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IMSAI 8080

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The IMSAI 8080 used an Intel 8080A processor, and came as a base unit with 4K RAM. I/O was through front panel switches and LED's, without additional peripherals. It was once the fastest selling microcomputer. It had an S-100 bus with 22 expansion slots.

After seeing the instant success of the Altair 8800 computer, others soon tried their luck in this new business space for computers. One of the first to do so was Bill Millard who founded IMS Associates. The computer they designed, the IMSAI 8080, was very similar to the Altair 8800 and was designed to run the same software. However, it was a much better design, with a higher specification power supply, an anodized aluminum chassis, 22 slots on the S-100 bus, and a great front panel design.

The IMSAI 8080 aimed to take advantage of the Altair's popularity, the inability of MITS to meet a growing demand for the product, and the need to improve on some of the internal components. Like the Altair, the IMSAI came either in kit form, or pre-assembled at the factory. In the end, the IMSAI outlasted the Altair by several years. Owners were delighted to see it featured in the 1984 movie "War Games", with Matthew Broderick and Ally Sheedy. Through the years, it has remained a much-beloved design amongst vintage computer collectors, and newly-manufactured parts and documentation are still available


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  • MPU-A (this is the microprocessor board)
  • CP-A (front panel board)
  • RAM-4A (4k static RAM) Four boards for a total of 16K
  • IMF (Interface Master board, works with LIB)
  • LIB (Line Printer board; combined with IMF, forms line Printer interface)
  • MIO (Multiple I/O board; has 2 parallel and 1 serial interface)

    Includes original documentation in IMSAI binder. User's manual includes general test and assembly instructions; full documentation of each board including theory of operation, assembly instructions and parts list; full documentation of the self-contained OS; documentation of the paper tape loader including a loader program printout; schematics; and chassis assembly diagrams. Also included are:


  • Programs on paper tape
  • Warranty card that was never filled in
  • Two unused 13 cent envelopes with the stamped address of IMSAI
  • Brochure of the IMSAI product line
  • Printed letter from the the Chief Engineer at IMSAI
  • Price List and Order Form for all IMSAI products
  • Original receipt from the IMSAI dealer

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