Intel 8008 Becomes Single Board Computer

Move over Raspberry Pi, you’re not the only single-board computer around. Today we’ve got a cool custom PCB to share by maker and developer Dr. Scott M. Baker. After recently tinkering with the Intel 8008 microprocessor, he decided to use one to create a single-board computer from scratch. The end result is this cool Intel 8008-powered SBC called the Mini-08—complete with a 7-segment display and plenty of memory to play with.

If you’re not familiar with the Intel 8008, this is a microprocessor designed in 1972 by Computer Terminal Corporation (CTC). As the name suggests, it was manufactured by Intel. This is an 8-bit processor with a maximum speed of just 800 kHz! It was discontinued by 1983 but you’ll still find enthusiasts, like Dr. Baker, playing around with them today. Heck, you can even buy a laptop powered by the CPU.

Intel SBC

(Image credit: Dr. Scott M. Baker)

The concept for this project began a few months back when Dr. Baker was working on a design for a CPU board that could be used in his H8 computer. The H8 computer was using none other than the Intel 8008 microprocessor when Dr. Baker decided to make this into an SBC. After a little bit of work, we’ve got the Mini-08.

The board itself is fitted with all sorts of cool and useful modules ready to be thrown into the mix. For example, you’ve got a 7-segment display for output, an RTC72421 real-time clock module is available for timekeeping and an SN76489 CSG enables sound generation (this particular version was used in the Tandy 1000). There are also 74LS148N priority encoders alongside a 74HCT245N buffer which enables support for a 16-digit hexadecimal keypad.

Software-wise, you’ve got a few options to play with. Dr. Baker recommends 8008-Forth which is Dr. Baker’s port of Jonesforth. It can also support Scelbi Basic if you want to use something more classic. There’s also a recommendation for Galaxy which Dr. Baker describes as a “Star Trek clone” written in Assembly for the 8008.

If you want to get a closer look at this cool SBC, check out the project page over at Dr. Baker’s blog where you’ll more details about the Mini-08 and other cool projects that he’s worked on.

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