Synertek was one of the suppliers of the 6502 processor, and the SYM-1 was intended as a chip evaluation board for hardware developers that were interested in programming and interfacing a 6502.
The SYM-1 was a single board computer. It had a hexadecimal display and a hex keypad for programs and data entry. It was originally called the VIM-1 until MOS Technology objected to the name.
It was actually quite a copy of the MOS KIM 1 offering same fonctionalities plus some enhanced features and connection capabilities, including a true serial RS232 interface instead of a 20mA current loop in the KIM. It also shared same I/O connectors with another 6502 development system, the Rockwell AIM-65
A ROM chip contained the hexadecimal monitor (written by Manny Lemas, the co-founder of Microcomputer Associates) as well as standard I/O routines. Several programming language and utility software were later released. Among them: RAE-1 (Resident Assembler and Editor), FORTH and various flavors of BASIC, of which a powerful single precision version that needed the use of a video terminal.
Like other evaluation boards of the times, the SYM-1 was delivered with a full set of documentations which covered all of the 6502 hardware and software capabilities.
It was reported to us that the Sym card also came in a 6809 version that supported Motorola compatibility.
Ray Holt, the designer of the SYM card, sent us this note:
I was the designer of the SYM and JOLT in 1974-78. The JOLT sold about 5000 units worldwide and the SYM sold 50,000. Today the Super Jolt, an enhanced version, is still in manufacturing and is being use in an audio tester for the deft. The SYM is still in operation at the Navy lab in San Diego in the Robart robot. http://www.spawar.navy.mil/robots/land/robart/robart.html