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


In May 2019 I got informations about a company named Technos and its products. The company had build resynthesizers for musicians.

The owner of the photo in Figure 1 told me that a resynthesizer makes an analysis of a 4 to 6 seconds long sample of music. After this the machine allows any changes to the sample in real time. The big board is the main part of the resynthesizer ACXEL from Technos. Its name is SYNCARD. He wrote about its functionality:

"It contains 8 voices with each having 32 oscillator blocks. Each oscillator has a free programmable waveform (real time), amplitude and phase envelope (real time)! Each voice has its own DA converter (8 identical blocks at the upper edge)."

The interesting detail is that this board uses a Serie 32000 CPU as a control processor. The board contains an NS32C016 CPU (?), a socket for the NS32081 FPU and the TCU. The CPU has access to 1.5 MByte of DRAM which is quite a bit (Any idea why there is so much?). The chips are located at the bottom edge.

The 8 add-on boards in the middle carry an ASIC from National Semiconductor - this is the "voice".

A maximum of 4 SYNCARDs could be inserted in ACXEL. ACXEL used also a dedicated control computer. Guess what it was... surprise, surprise - it was a DB32016 !

Fig. 1. The impressive SYNCARD from Technos with the Series 32000 CPU and the TCU at the bottom edge. The socket for the FPU NS32081 is empty.

If you want to know more about Technos and ACXEL please follow the link: TECHNOS - ACXEL (1986-1992).

Next chapter: Tektronix