...cpc hardware solution for the new millenium

[ Introduction | Features | Photos | Software | Credits ]

  • IDE Harddiscs with up to 128GB storage space
  • 512KB RAM for nearly unlimited memory space
  • 512KB ROM (rewriteable) for ROMs, drivers and everything you want
  • High Resolution PS/2 (optical/wireless) Mouse connector
  • Realtime Clock with 128B persistent RAM
    ...for the Amstrad CPC!


In autumn 2004 Dr.Zed developed with the financial support of Octoate and Tolkin the first CPC SYMBiFACE also known as "CPC-IDE". It was the first hardware solution in history of CPC, which connected IDE-harddrives and CF-cards to the CPC with the maximum possible data transfer speed.

It was fully working, but still had a prototype state, so only 10 pieces have been produced. Some people should write software first, before the final version would be released. So fully IDE-support for FAT16 and FAT32 harddiscs has been implemented in SymbOS until Xmas 2004.

CPC SYMBiFACE II is not only an IDE interface anymore. It merges the CPC with actual PC technology. It provides nearly everything you need to change your CPC into a powerful work station!


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
  • with special drivers you could also handle bigger harddiscs or even CD- and DVD-drives
  • simultaneous operation of two harddiscs (master and slave) at the same time: This means, you can connect up to 256GB to 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: You don't need to be afraid, that the power supply of your CPC monitor will be overloaded
  • 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 to the CPC 6128 and the dk'tronics ram extension
  • 512KB rewriteable Rom. You can upload up to 32 Roms, which of course 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, 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.


Click on the photos for a larger image.

The third and last prototype of the SYMBiFACE II card

A description of the most important parts

SYMBiFACE II connected with the CPC and a hard disc

The new CPC power workstation with an optical mouse

The application for managing the included 512K ROM

IDE hard disc setup of the SymbOS control panel

Surfing through Gigabytes of files with the Amstrad CPC


There are already different software projects for the CPC SYMBiFACE II.

1.) SymbOS FAT driver: The new windows based multitasking operating system SymbOS already contains full working FAT12/16/32 drivers. With SymbOS the CPC can access harddisc with a maximum size of 128GB. The file handler based file module provides random access to up to 8 different files at the same time. Files can have a maximum size of 4GB! Until normal operation SymbOS reaches a maximum transfer speed of about 130KByte/s.
2.) BDOS Amsdos driver: BDOS by Brüggie of Noobs Inc. extends AMSDOS with full IDE harddiscs support, partition handling and sub-directory functionality.
3.) DiskDeDumper: This SymbOS application transfers DSK-files from PC disc or harddisc to a CPC disc. Now you can copy your complete DSK library to harddisc, and if you like to have one of the DSKs on your CPC disc, you can transfer it easily and fast with the DiskDeDumper tool.
4.) SYMBiFACE II Rom Manager: This SymbOS application is beeing used for easily loading, saving or deleting of the 32 x 16K ROMs inside the SYMBiFACE II extension card.
5.) HDOS Amsdos extension: Ray Palmer is working on an Amsdos extension called "HDOS", which allows using IDE hard drives in the standard CPC OS!
6.) Support in the CPC TREX, C-One and different emulators: The new CPC TREX, the C-One and different CPC emulator software like Arnold will or already do support the SYMBiFACE II features. Software, which has been written for SYMBiFACE II, will run in these environments, too!


Concept and development Dr.Zed/SymbiosiS
Production Dr.Zed/SymbiosiS
Financing CPC-IDE Version I Tolkin, Octoate
Financing CPC SYMBiFACE II Prodatron/SymbiosiS
Driver and Software Brüggie/Noob Inc, Prodatron/SymbiosiS