Artifact Details


Signetics FPLF(field-programmable logic family) oral history

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Two of the original design and development team members---Napoleone Cavlan, applications engineer, and Ronald (Ron) Cline, design engineer---discuss how their team developed the first commercially successful Field Programmable Logic chip in 1975. Cavlan and Cline recount the many obstacles that they had to overcome to design the chip given the technology, packaging and development tools constraints in the mid-1970s. Their discussion provides a window into the typical semiconductor design process and related tradeoffs in that timeframe.

Signetics' FPL Family evolved into a multi-generation product line over the next few years for the company, beating out competitors like Intersil for market leadership and becoming the first commercially successful programmable logic family. This oral history outlines the major milestones in the FPLF's evolution and describes the architectural decisions made by the team that enabled that success.




Cavlan, Napoleone, Interviewee
Cline, Ronald, Interviewee
Haines, Andrew, Interviewer


Computer History Museum

Place of Publication

Mountain View, CA, USA


49 p.




semiconductor history; Cavlan, Napoleone; Cline, Ronald; Signetics; Programmable Logic; Nichrome fuse; Philips Semiconductors; RTC Compelec; FPGA; FPLA; FPLS; FPRP; PLA; MPLA; 82S100; PLS100; 82S103; PLS103; 82S105; PLS105; 82S107; 82S151; PLS151; 82S153; PLS153; 82S155; PLS155; 82S157; PLS157; 82S159; PLS159; PLHS501; PLHS502; Field Programmable Gate Array; Field Programmable Logic Array; Field Programmable Logic Sequencer; Field Programmable ROM Patch; FPLF; IFL; IFL-20; Integrated Fuse Logic; Complement Array; AMAZE; PML; Programmable Macro Logic; PASIC; PAL; Mega PAL; Data I/O; Stag; Kontron; Curtis, Jack; Sunrise Electronics; National Semiconductor Corporation; Intersil; MMI; Xilinx; Fairchild; AMD; Savoy Place; IET; Kirton, Lionel; Degrenier, Jean; Zeutschel, Milton; Hinz, Lu; Birkner, John; Chua, H.T.; McCluskey, Ed; Peltzer, Doug; Hoefler, Don; Rotsky, George; Quine-McCluskey; ED magazine; EDN magazine; Electronic Engineering Times magazine; Electronic News magazine; Wescon

Collection Title

Oral history collection

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