From Emax to Proteus
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.