The Zilog Z80 is an 8-bit microprocessor designed by Zilog and sold from July 1976 onwards. It was widely used both in desktop and embedded computer designs as well as for military purposes. The Z80 and its derivatives and clones make up one of the most commonly used CPU families of all time, and, along with the MOS Technology 6502 family, dominated the 8-bit microcomputer market from the late 1970s to the mid-1980s.
Zilog licensed the Z80 design to several vendors, though many East European (for instance, Russian) manufacturers made unlicensed copies. This enabled a small company's product to gain acceptance in the world market since second sources from far larger companies such as Toshiba started to manufacture the device. Consequently, Zilog has made less than 50% of the Z80s since its conception. In recent decades Zilog has refocused on the ever-growing market for embedded systems (for which the original Z80 and the Z180 were designed) and the most recent Z80-compatible microcontroller family, the fully pipelined 24-bit eZ80 with a linear 16 MB address range, has been successfully introduced alongside the simpler Z180 and Z80 products.