In the 3rd part of our interview with Dave Rossum we talk about the 90s, when digitalisation proceeded.
You can find the former parts of the interview here:
Let’s go back in time when you started your own DSP-Chip development. Why did you start producing them yourselves? Wasn’t it too expensive and time-consuming?
Our core business became multi-channel samplers. I knew an off-the-shelf DSP chip solution wouldn’t be possible for years – a custom solution was needed. I had designed SSM’s custom analog chips; by comparison, digital seemed easy. In 1985, I won Seattle Silicon’s IC design contest – the prize was a full-custom “compiled” digital chip, fabricated at their expense.
This was the so called base for your future samplers?
Yes, this became the E-chip, my first DSP, and the heart of the Emax. As a first chip it wasn’t bad, but it had some production issues and we learned a lot from the experience. Next was a small gate array, the F-chip, used in each output channel of the Emulator III. It was simple and inexpensive, taking me only a few weeks to design.