We all have a funnest bug we’ve been involved with. I don’t think ‘funnest’ is actually a word but when my kids used to use the word ‘funner’ I didn’t have a good argument as to why it wasn’t a word, it just seemed a word I’d never heard. In fact I have no idea what the rules are… Read More
VLSI’s business grew healthily but it never threw off enough cash to fund all the investment required for process technology development and capital investment for a next generation fab. They made a strategic partnership with Hitachi covering both 1um process technology and a significant investment, which meant that … Read More
VLSI Technology was founded in 1981 by Dan Floyd, Jack Baletto and Gunnar Wetlesen who had worked together at Signetics. The initial investments were by Hambrecht and Quist, a cross between a VC and a bank, and by Evans and Sutherland, the simulation/graphics company.
The fourth person to join the company was Doug Fairbairn. He … Read More
In the early 1980s the ideas and infrastructure for what would eventually be called ASIC started to come together. Semiconductor technology had reached the point that a useful number of transistors could be put onto a chip. But unlike earlier, when a chip only held a few transistors and thus could be used to create basic generic building… Read More
When I first came to the US, one project that we had going on at VLSI Technology was an ASIC design being done by a French company called Telic. The chip would go into something called “Minitel” which the France Telecom (actually still the PTT since post and telecomunications had not yet been separated) planned to supply… Read More
One of the most demanding areas of layout design has always been memories. Whereas digital design often uses somewhat simplified design rules, memories have to be designed pushing every rule to the limit. Obviously even a tiny improvement in the size of a bit cell multiplies up into significant area savings when there are billions… Read More