Philips P800 Series P850 P856

I recently found this computer series.
There is a site with emulators

And I also found this Dutch forum with photos of parts in color, nice panel.

Typical 70s. Doesn’t even look like a computer. (from cpushack)

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That is actually my desk, and my P854…
Hate to say it, but I threw away some 7-8 Philips P856 machines with core memory and blinkenlights, some 15 years ago, as nobody was interested…

The machine was better than a PDP11, but lacked software suppport and marketing. Philips did make a microprocessor variant, the Signetics spc16/10, which must be the most unknown microprocessor ever…Still looking for a datasheet…


You could always port Fuzix to it if you’ve got enough RAM and the MMU option :wink:

The emulator is scary, that’s not what I thought perl was designed for

There is a free e-book about the Philips P800 series in general and the Philips PTS6000 in particular. It can be found here:

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Thanks Arne - I see you are a co-author. Glad you were able to make your work available for free.

Hi Arne,

do you happen to have run across a datasheet for the SPC16 ? I am currently designing a singleboard computer with the SPC16/10. A fullk datasheet would be very welcome…

No, sorry, I did not. The closest I have seen is this thesis from Eindhoven that I am sure you have also come across: It has some schematics at the end from which you can guess a few things, but not close to a real datasheet.

I worked with software down to the operating system (which was a bit complicated due to the firmware/software distinction/banking of the primary memory), but never with hardware

I had no idea there was active development using the SPC-16, fun to know. Our PTS 6911 workstation controller also had to use the interrupt and memory handler chips in the chipset, in order to be as compatible as possible with all the other machines in the PTS range.

Good luck with your build!



This was a thousand-plus-hours not-for-profit hobby project for many years. Happy if you can spread the word around to those interested in European computer history.

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