Home brew Linux SBC Project

The goal of this project is to produce a completely free (as in speech), open hardware home brew Single Board Computer (SBC) capable of running the Linux kernel & userspace applications. The design uses an 80486 CPU and an integrated main board chipset to implement the PC/AT support functions & memory controller in a single package. All design information is and will be publicly posted including EDA files, schematics, PCB layout drawings, firmware (including ROM BIOS), software, and anything else needed for anyone to replicate these boards. The design uses commercially available off-the-shelf components with no proprietary or hidden anything. If you notice any missing design information please notify me immediately on the RBC forums or private message.

This project draws on home brew computer builder experience from multiple prior boards

Development will be split into three phases:

Phase 1 'Derpy'

Linux-SBC home brew 486 is an Open Hardware project. All the KiCAD EDA files are posted on the GitLab page and/or the RBC forum


As more open source files and software become available, they will be posted on this wiki and on the Gitlab page

All software is intended to be open source including ROM BIOS and Linux kernel & related operating system

Looking for people to review the Derpy schematic. See announcement on vintage-computers.com


Derpy 1.3 schematic PDF file in the files section below

Phase 2 (Name TBD)

Phase 3 (Name TBD)


source the 82C465MV/A/B, 82C602A, and PC87338VLJ/PC97338VLJ chips

Regarding a starting point for CPUs during build and test phase, I recommend either the 16 MHz i486SX or the original 20 MHz i486DX.

  • Why so low? Well even with a 4 layer PCB and lots of filter caps, etc. performance will vary with CPU clock speed. I think gearing initial build and test to the lowest speed setting will minimize the transmission line effects (microwave circuitry). Typically circuits behave as you'd expect below 25 MHz regarding trace length and impedance. Above 25 MHz, the transmission line effects start to take over and things get weird in a hurry.
  • Assuming we can get the board working with the lower speed CPUs, it should be a straight forward scaling up the clock speed with faster CPUs to find the upper limits and/or where areas with problems.
  • Both chips are 5V only and no clock doubling/tripling/etc. which are huge simplifying assumptions. The design supports faster clock speeds and clock multipliers but I don't recommend using them until the basic functionality is rung out.

What about a System ROM BIOS? My plan is to use coreboot SeaBIOS

Initial Built and Test Team for Derpy PCB

File List

FilenameFilesizeLast modified
486_socket_types_12203.pdf132.4 KiB2017/04/06 07:17
64mb_72_pin_fpm_dsaziha1000201100.pdf49.8 KiB2017/04/06 07:17
74ls682.pdf101.2 KiB2017/04/06 07:17
98134-925-009_deskmaster_486q_sd925e_service_manual_1993.pdf9.9 MiB2017/05/15 14:27
ali_m1489-m1487_datasheet.pdf1.2 MiB2017/05/16 15:33
am486_16244.pdf1.4 MiB2017/04/06 07:14
amd_development_platform_datasheet.pdf435.7 KiB2017/05/15 14:25
amd_development_platform_um.pdf1.2 MiB2017/05/15 14:25
derpy-3d.jpg156.9 KiB2017/04/11 06:23
derpy-sch-ver_1-3.pdf1.6 MiB2017/04/11 06:23
isa_bus_io_decode_example_lv02_13.pdf269.2 KiB2017/04/06 07:17
isa_bus_io_decoding_http_ece.wpi.pdf85.1 KiB2017/04/06 07:17
isa_hwb.pdf578.4 KiB2017/04/06 07:23
keyboard_controller_with_ps-2_dsa00389507.pdf303.1 KiB2017/04/06 07:17
list_of_7400_series_integrated_circuits.pdf93.3 KiB2017/04/11 12:00
m586-1.pdf1.8 MiB2017/05/16 17:54
max220-max249.pdf403.1 KiB2017/04/11 12:00
opti_82c465mv_rev_2.pdf2.9 MiB2017/04/06 07:18
opti_82c465mv_rev_3.pdf3.6 MiB2017/04/06 07:14
opti_82c602_dsa0075042.pdf257.5 KiB2017/04/06 07:18
pc97338_dsa-425496.pdf1.3 MiB2017/04/06 07:14
pcarch-full_isa-bus.pdf2.4 MiB2017/04/11 12:00
pt86c768-pt86c718_picod006-1_1_.pdf6.7 MiB2017/04/12 18:55
st_80486_common_socket_implementation_4193.pdf50.3 KiB2017/04/06 07:17
teac_fd-235hf-a429_3.5in_floppy_disk_drive_spec_dsa00503688.pdf189.9 KiB2017/04/11 12:01
the_ps_2_keyboard_interface.pdf278.2 KiB2017/04/06 07:21
tl7705a_dsa-604403.pdf49.2 KiB2017/04/06 07:18
ulp486sx.pdf344.5 KiB2017/04/12 16:36
ultra-low_power_intel486sx_processor_eval_board_manual.pdf708.7 KiB2017/04/12 16:37
dev/boards/linux-sbc/start.txt · Last modified: 2017/04/25 21:25 by lynchaj
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