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Philips P856


Dimensions:48 x 27 x 55cm
Maximum memory size:32KW = 64KB
Maximum number of CPUs:1
uses architecture:P800
has artefact:Philips P856 Console panel
System class:Minicomputer

The Philips P856 was part of the second generation of minicomputers in the P800 family. The first generation consisted of the P850, P855 and P860. The second generation consisted of the P852, P856 and P857. The third and last generation consisted of the P851, P853, P854, P858 and P859.

The P856 was situated in the middle of the second generation. It could address 32 Kwords of memory, but could optionally be equipped with a memory management unit which expanded that to 128 Kwords. The P856 was generally equipped with the small operator control panel shown above. As it only has 16 lights and switches for both data and addresses, it could not handle more than the standard 32 Kword addressing space.

Philips P856 Console panel


artefact for:Philips P856

I have one P856-compatible enclosure, but that's being used by the Philips P857. So, instead, I'm hoping to convert one of my I/O expansion boxes to a P856-compatible enclosure. Once ready, the enclosure should contain the following modules:


2 32K 32Kword core memory
3 IOP I/O Processor
4 MCU3 Serial port, paper tape reader and punch interface
5 CDD Cartridge Disk Drive controller
6 FM1B 8" Floppy Disk controller
CC K7S2 Cassette Drive controller (in cassette drive enclosure)

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