The Company With Pedigree

There was once a company which manufactured a model of an integrated circuit and publicly exhibited it in 1957, a year before Jack Kilby and Bob Noyce built their chips.

The company became the world leader in emitter coupled logic and made the world’s fastest divider ICs.


The company fell on hard times and was passed through a series of owners who dropped the company name and did little to re-invigorate it.


Then new ownership restored the company name, installed a GaN process for LEDs and made some superior, even epic, sensors.


Moral: Pedigree counts

Tags: bob noyce, chips, leds

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  1. David Manners
    October 01, 2012 11:28

    woof woof quite right Dr Bob

  2. Dr Bob
    October 01, 2012 09:47

    Are you sure about that Chum!

  3. Anonymous
    September 28, 2012 10:31

    Anybody knows the company with Pedigree is Marstons

  4. David Manners
    September 28, 2012 10:18

    The problem IMHO Keith was that Sir John Clark wasn’t the sharpest tool in the box but, while he was there, no one else could get to run the company. Then of course Arnie bagged him up and that was the end of that. A massive shame because Plessey, both systems and semis, was stuffed with brilliant people.

  5. Keith
    September 28, 2012 10:14

    Plessey could never have survived in its original format. It was too dependent on MOD work and chips for BT’s System X. Its gate array business couldn’t compete with LSI logic (even though Plessey’s gate arrays were technically better, their sales and marketing was feeble in comparison).

  6. Anonymous
    September 28, 2012 08:19

    Here we are
    Plessey was actually much more than a Semiconductor manufacturer. In fact I would describe it as a vertically integrated company, making everything from capacitors to the most complex systems. A good example of this would be the SL600 series of RF ICs( still revered by Radio Amateurs for their high performance) which were originally designed to go in the Clansman radio system, parts of which were also designed and made by Plessey.
    Rather the comapany falling on hard times it was the actually a victim of Arnold Weinstocks plans to dominate the industry, with Siemens being persauded to buy the bits he wasn’t allowed to.

  7. David Manners
    September 27, 2012 15:45

    Yes indeed [Anonymous] good old Plessey Semiconductors it was. Didn’t know about the Corgi model van with the logo on. Wonder if there are any still in existence.

  8. Anonymous
    September 27, 2012 15:38

    Plessey. At one point the brand was strong enough to have a Corgi model van with their logo on it.
    You still see the logo on old Traffic Light Cabinets

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