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


In the 1990's the Unix based NetBSD operating system was ported for the Series 32000 architecture. NetBSD is an open source based OS. Unfortunately today no data of the PC532 port can be found at any more. Some years ago the data was still in the archive.

In 2009 I downloaded most of the software for my PC532E project. Luckily I found some support in the internet how to get a system up and running. Again luckily the most important help is located not far away from my hometown. The contact also gave some important information for my M32632 CPU project. For example how is the instruction cache updated in case of self-modifying code (used for dynamic libraries) ? This is an interesting question if the cache size is made bigger in the M32632.

At the end NetBSD version 1.5.3 is running stable on my PC532E. After two month of testing the M32632 with the same software I believed that the CPU was free of simple bugs. But this was a mistake - see Systems/Acorn. Today the PC632M is running stable like the PC532E.

The detailed install procedure for NetBSD 1.5.3 on a PC532 can be read here:

NetBSD 1.5.3 Installation (HTML)

Binary Data

Up to now PC532 and my versions PC532E and PC632M use disk drives for mass storage. The new generation TRIPUTER uses SD cards for this purpose.

Downloading all the required data and the install procedure are time consuming tasks. A better alternative for a quick start is to use a disk image. I made an image from the PC632M running NetBSD 1.5.3. The name is NetBSD_1.img . The size of it is 1.5 Gbyte accurately. Most of the bytes are zero and the size of the zip file is only 121.3 Mbyte. It can be downloaded here:

The MD5 checksum of the image file is "B5F7156A C16CF5D8 65E6770F A690C0A3" . The M32632 runs an optimised assembler program to calculate the number but still used over 18 minutes for this task.

The user has now to store the image on an SDHC card starting at block address "0". SD cards are currently not supported.

If all went well and the first boot was successful the "df" command shows the output like in Figure 1. Good luck!

Fig. 1. The file system on the SDHC card.

It may be useful to see what messages are given from NetBSD during startup. Here is the log file of it: NetBSD Boot Logfile .

NetBSD 4.99

I got from Simon an image based on version 4.99 of NetBSD. This image is a small one, just using half a gigabyte of disk space. But the version is very intersting because it supports the Ethernet extension card (maybe the other image can do this also). This card uses the SCSI bus for data transfer. What I heard is that it is not very fast. But it works and will allow to connect TRIPUTER to the internet (if once the PERI board is done).

The MD5 checksum of the image file is "09EF9CDE 67D0F448 C7ECBE5D D5CAF961". I have zipped it and the size is now 141.5 Mbyte. It is available here:

SDHC cards are big enough to store more than one image. The software of TRIPUTER can start different images located at 2 GByte boundaries. Please have a look at the User Manual of TRIPUTER for details.

This chapter was last modified on 5 March 2019. Next chapter: Oberon