz in CGB double speed mode), with execution time of all instructions having been rounded up to a multiple of 4 cycles.

Moved, Removed, and Added Opcodes

 Opcode  Z80             GMB
 08      EX   AF,AF      LD   (nn),SP
 10      DJNZ PC+dd      STOP
 22      LD   (nn),HL    LDI  (HL),A
 2A      LD   HL,(nn)    LDI  A,(HL)
 32      LD   (nn),A     LDD  (HL),A
 3A      LD   A,(nn)     LDD  A,(HL)
 D3      OUT  (n),A      -
 D9      EXX             RETI
 DB      IN   A,(n)      -
 DD      <IX>            -
 E0      RET  PO         LD   (FF00+n),A
 E2      JP   PO,nn      LD   (FF00+C),A
 E3      EX   (SP),HL    -
 E4      CALL P0,nn      -
 E8      RET  PE         ADD  SP,dd
 EA      JP   PE,nn      LD   (nn),A
 EB      EX   DE,HL      -
 EC      CALL PE,nn      -
 ED      <pref>          -
 F0      RET  P          LD   A,(FF00+n)
 F2      JP   P,nn       LD   A,(FF00+C)
 F4      CALL P,nn       -
 F8      RET  M          LD   HL,SP+dd
 FA      JP   M,nn       LD   A,(nn)
 FC      CALL M,nn       -
 FD      <IY>            -
 CB3X    SLL  r/(HL)     SWAP r/(HL)

Note: The unused (-) opcodes will lock up the Game Boy CPU when used.