CHIP-8 is a virtual machine created by RCA engineer Joe Weisbecker in 1977 for the COSMAC VIP microcomputer. The Chip-8 language is capable of accessing up to 4KB(4096 bytes) of RAM, from location 0x000 to 0xFFF(0-4095). The first 512 bytes, from 0x000 to 0x1FF, are where the original interpreter was located, and should not be used by programs.

The original implementation of the Chip-8 language includes 36 different instructions, including math, graphics, and flow control functions.

All instructions are 2 bytes long and are stored most-significant-byte first. In memory, the first byte of each instruction should be located at an even addresses. If a program includes sprite data, it should be padded so any instructions following it will be properly situated in RAM.

The computers which originally used the Chip-8 Language had a 16-key hexadecimal keypad.