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American Micro-systems, Inc. Advertisement

American Micro-systems, Inc. Advertisement
Electronics Magazine
February 15, 1971

An advertisement for pioneering MOS chip manufacturer American Micro-systems, Incorporated. (AMI). AMI was an early leader in the production of complex Metal-Oxide Semiconductor (MOS) large scale integrated (LSI) circuits. The company was founded in July, 1966, by former employees of MOS IC pioneer General Micro-electronics (GM-e).

AMI provided custom chip layout, and fabrication services for anyone that needed to put their circuitry into large-scale MOS integrated circuits. AMI also had extensive logic design capabilities, whereby could act as a partner with electronics manufacturers to help create logic designs that would then be built into LSI chips. AMI's first chips were complex custom MOS integrated circuits for the US Military and National Security infrastructures under top-secret contracts. In the early part of 1969, AMI first created LSI calculator integrated circuits for Smith Corona/Marchant (SCM) which appeared initially in the SCM Cogito 414 electronic calculator. Along with SCM, AMI served as chip layout and fabrication facility for a number of manufacturers, including Computer Design Corporation (Compucorp), Monroe(as OEM customer of Compucorp), Tektronix, and Commodore, as well as marketing electronic calculators under their own Unicom brand name from September, 1971 through September, 1972.

AMI was the leading producer of LSI calculator chip sets for calculator manufacturers from mid-1969 through late 1971, by which time other chip makers (Texas Instruments, Mostek, General Instrument, and Electronic Arrays) began large-scale production of calculator chip sets and later, single-chip calculator ICs, which diluted the market for calculator chips.

AMI faded from the calculator IC scene, focusing more on its full-custom IC design services, as well as moving into the second-source business. AMI would license chip designs from other chip makers and produce chips that functioned identically to the original manufacturers specifications, whereby AMI could serve as a second-source manufacturer of the chips.

The types of chips that were offered as second-source devices (from a catalog dated 1976) were Random Access Memory (RAM), Read-Only Memory (ROM), Buffer & Interface Circuits, and Communications and Telecommunications Circults. Along with these devices AMI was also a second-source for all of Motorola's 6800 microprocessor and support chips.

AMI also produced some chips of its own, including LCD Watch Circuits, Digital Clock Circuits, and Electronic Organ circuits. AMI was second-source for MOS/LSI chips made by most of the leaders in the LSI chip business by the mid-1970's, including Electronic Arrays, Fairchild, General Instrument, Harris Semiconductor, Intel/Signetics, Mostek, Motorola, National Semiconductor, RCA, SMC Microsystems, Texas Instruments and Western Digital.