The Web Site to Remember National Semiconductor's Series 32000 Family

Multiple Vendors

Many more companies build systems and boards with the Series 32000 chips. In this chapter you find some of them together with some information about their products.


E-LAB is a german company still existing in 2017. In 1985 they offered a board called "CPU 32/32" which they claimed to be the first european MultibusII board. The board was based on the NS32032 CPU. Main memory was expandable from 256 kbytes based on 64-kbit memory chips up to 4 Mbytes with 256-kbit memory chips in special sockets and an additional add-on board. The memory could be optionally protected against faults by ECC (Error Correction Code). One bit error could be corrected and two bit errors were detectable. This concept was not found very often in the 1980's. Most vendors prefered parity protection which requires not much hardware ressources.

E-LAB was the only company I know which talked about the NS32132 CPU. They said that the "CPU 32/32" board could be equipped with two NS32132's instead of one NS32032 and the socket for the second CPU is already on the board. Up to now it is still questionable whether this processor had ever existed.

E-LAB offered another board based on the NS32008 CPU. The form factor of the board was Euro card. A lot of boards were sold to the physics experiment DESY in Hamburg/Germany.

Today nothing is left from the times they were using Series 32000 processors. Which is no surprise...

Flexible Computer

Flexible Computer was located in the US. The company built a computer system based on the NS32032 CPU named Flex/32. It was a multiprocessor system which used a maximum of 20 boards. Each board could be a processor board or a memory board. The processor board had one NS32032 CPU and its own DRAM memory with a capacity of 1 to 4 Mbytes. The memory board had 8 Mbytes capacity and was shared between the CPU boards.

General Robotics

General Robotics presented in 1984 at the NCC their first Series 32000 based product, the Python/32 Single Board Mainframe using the NS32032 CPU. The price was approximately $60,000 in single quantities. The following systems were the Python/32B and a series of products for DEC's Q-bus including the Python/32T running a 12.5 MHz fast NS32032 (according to an anouncement in a newspaper but such a CPU never existed), the Python/JR for one to eight users and the Super Python for more than 100 users. I guess that the last one was based on the NS32332 CPU. The company was located in Hartford, Wisconsin/US.


Heurikon was a company in the US which built a NS32532 CPU based computer called the HK32/V532. It comprised a single double-height Eurocard, aimed at embedded control and low-cost systems applications. As well as being marketed separately, it was being sold in various standard and customized systems configurations with other members of Heurikon's VME range. Features of the HK32/V532 included the CPU running at up to 30MHz, 4-16 Mbytes of onboard dynamic RAM, up to 1 Mbyte of EPROM, optional floating-point coprocessor, four-channel DMA, interrupt control unit, SCSI interface and two RS232 ports, 128 bytes of static RAM for user functions and a clock. The available software was Unix system V release 3 and the realtime operating system VRTX.


Intergraph was a big vendor of engineering software in the 1980's. In addition the US based company made their own hardware to best support the software. In September 1984 they announced the workstation InterPro 32 which used the NS32032 CPU. InterPro 32 had a 15 inch color monitor with a resolution of 1184 by 884 pixel (strange format...). Main memory was 2 Mbytes upgradable to 4 Mbytes. The system software was Unix.

Due to the problems that National Semiconductor had with delivering working silicon of the NS32032 in 1984 the first systems used the NS32016. But this version of the InterPro 32 was slow compared to workstations from other vendors. The situation changed not much when the NS32032 became available and Intergraph stopped selling the workstation only one year after its introduction.


Labtam was a company in Australia. In the 1980's they developed and sold a computer named 3015-V32 based on the NS32032 CPU. Software for the system was an Unix V. The machines found their way in the USSR. Due to the CoCom rules this was not allowed. Obviously they got no problems doing that despite the fact that this business was known in the public.

One machine exists today in the computer collection of the Estonian Tartu University (Link). The most interesting photo is of the mainboard. It shows a board designed for the Multibus. But the size is bigger than usual for multibus boards. And there are a lot of empty places for additional ICs. The screenshot shows the boot process (the machine is still booting !) which first starts a Z80 as a disk controller.

After Labtam stopped around 1990 selling hardware they made succesfully software for X-terminals. The history of the company can be found in the internet archive : Labtam history.

Thanks to Alexander for finding Labtam!

In 2021 Alexander found a 3232 CPU board from Labtam. It is shown in Figure 1. The NS32032 CPU is placed nearly in the middle. Right to it the device under the heatsink must be the power hungry NS32201 TCU. The board has 2 MBytes of parity protected main memory made of 256 kbit DRAM devices from Texas Instruments (=TMS4256-12NL) and Mitsubishi (=M5M4256P). The flyer says that no wait states are required for a CPU access.

Fig. 1. The Labtam 3232 CPU board is an impressive piece of hardware.

The photo in Figure 1 is available in higer resolution here.

Fig. 2/3. The frontside and the backside of a flyer about the Labtam 3232 CPU board. The card layout is partly different from the real board.

Even in far away Australia people liked the Series 32000 architecture 😊 .

Thanks to Alexander for the photos!

Logical MicroComputer

Logical MicroComputer (LMC) designed an NS32016 based computer for the Multibus. The price of the LMC MegaBoard with FPU and MMU was $4000. The system LMC MegaMicro was priced starting at $15,000. The company was located in Chicago.

One customer was the School of Music's Computer Music Project at the University of Illinois. In November 1984 a system with 1 MB of RAM, 42 MB hard disk and eight serial ports was installed. In addition they got a Selenar HiRez graphics terminal with a resolution of 1024*768 pixels, a Siemens PT-89 low noise printer, a 1200 baud modem and the sound system. The price of the complete system was $28,000. It runs Unix Version 7 which is 4.1 BSD. Surprisingly for me this department has used mainframes like IBM 4341 and Cyber 175 for sound synthesis in the 1970's.

Loral Instrumentation

Loral Instrumentation designed a multiprocessor system called LDF-100 based on the NS32016. The basic processing element (PE) contained two CPUs and a local memory of 128 up to 512 KBytes. The system architecture was described as a data-flow architecture. Astonishing was the range of PEs in a system: from 5 to 256 ! For a 5 MIPS (5 PEs) machine the price was $67,000. The biggest configuration with 256 PEs had a price of $1,900,000. I'm sure that nobody ordered such a system. The Computer History Museum has a manual with the title "Loral DATAFLO LDF-100 mini-supercomputer - System overview" in its store. A look into the manual from 1984 is on my to-do list...


TRICON builds fault tolerant computer systems. According to a presentation of June 1997 over 2500 TMR (Triplicated Modular Redundant) systems are installed worldwide. On page 24 the main processor architecture is shown. An NS32GX32 CPU together with the NS32381 FPU is used. It would be interesting to see such a system. The presentation can be downloaded here.

This chapter was last modified on 14 October 2021. Next chapter: National Semiconductor