PA-RISC information - since 1999

RDI PrecisionBook

Quick Facts
Introduced 1998
Period Maturity (III)
132-180 MHz
Cache 128 KB L1
(+1 MB L2)
RAM 512 MB
Design LASI
Drives 2 SCSI (2.5″!)
Expansion 2 Cardbus
Bandwidth Mem ~ 423 MB/s
I/O 132-160 MB/s
I/O 10E
2 PS/2
I/O breakout

RDI PrecisionBooks are portable PA-RISC workstations, introduced in 1998 by RDI, shortly before the takeover by Tadpole. The PrecisionBooks are based HP 9000 C132L/C160L workstation technology integrated into a portable case, geared towards engineering, software development, network management, financial modeling, military command operations, and intelligence gathering.

Since the RDI PrecisionBooks were technically equivalent to C132L/C160Ls, they supported the same PA-RISC operating systems and applications. A major addition by RDI to the system was an integrated Cardbus controller for which Tadpole supplied a driver kit for HP-UX.

Model Number Introduced Price
PrecisionBook 132 12″ 9000/779 1998 $11,995
PrecisionBook 160 14″ 9000/779 1998 $14,995
PrecisionBook 180 9000/779 1998

The PrecisionBooks apparently did not enjoy much commercial success, similar to RDI and Tadpole themselves. The PrecisionBook laptop case was used for other RISC laptops as well, for example the UltraSPARC-based Tadpole Ultrabook that was slightly more successful.

In addition to the PrecisionBook, only two other portable PA-RISC computers were produced – the military-focused SAIC Galaxy 1100, based on HP 9000 712, and the Japanese Hitachi 3050RX/100C based on their own design.

System architecture


Model CPU Speed L1 Cache L2 Cache
PrecisionBook 132 PA-7300LC 132 MHz 64/64 KB on-chip 1 MB off-chip optional
PrecisionBook 160 PA-7300LC 160 MHz 64/64 KB on-chip 1 MB off-chip optional
PrecisionBook 180 PA-7300LC 180 MHz 64/64 KB on-chip 1 MB off-chip optional

The external L2 cache was optional but was supplied with most systems.


» View a system-level ASCII-illustration of the system architecture.




System buses


Expansion slots


External ports

Operating systems

Not all devices or expansion options and modules are supported in Linux and the BSDs. OpenBSD fully supports the Cardbus controller and a range of different Cardbus and PCMCIA devices (Fast-Ethernet, WLAN etc.).


Model SPEC95, int SPEC95, fp
PrecisionBook 132 6.49 6.54
PrecisionBook 160 7.78 7.39
PrecisionBook 180 9.22 9.43


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