Open main menu

The Acorn Business Computer (ABC) was a series of microcomputers announced at the end of 1983 by the British company Acorn Computers. The series of eight computers was aimed at the business, research and further education markets. However, the ABC range was cancelled before any of the models were shipped to customers. The ABC 210 was subsequently relaunched as the Acorn Cambridge Workstation, sold in modest numbers to academic and scientific users.

Acorn Business Computer
DeveloperAcorn Computers
ManufacturerAcorn Computers
Operating systemPanos, Concurrent DOS
CPU6502, Z80, 32016, 80286
PredecessorBBC Micro
SuccessorAcorn Archimedes

The ABC range was developed by Acorn essentially as a repackaged BBC Micro, expanded to 64 KB RAM, to which was added (in some models) a second processor and extra memory to complement the Micro's 6502. The electronics and disk drives were integrated into the monitor housing, with a separate keyboard.

The Zilog Z80, Intel 80286 and National Semiconductor 32016[1] were all used as second processors in the various models. Two of the eight models produced, the Personal Assistant and the Terminal, had no second processor.[2]

Range and specificationsEdit

The following models were announced:

ABC Personal AssistantEdit

ABC TerminalEdit

ABC 100Edit

  • 64 KB RAM memory
  • Twin 720 KB floppy disk drives
  • Z80 processor (6502 acting as I/O processor)
  • CP/M 2.2 operating system
  • Green phosphor monochrome monitor

ABC 110Edit

ABC 200Edit

  • 512 KB RAM memory
  • 10 MHz or 8 MHz RAM bus
  • Twin 720 KB floppy disk drives
  • 32016 processor (6502 acting as I/O processor)
  • Monochrome monitor

ABC 210/Acorn Cambridge WorkstationEdit

This model entered production with a 20 MB hard disk as the Acorn Cambridge Workstation (ACW 443).

ABC 300Edit

  • 1024 KB RAM memory
  • Twin 720 KB floppy disk drives
  • 80286 processor (6502 acting as I/O processor)
  • Concurrent DOS 3.1 with Desktop Manager (GEM GUI – See screenshots in Nov 1984 Acorn User – p. 31)
  • Monochrome monitor

ABC 310Edit


  1. ^ Goodwins, Rupert (December 4, 2010). "Intel's victims: Eight would-be giant killers". ZDNet. Retrieved March 7, 2012.
  2. ^