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

Design Kits

In the early 1980's many companies offered new microprocessors. To convince customers not only data sheets were given but kits with the new exciting devices were offered too. I think that most of the receivers didn't pay for them.

NS16000 Component Evaluation Kit

As soon as all chips of the NS16000 family were available National Semiconductor offered an Evaluation Kit. This kit contained the NS16032 CPU, the NS16081 FPU, the NS16082 MMU, the NS16201 TCU and the NS16202 ICU. All devices were specified at 6 MHz.

Fig. 1. The nice box of the Evaluation Kit.

Designer Kit

National Semiconductor offered in 1986 a Designer Kit based on the first generation of Series 32000 devices. In addition the Designer Kit contained basic software in EPROMs. Two versions were offered: one with the NS32032 CPU and the other with the NS32016 CPU. Prices were according to an article in the magazine Computerworld of 12 May 1986 for the NS32032 Kit 75 US$ and for the NS32016 Kit 59 US$.

For me that sounds cheap. To my knowledge the Designer Kit was not offered in Germany.

The box shown here is the NS32032 version. The owner has bought it one afternoon at Fry in Sunnyvale/Californien. In the shop there was a stack of these Designer Kits. Fry is a well known US electronic seller. I can't imagine that in a german electronic shop of that time it was possible to buy such a product.

The prototype board in Figure 6 for the CLCC package of the NS32032 CPU was not part of the Designer Kit. The owner had looked for it quite a while. His plan was and is to build a small system running Forth on it with wire-wrap. Not to see in Figure 4 is the big Instruction Set Manual for a three ring binder. It is located at the bottom of the box. The Series 32000 devices are specified for 6 MHz operation. In 1986 this was not competitive any more and maybe National Semiconductor tried to sell them as a kit for everybody.

Fig. 2. The Designer Kit was delivered in a big box.

The marketing department of National Semiconductor was proud of Series 32000. The cover sheet of the Designer Kit in Figure 4 is an example for their feelings.

Fig. 3. Series 32000 is great - any doubts?

Fig. 4. The Designer Kit contains a lot of literature. In the upper right corner there are four EPROMs for the firmware.

Fig. 5. The Series 32000 devices of the Designer Kit.

Fig. 6. The heart of the Designer Kit: the NS32032 CPU. If I see the PCB I get the desire to solder it :-)

This chapter was last modified on 21 December 2017. Next chapter: Documents