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

Janz AG

When I began to collect information for this website in 2013 I found out that all companies offering Series 32000 products in the past disappeared. Even big ones like Siemens-Nixdorf does not exist any more.

But I found also one exception. The company Janz AG based in Paderborn/Germany is still doing business. Of course they don't offer Series 32000 products today.

In 1985 the Janz AG got my attention by presenting a huge board at the Hannover trade fair. It measured 48,5 x 44,2 cm (19.1" x 17.4") and was build around the NS32032 CPU. They claimed that with this board a german VAX could be build. The VAX minicomputer from Digital Equipment was a very popular system in the 1980's and the benchmark for all other vendors. Figure 1 shows the board in comparison to a standard board in double Europakarte format. I got the photo from Janz AG with the permission to present it here.

Fig. 1. The biggest Series 32000 board ever from Janz AG: the "Maxi 32000"

The same photo with higher resolution can be found here: Maxi 32000 HiRes

This board was more of a memory board with a Series 32000 chip set in the lower left corner. There were 576 sockets arranged in 16 rows by 36 columns on the board. When filled with 256-kbit DRAMs the user got 16 MByte of main memory. This was a tremendous size for 1985! The price of the board must be tremendous too. From an electrical point of view I miss the buffers for the databus which should run from top to bottom. On the left side the drivers for the address bus with the damping resistors can be seen. Driving 36 memory chips in a row can not be done very fast otherwise you get strong reflections at the end of the wire. This may be the reason that only a 6 MHz Series 32000 chip set was used.

For me it is not clear what the intention was of Janz AG with this product. The next generation of DRAM, the 1-Mbit device, needed a bigger 18 pin package compared to the 16 pin 256-kbit DRAM. Therefore sooner or later a board of this size would make no sense. But sadly it is to late to discuss this with someone being involved in the development of the board.

In 1988 Janz AG had a job offer for a development engineer. I saw the chance to work with the Series 32000 processors. But my application was not successful. On the telephone they told me that they wanted to leave the Series 32000 business.

Documents

In January 2016 some old documents of Janz AG appeared in paper. Thanks to Uwe who scanned and sent them to me. Janz AG as the copyright owner of these documents gave me the permission to present them here. The purpose of the documents is to show what was state of the art in computer products around 1985. The products described are not available any more from Janz AG.

MAXI-32000 Description

Janz AG Product Overview 1985 (german language)

VNS-N16 Description (some parts in german language)

VNS-SYS V1.0 Desciption (german language)

This chapter was last modified on 4 February 2016. Next chapter: John