Intel iPDS-100 Personal Development System

PDS = 'Pretty Darn Slick'

A compact computer with full development system capability

YES! - We have all the software - more info

 1982 - The Intel Personal Development System debuts - similar to other 'luggables' like the Compac, KayPro and Osborne, but with hardware features allowing PROM programming and emulation of microprocessors and microcontrollers.  Operating systems included Intel's ISIS and Digital Research's CP/M-80.  Software development tools available were 8088, 8085 and 8051 Assemblers and Compilers (PL/M). Hardware development tools included various PROM programmer modules and Emulation Vehicles for 8085, 8088 microprocessors, and the 8051 microcontroller family.  The MSRP for a basic iPDS100 with no options was $4500.

21st century kids enjoy a 20th century computer nearly 30 years old.

Shown above  is a loaded iPDS with some custom features like twin 720K floppy disk drives and an orange color CRT.  This PDS has an EMV-88 emulator installed for full hardware debug of the 8088 microprocessor as used in the first IBM PC's.  Also installed are the 'B' processor board for multi-processing and the Multimodule adapter board with one 128K magnetic core memory module mounted.

 Related Links:

iPDS100 Personal Development System iPDS iPDS hardware expansions

ISIS, Intellec, PL/M and Intel

Some early operating system history  - on Digital Research


The iSBX-251 Magnetic Bubble memory board mounted on the iPDS MultiModule adapter board. Two bubble memory boards could be installed in a PDS.  The 128 Kilobyte bubble memory was Rad-Hard and non-volatile for use in extreme environments.  Chevron-shaped magnetic 'bubbles' were embedded on a folded continuous strip and were stepped through to be read one byte at a time.  Data access is fast and quiet. The bubble memory becomes  the boot device (:F0:), if no disk is in the floppy drive, which then becomes logical drive :F1:.

Did you know -

A 16 bit 8086 version of the iPDS was prototyped and coded.  It worked well but the project was cancelled.

The iPDS had an excellent design team at Intel's Hawthorne Farms site in Hillsboro, Oregon.  However it was plagued by weak OEM components selected for low cost.  The switching power supply, CRT assembly, keyboard, and especially the floppy disk drive all had reliability problems that delayed production.  The IBM Personal Computer XT was already out, and soon became the development system platform of choice.

Silicon chips had not yet been designed to resist Electro-Static Discharge (ESD).  The PDS had a system circuit topology that enhanced ESD susceptibility, sometimes resulting in a hardware reset and reboot for no apparent reason.