General Instrument

General Instrument (GI ) was one of the largest manufacturers of semiconductor components and devices for cable television in the United States. 1997 General Instrument was divided, the name disappeared in 2000., The company stated, in particular the chip manufactures for various Pong clones and the legendary sound chip AY -3- 8910th


General Instrument was founded in 1948.

1987 General Instrument Microelectronics, the line of business for microelectronics, the independent company Microchip Technology Inc. was converted.

1997 General Instruments was divided into three companies: The Department of cable TV was spun off as Commscope. From the Department of Power Semiconductor General Semiconductor, which was bought in 2001 by Vishay Intertechnology and Vishay Semiconductor integrated into arose. The Department of Broadband Products formed the Next Level system, which in 1998 changed its name back to General Instrument. In 2000, Motorola took the "new" General Instrument, which pastes the name finally disappeared.

Donald Rumsfeld led the company from 1990 to 1993.


Microprocessors and microcontrollers

General Instrument developed the 16 -bit microprocessors CP1600/CP1610 that have been used for example in Mattel's Intellivision.

The CP1600 processors were relatively inefficient at input and output and therefore received the 8 -bit microcontroller PIC1650 (Programmable Intelligent Computer ) as an adjunct processor, which should take input and output. This PIC1650 is the first model in the PICmicro family, which is developed and produced by Microchip today.

Sound chips

GI was also known by the sound chip AY -3- 8910 were used in most arcade games and some home computers. The chip was also manufactured under license by Yamaha YM- 2149 changed slightly.

Game chips (selection)

  • AY- 3-8500 Pong video game chip
  • AY- 3-8603 Car Race Game
  • AY- 3-8606 Breakout

Other chips

  • AY -1-5050 7- stage Divider
  • AY- 3-8915 color processor, 16 colors ( in Mattel's Intellivision )
  • AY- 3-8203 station-selection - chip
  • AY- 5-1317 Chord Generator
  • SP0256 speech chip