Re: what is ASIC

From: Anders Carlsson <>
Date: Fri, 29 Jul 2016 14:06:11 +0200
Message-ID: <C1698CC2F91E40978850694553F2893A@ryds>
silverdr wrote:

>> Yeah, having their own fab was a huge business advantage for Commodore 
>> back then!
> How did f.e. Atari build their POKEYs and Co. then?

As far as I can tell, the POKEY was manufactured by AMI (American 
Megatrends?) on behalf of Atari. If that is correct, more manufacturers may 
have taken the same route, to design a custom chip and then have another 
company manufacture it for them. Probably more expensive than Commodore 
owning MOS/CSG so they could use "vertical integration" and sell chips to 
themselves at cost instead of profit.

The UK company Ferranti comes to mind too, manufacturing ULA chips for 
Sinclair Spectrum. The Oric ULA is marked HCS, not sure which company it 
stands for. I thought those also were Ferranti but perhaps not. I seem to 
recall to have found other Ferranti chips in e.g. the Dams IEEE-488 
interface for the VIC-20.

So just like Segher wrote, I suppose having their own fab made it more 
convenient to develop, test and manufacture custom chips but not a 
requirement thankfully in order to make computers with other chips than off 
the shelf ones.

Best regards

Anders Carlsson

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Received on 2016-07-29 13:01:48

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