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Prototype of the CPC-IDE interface

In autumn 2004 the CPC-IDE was developed by Dr.Zed with support by Octoate, Tolkin and TFM. It is the first hardware solution ever that allowed connection of IDE-harddrives and CF-cards to the CPC with the maximum possible data transfer speed. Technically the CPC-IDE interface was based on the GIDE IDE interface by Tilmann Reh.

It was fully working, but still had a prototype state, so only 10 pieces have been produced.

During the production of the CPC-IDE Prodatron joined the team and created IDE-support in SymbOS for FAT16 and FAT32 harddiscs until Xmas 2004.

After working successfully, Dr.Zed and Prodatron made plans for a second version, which includes a lot of more extensions. So the SYMBiFACE II is not only an IDE interface anymore. It merges the CPC with current PC technology.


SYMBiFACE II with description

CPC SYMBiFACE II contains the optimal solution for connecting a CPC with an IDE harddisc. It provides the maximum - both for the performance and for the simpleness in accessing the harddisc.

IDE Features

  • Supports IDE-Harddiscs with up to 128GB
  • Bigger HDDs or CD/DVD drives support possible with drivers
  • Simultaneous operation of two harddiscs (master and slave):for a total of up to 256GB on your CPC!
  • Transfer speed of 162KByte/s: That's as fast as copying memory inside the CPC with LDIR. In practice (loading FAT16/32 files) the speed is still about 130KB/s (SymbOS-FAT-driver).
  • External power supply required: no extra load for the CPC's internal PSU
  • No timing problems: Interrupts don't need to be disabled during the data transfer with the harddisc. The harddisc can operate while you play sound or doing other things with your CPC (multitasking etc.).
  • Traffic activity display via a LED on the board

Additional Features

  • 512KB RAM extension, which is fully compatible with the CPC 6128 and the dk'tronics ram extension
  • 512KB rewriteable ROM. You can upload up to 32 ROMs, which are persistant. You can also use the ROM space as an additional RAM extension. ROMs can be switched on or off via switches or via software.
  • PS/2 mouse connector. This makes it possible to connect wireless and optical mouses to your CPC.
  • Realtime clock, which is fully PC compatible and provides additional 128 byte persistant RAM, which can be used to store config data.


SYMBiFACE II rom manager

SYMBiFACE II includes a rom manager software, which runs under SymbOS. This tool is needed for displaying, loading, saving and deleting of the 32 x 16K ROMs.

  • See also "ROManager", a SYMBiFACE II rom management tool for FutureOS.

See also