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.
One of my original SBC6120s, retested in 2010
My SBC6120 Pages:
- Preface: A bit of History with Information on the Original INTERSIL and HARRIS LSI Chips→ A bit of History
- The Original SBC6120 Board by Bob Armstrong of Sparetimegizmos→ SBC6120
- FP6120, the Look-alike PDP-8/E Front Panel for the SBC6120→ FP6120
- SBC6120-RC (reduced cost) Look-alike PDP-8/E Front Panel with Integrated SBC Logic→ SBC6120-RC
- SBC6120-RBC Reissue of Redesigned Basic SBC-Board by Andrew Bingham→ SBC6120-RBC