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|CED in the History of Media Technology|
The Fairchild Channel F was released in August 1976 and was the first video game system to feature interchangeable cartridges containing ROM chips. The system derived its name from the Fairchild F8 microprocessor, which was one of the first chips in the 8-Bit category that also included the Intel 8080A, Zilog Z80, Motorola MC6800, Rockwell PPS-8, MOS Technology 6502, and RCA COSMAC. The Mostek 3870 microprocessor used in the first generation of RCA production CED players was an instruction set clone of the F8. But the Mostek 3870 contained an internal mask programmed ROM and thus didn't require the additional support circuitry of the original F8.
Technology was advancing so rapidly that the Fairchild Channel F game system was obsolete almost from the time of introduction. The Atari 2600 introduced the following year surpassed it in the quality and variety of available games. A slightly improved Channel F came out in 1978, but the system was discontinued in 1979.