PA-RISC information - since 1999

HP Visualize B132L, B160L, B180L

Quick Facts
Introduced 1996-1997
Period Maturity (III)
Series Visualize
CPU 1 PA-7300LC
132-180 MHz
Cache 128 KB L1
1 MB L2
RAM 1.5 GB
Design LASI
Drives 2 SCSI
1 FD
Expansion 1 GSC/PCI
Bandwidth Mem 423 MB/s (B132L)
Mem 427 MB/s (B160L)
I/O 132 MB/s (B132L)
I/O 160 MB/s (B160L)
I/O 144 MB/s (B180L)
I/O 10E
100E (+-models)
2 serial
2 PS/2

The HP Visualize B-Class B132L, B160L and B180L were midrange and high-performance graphics workstations introduced in 1996 and 1997. Based on 32-bit PA-RISC processors, they were the successors to the popular 715 workstations with improved performance and I/O options for HP-UX Unix applications. The B180L was introduced a year after the initial B132L and B160L as more powerful alternative.

© Hewlett Packard 1997

The B-Class were developed together with the HP Visualize C-Class workstations C132L/C160L, having similar design but more integrated functionality on the mainboard and fewer expansion options to minimize cost. The +-models B132L+ and B180L+ had faster Ultra-Wide SE SCSI and 100 Mbit Ethernet instead of Fast-Wide HVD SCSI and 10 Mbit Ethernet.

HP marketed these B-Class in 1996 as having leadership integer performance and 2-D and 3-D graphics capabilities for complex design and analysis in mechanical design automation such as MDA, EDA, remote sensing and GIS. Originally released with upgrades to future PA-RISC processors and system-level upgrades to upcoming Intel IA-64 processors, which never materialized.

On the higher-end, the B-Class were flanked by 64-bit C160/C180 and the expandable J-Class workstations. Many Visualize workstations including the B-Class became widely available in the late-2000s after Unix-based CAD/CAE was phased out in the industry and these workstations had solid support in open source operating systems.

Model Number Introduced Price
B132L 9000/778 1996 $10,480
B160L 9000/778 1996 $16,480
B180L 9000/778 1997 $16,500

System architecture


The external L2 cache is optional, installed in two DIMM slots next to the CPU with modules of equal size. Usually, systems come with two 512 KB modules ≡ 1 MB L2. The L2 option cost around $2,000 when ordering new.
Model CPU Speed L1 Cache L2 Cache
B132L PA-7300LC 132 MHz 64/64 KB on-chip 1 MB off-chip optional
B132L+ PA-7300LC 132 MHz 64/64 KB on-chip 1 MB off-chip optional
B160L PA-7300LC 160 MHz 64/64 KB on-chip 1 MB off-chip optional
B180L+ PA-7300LC 180 MHz 64/64 KB on-chip 1 MB off-chip optional


System buses


Expansion slots


External ports

Operating systems


Model SPEC95, int SPEC95, fp SPEC95
rate, int
rate, fp
B132 6.45 6.70 58.1 60.3
B132+ 6.84 7.17 61.5 64.6
B160L 7.75 7.56 69.7 68.1
B180L+ 9.22 9.43 83.0 84.8


Height Width Depth Weight
116mm 445mm 452mm 18kg


ROM update

There is an firmware update available for the B-Class with the latest version 6.1:

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