CHIP-8 is an interpreted programming language, developed by the late Joseph Weisbecker. It was initially used on the COSMAC VIP and Telmac 1800 8-bit microcomputers in the mid-1970s. CHIP-8 programs are run on a CHIP-8 virtual machine. It was made to allow video games to be more easily programmed for said computers.
Roughly twenty years after CHIP-8 was introduced, derived interpreters appeared for some models of graphing calculators (from the late 1980s onward, these handheld devices in many ways have more computing power than most mid-1970s microcomputers for hobbyists).
There is a CHIP-8 implementation for almost every platform imaginable, as well as some development tools. Despite this, there are only a small number of games for the CHIP-8.
CHIP-8 has a descendant called SCHIP (Super Chip), introduced by Erik Bryntse.
In 1990, a CHIP-8 interpreter called CHIP-48 was made for HP-48 graphing calculators so that games could be programmed more easily. Its extensions to CHIP-8 are what became known as SCHIP. It features a larger resolution and several additional opcodes which make programming easier. If it were not for the development of the CHIP-48 interpreter, CHIP-8 would not be as well known today.
The next most influential developments (which popularized S/CHIP-8 on many other platforms) were David Winter's emulator, disassembler, and extended technical documentation. It laid out a complete list of undocumented opcodes and features, and was distributed across many hobbyist forums. Many of the emulators listed below had these works as a starting point.
In 2007, another CHIP8 extension has been introduced, called Mega Chip (or MCHIP). Much like the SCHIP, it allows for a larger resolution (256x192), as well as the use of color graphics and sound. Like Super Chip, the MegaChip extension only adds a handful of new opcodes and is 100% backwards compatible with CHIP-8 and Super Chip. An emulator for Chip8/SuperChip/MegaChip, as well as an updated developers kit is available at the Revival Studios website. Various MegaChip games and demos (including an update of the infamous Blinky game) are available.