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PD32 NS32016 computer

NobodyIsHere

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Does anyone remember or have experience with this early computer designed to run Unix? AKA "Public Domain 32000" by Dave Rand and George Scolaro

It is called the PD32 and uses an NS32016 chipset. It was described in MICRO CORNUCOPIA, #32, Oct-Nov 1986, magazine

https://archive.org/download/bitsavers_microCornua32Oct86_11179272/Micro_Cornucopia_32_Oct86.pdf

The full article is available on the internet with schematics and description of the software. It runs as a coprocessor on either CP/M or IBM PC/XT clones. For the former, the circuit can be placed in an 8 bit PC/XT ISA slot.

Has anyone seen this board? Built it or used it?

I believe it is related, possibly an open source predecessor, to the Definicon DSI-32 coprocessor board for the PC/XT (8 bit ISA slot). There were are two articles in Byte Magazine in August-September 1985.
 
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eeguru

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I don't mean to be challenge your work or objectives, however what is the point in designing a +5V PTH home-brew logic board for a CPU that is extinct outside of an FPGA core? If you are going the later route, make it easier and shove all that logic into the FPGA and use a commodity eval board.
 

NobodyIsHere

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All the parts for the PD32 are still available commercially (Quest, etc. ) and also ebay. It appears to be a relatively simple low cost design which would plug into any PC/XT or PC/AT ISA slot. The main chips are the NS32016 CPU, NS32082 MMU, NS32081 FPU, NS32201 TCU, NS32202 ICU, and the DP8419 DRAM controller. All it needs is a PCB to revive this public domain project.

I am sure you could use an FPGA and I think Udo (http://www.cpu-ns32k.net/) already did an FPGA PC532 replacement.
 

eeguru

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Ah I didn't realize there was NOS of the 016s. I thought most of the NS chips went the way of the doo-doo bird like the 532.
 

NobodyIsHere

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I am thinking to re-implement the design "AS IS" per the 1986 article. It was advertised to run official Unix System V although I think it could realistically run Minix. The Bruce Culbertson NS32016 board had a Minix port for it and it was a very similar design so I think it would be a good starting point. Only 2MB of DRAM really limits the options though.

Here are some photos and related files http://ftp.berklix.org/~dlr/pd32/

Who is interested in building a "Public Domain 32000" ISA board if it were produced in small hobbyist quantities?
 
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alecv

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Does anyone have a GENIX distribution/binaries/sources ? It's a National Semiconductor's UNIX port to the Series 32000.

AFAIK, early GENIX was 4.1BSD port, later GENIX 3/4 was a UNIX System V Release 2 and Release 3 port.

http://bitsavers.trailing-edge.com/pdf/national/_dataBooks/1986_National_NS32000_dataBook.pdf
http://bitsavers.trailing-edge.com/...nal_Series_32000_Microprocessors_Databook.pdf
http://bitsavers.trailing-edge.com/...onal_Microprocessor_Databook_32000_NSC800.pdf
(Tools and Software sections)
 

NobodyIsHere

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Hi
Thanks to Dave Rand (one of the original authors) I have recreated the PD32 in KiCAD. There is a schematic and PCB layout. If you are interested in a PD32 revival let me know. If we can get 4-5 people to build the board then I can order prototype boards. They are full size PC/XT (12"x4") PCBs.
 

alecv

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The Definicon boards (DSI-32, etc.) are related to the PD32 because the authors (Dave Rand & George Scolaro) are the same.
Will Definicon's software work for PD-32 ?

Udo Muller tested it and has some troubles with:
http://www.cpu-ns32k.net/Defsoft.html
About DSI-32 board:
http://www.cpu-ns32k.net/Defhard.html


P.S. He is looking for IBM AT with EGA card (for test this software)
Looking for an old graphic card is not an option in 2015. If anybody in central Europe has still a functional PC-AT he or she should sent me a note.
 

NobodyIsHere

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Will Definicon's software work for PD-32 ?

Udo Muller tested it and has some troubles with:
http://www.cpu-ns32k.net/Defsoft.html
About DSI-32 board:
http://www.cpu-ns32k.net/Defhard.html


P.S. He is looking for IBM AT with EGA card (for test this software)
Looking for an old graphic card is not an option in 2015. If anybody in central Europe has still a functional PC-AT he or she should sent me a note.

Not to my knowledge. The PD32 has its own software. It is similar but different than the Definicon DSI-32 board series. I've asked Dave Rand to post his PD32 software at the PD32 repository on Berklix.org
 

alecv

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Seems it's a software for an American Information Systems board.
I've found virtually nothing about this company. They made an add-on 32000 cards
https://groups.google.com/forum/#!msg/net.micro.ns32k/FfEWJpq2bq4/wKxMuEH4yG8J

This software is for Opus Systems Opus5 board.
http://www.cpu-ns32k.net/Opus.html
This board also known under the name SYS32/20 by National Semiconductor
National Semiconductor's SYS32/20 is a complete,
high performance development package that converts
an IBM-PC/AT or compatible system into an ideal
environment for the support of Series 32000®-based
applications.
...
The SYS32/20 contains the OpUS5™ operating system.
Opus5 is a complete port of AT&T's UNIX System V Release 3
(V.3), and is derived from GENIX V.3,
National Semiconductor's port of UNIX System V.3.

http://bitsavers.informatik.uni-stu...nal_Series_32000_Microprocessors_Databook.pdf
(Section 6-9) See a b/w image of the board and compare it with photo at site.
 

NobodyIsHere

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I don't mean to be challenge your work or objectives, however what is the point in designing a +5V PTH home-brew logic board for a CPU that is extinct outside of an FPGA core? If you are going the later route, make it easier and shove all that logic into the FPGA and use a commodity eval board.

Hi, the FPGA approach to the NS32K CPU has already been done by Udo. Check out his website here for a description: http://www.cpu-ns32k.net/Overview.html
 

Al Kossow

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Seems it's a software for an American Information Systems board.
I've found virtually nothing about this company. They made an add-on 32000 cards
https://groups.google.com/forum/#!msg/net.micro.ns32k/FfEWJpq2bq4/wKxMuEH4yG8J

They were a small company in Palo Alto circa 1985 that made QBus coprocessor cards for LSI-11's running RSX-11M
The GENIX magtape image was an original distribution tape from National. The other tape image are firmware sources for their board.

This software is for Opus Systems Opus5 board.
http://www.cpu-ns32k.net/Opus.html
This board also known under the name SYS32/20 by National Semiconductor

I uploaded the wrong cartridge tape images. Mostly what I have is for the 88000 series boards.
I have one tape with some 32K bits on it, but the disk on bitsavers is full so I can't upload any more.
Also, the cartridge tapes were in poor condition, I recovered what I could years ago.

I didn't dig farther into the floppy disk images that I uploaded.
 

alecv

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Al Kossow Thank you for archiving these tapes!
"AmericanInformationSystems" includes sources for the
National Semiconductor's GENIX (a 41BSD port to the ns32k)
and SNXC16 (later known as GNX) crosstools!

I've successfully run a National Semiconductor's SNXC16 cross tool
It includes C ans Pascal compilers, linker, assembler and supporting tools.
Assembler accepts an "old" or "classic" NS 16000/32000 syntax !

http://bitsavers.trailing-edge.com/...983_Development_Systems_Products_Databook.pdf
p.118 p.121 (this XNSC16 version for 41BSD)
http://bitsavers.trailing-edge.com/pdf/national/_dataBooks/1986_National_NS32000_dataBook.pdf
section 9-7 (a newer version for 42BSD, I have no this version)

To run SNXC16 crosstools you need a working 41BSD VAX. I've successfully
run 41BSD VAX under SIMH emulator.
http://gunkies.org/wiki/4.1_BSD
http://gunkies.org/wiki/Installing_4.1_BSD_on_SIMH

It runs !

Unfortunately SNXC16 coredumps under 42BSD and 43BSD with
"bad system call" error. A newer GNX should work. I still have no working
network under 41BSD and still seeking a way to exchange to/from host.
I can "import" files into SIMH via "tape" but can't extract a "tape" image.

GENIX sourcecode contains a full 16000/32000 assember "as" sources written
in Pascal (sic!). It is teoretically possible to compile it for modern system and
even Windows/Cygwin but requites alot of efforts - some files are in n32k
assembly and should be carefully translated to C/Pascal or local i386
assembler.
 

alecv

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Location
Switzerland, Geneva
I've just tried NSC cross tools under 4.1c BSD (a latest 4.1 version before 4.2 BSD)
NSC crosstools works too!
http://gunkies.org/wiki/Installing_4.1c_BSD_on_SIMH

To extract a .tap SIMH tape image there is s "extracters/rawtap" ulility from the SIMH's utils:
https://github.com/simh/simtools

A full 32000 toolchain is ready!

P.S. Another interesting finding:
a Portable C compiler (pcc) ported to 16032
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portable_C_Compiler
http://www.tuhs.org/Archive/Applications/Portable_CC/
 
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