The two founders worked together at General Instrument Microelectronics and in 1969 they were assigned to develop three full custom CPU circuits for CDC in Minneapolis, MN. These CPU ICs operated at 5 MHz (state of the art at the time) and were incorporated in CDC’s Aerospace Computer 469. The Aerospace Computer 469 became a standard CDC Aerospace Computer and was used in the Spy in the Sky Satellites in addition to other classified satellite programs by CDC. The full custom CPU IC’s all worked the very first time.
Because of the success that the two founders of LSI/CSI had on this program, and the reluctance of General Instrument to proceed with the next phase of the Program which General Instrument deemed to be too technically challenging, they were encouraged by CDC to spin off and form their own company. This resulted in the formation of LSI Computer Systems, Inc. (LSI/CSI) in 1969.
Based upon their successful track record, CDC then awarded LSI/CSI and their new and growing staff an additional five (5) more custom circuits. These were difficult and complex, power efficient Random Logic Circuits with extremely high circuit density. All of these new circuits also operated at 5 MHz. These devices were designated LSI0101, LSI0102, LSI0103, LSI0104 and LSI0105 and were assembled in compact 40 pin metal flat packs with 0.050” spacing.
To support this program LSI Computer Systems had to:
Select a suitable CDC certifiable wafer fab house
Monitor the process, and inspection of all wafers per Class “S” requirements and visuals
Perform all In-Process inspection of wafer
Select a packaging house capable of meeting CDC’s Class “S” assembly requirements
Have CDC certify and approve the assembly facility and its processes
LSI successfully performed all required environmental testing at Class “S” approved facilities
LSI prepared and submitted all environmental test reports