Systems based on Fairchild 9440 / 9445

Brent Hilpert hilpert at cs.ubc.ca
Tue Nov 4 17:13:22 CST 2008


Chuck Guzis wrote:
> 
> On 4 Nov 2008 at 11:39, Brent Hilpert wrote:
> 
> > I haven't looked into it in depth but it has been a point of interest to me as
> > to how Fairchild fell from grace in the 1980s: failing to produce a strong
> > contender in the microproc arena?, betting the farm on the wrong technology
> > (high-performance bipolar/I3L instead of CMOS?, too focussed on the high-end
> > military market?, too much brain drain to other companies? ...
> 
> I don't think that was exclusively the case.  Anyone remember the
> Fairchild F8?  Around the same time as the 9440, the F8 was hugely
> popular in embedded type applications.  The "Channel F" game console
> and the Video Brain used them.
> 
> But Fairchild took the product nowhere after that.  A very puzzling
> company, Fairchild.

No - I wasn't forgetting the F8. It was an interesting architecture in the way
the functional units were spread around the physical chips. Seemed very
tortured when I first saw it, until I understood how it could be useful for
economically efficient embedded systems. They were off to a good start in that
regard in the early 70s.

Interesting to speculate whether the architecture could have grown and been
carried into the future to contend in the marketplace occupied by PICs,etc.
today, but I'm not familiar enough with it in depth to say.



More information about the cctalk mailing list