VLSI Technology was founded in 1980 and was one of the first semiconductor companies to embrace a number of new trends, including user-designed VLSI, advanced design automation, serving the foundry business as a key part of the company’s strategy, and partnering with systems companies as a source of funding. VLSI focused on the cell based portion of the ASIC (Application Specific Integrated Circuit) business. This oral history covers the history of VLSI Technology from before its founding until the successful IPO (Initial Public Offering). The participants include the four founders along with two other early employees, Ken Goldman, CFO and Ron Kasper, VP Sales. The founders discuss the events, both personal and business, that drove them to found VLSI. They describe the unique contributions made by VLSI to the industry as well as the furious activity which led up to the successful public offering only two years after the founding.
VLSI; Mead-Conway; Synertek; GE Capital; Evans, Dave; Mead, Carver; Hambrecht, William (Bill); H&Q; Xerox PARC; foundry; cell based design; Electronic design automation (EDA); ROM; Ricoh; Bendix Corporation; semiconductor history