PDP-8 on a chip: the INTERSIL IM6100 and HARRIS HD6120

 

The SBC6120: A Historic 21st Century PDP-8 Implementation

The PDP-8 architecture remains attractive, a telling sign are the many existing emulators which are available on the web. However the real thing - at least for me - is an actual PDP-8 hardware running the programs designed for this machine.

Rather than restoring an old machine to new life, Bob Armstrong decided in the 1990ies to design and build a new single board computer using modern components - however with a twist to make it "historical": it is based on the vintage PDP-8 chip made by Harris Corp., the HD6120. In addition to the hardware Bob designed a software and program development environment for it, the BTS6120. Starting from there one can boot e.g. OS/8 and use all the tools and games that run under this DEC operating system.

This project has become a great success and various versions of the basic design have been produced. As an old PDP-8 fan I had to be in it early and have built several of these models. The result of my efforts, together with many interesting links to documentation, are presented on the following pages listed below.

SBC6120 Board
One of my original SBC6120s, retested in 2010

My SBC6120 Pages: