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NS32k

NS32532

The NS32532 manufactured by National Semiconductor is an interesting piece and marks the end of the NS32k series.

Back in the late seventies / early eighties NS was trying to compete with Motorola 68000 and Intel 8086 series chips. They were late and had a lot of manufacturing problems with their 32 k series. But they were interesting since they included a lot of things in their architecture that were not even part of the competitors designs.

The NS32k series were available in three different bus widths, 8, 16, and 32 bit, although internally they were all 32 bits. They were highly orthogonal, only general registers, much like the VAX-11 (and unlike 68000 which had address registers and data registers). Very early they included both a FPU and MMU. 

But they were to late. The market had already selected the 68000 and the forthcoming 68020 for Unix systems and the 8086 and 80286 for the PC range.

NS tried o boost performance with a 32332 chip and then eventually the 32532 chip with the accompanying 32381 FPU. It was indeed better performing than both i386 from Intel and MC68030 from Motorola. But it didn't sell.

NS32532


NS32381









NS never did any more NS32k chips for the desktop / server market but focused on using the design for embedded applications like laser printers.

This is a very good web page related to the NS32k family.

OPUS NS32k ISA co-processor boards

OPUS boards
Opus manufactured co-processor boards to be used in ordinary PC machines to increase the performance. These two are NS32016 and NS32032 based boards that has been used in RACAL PCB CAD systems.


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