ATI Technologies

atiATI (Array Technologies Incorporated) was founded in 1985 in Markham, Ontario, Canada by three men from Hong Kong. It started out manufacturing integrated graphics chips for companies like IBM. By 1987 it was producing it’s own graphics cards, the EGA and VGA Wonder brands, and on it’s way to the top of the graphics industry.

Subsequently, ATI introduced the Mach series of cards starting with the Mach8 in 1991, and ending with the Mach64 in 1994. The Mach64 put the company on the map for it’s revolutionary design, which used the Mach series’ abilities to take on more of the graphics load from the CPU and allowed for video playback. It was one of the first chips with this “motion video” acceleration technology.

Later, integrated TV tuner products and a mass of other graphics accelerators and chips were ATI powered. This included console game systems and digital television products. ATI became a multibillion dollar company providing many of today’s modern graphics cards and hardware.

The company was bought by AMD in 2006 in a 5.6 billion deal, which continued the production of graphics cards and products under the ATI brand until the name was retired in 2010.

Cisco Systems

ciscoFrom Cisco’s “Corporate Overview”

Cisco was founded in 1984 by a small group of computer scientists from Stanford University. Since it’s inception, Cisco engineers have been leaders in the development of Internet Protocol (IP)-based networking technologies. This tradition of IP innovation continues with industry-leading products in the core areas of routing and switching.

Today, with more than 34,000 employees worldwide, Cisco remains committed to creating networks that are smarter, thanks to built-in intelligent network services; faster, in their ability to perform at ever-increasing speeds; and more durable, with a generational approach to an evolutionary infrastructure.

Sony Corporation

From Sony’s “Corporate Fact Sheet”

Sony Corporation of America, based in New York City, is the U.S. subsidiary of Sony Corporation, headquartered in Tokyo. Sony is a leading manufacturer of audio, video, communications, and information technology products for the consumer and professional markets. Its music, motion picture, television, computer entertainment, and online businesses make Sony one of the most comprehensive entertainment companies in the world. The co-developer of the CD, DVD, and SACD; the developer, manufacturer, and marketer of PlayStation® game consoles.

The inventor of a wide range of consumer audio-visual products, such as the FD Trinitron® WEGA® television, Mavica® digital camera, Digital8® Handycam® camcorder, Walkman® personal stereo, MiniDisc player/recorder, and the Memory Stick®IC flash media; IT products, including VAIO® personal computers, FD Trinitron® computer display, the 3.5-inch floppy disk, and CLIÉ™ handheld; and professional products, highlighted by the HDCAM® 24-P, Digital Betacam® and DVCAM® VTR and camera formats


compaqlogoCompaq Computer Corporation was founded in February 1982 by Rod Canion, Jim Harris and Bill Murto, three senior managers who left Texas Instruments and invested $1,000 each to form their own company. Sketched on a paper place mat in a Houston pie shop, the first product was a portable personal computer able to run all of the software being developed then for the IBM PC.

The founders presented their idea to Ben Rosen, president of Sevin-Rosen Partners, a high-tech venture capital firm. The venture capitalists were impressed with the idea of a portable product innovating within the emerging standard and agreed to fund the new company.  Compaq recorded first year sales of $111 million, it became the most ever in a single year by an American business. Ben Rosen continued as chairman of Compaq’s board of directors until September 2000 when Compaq CEO Michael Capellas was elected chairman of the board by unanimous vote.

Philips Electronics

philips-logoFrom Philips “History”
The foundations for what was to become one of the world’s biggest electronics companies were laid in 1891 when Gerard Philips established a company in Eindhoven, the Netherlands, to manufacture incandescent lamps and other electrical products. The company initially concentrated on making carbon-filament lamps and by the turn of the century was one of the largest producers in Europe.

Science and technology underwent tremendous development in the 1940s and 1950s, with Philips Research inventing the rotary heads which led to the development of the Philishave electric shaver, and laying down the basis for later ground-breaking work on transistors and integrated circuits. In the 1960s, this resulted in important discoveries such as CCDs (charge-coupled devices) and LOCOS (local oxidation of silicon). Philips also made major contributions in the development of the recording, transmission and reproduction of television pictures, its research work leading to the development of the Plumbicon TV camera tube and improved phosphors for better picture quality.

It introduced the Compact Audio Cassette in 1963 and produced its first integrated circuits in 1965.  The flow of exciting new products and ideas continued throughout the 1970s: research in lighting contributed to the new PL and SL energy-saving lamps; other key breakthroughs came in the processing, storage and transmission of images, sound and data where Philips Research made key breakthroughs, resulting in the inventions of the LaserVision optical disc, the Compact Disc and optical telecommunication systems.

Philips established PolyGram in 1972, and acquired Magnavox (1974) and Signetics (1975) in the United States. Acquisitions in the 1980s included the television business of GTE Sylvania (1981) and the lamps business of Westinghouse (1983). The Compact Disc was launched in 1983, while other landmarks were the production of Philips’ 100-millionth TV set in 1984 and 300-millionth Philishave electric shaver in 1995.

The 1990s was a decade of significant change for Philips. The company carried out a major restructuring program to return it to a healthy footing. And more recently it has been concentrating on its core activities. Today, Philips is at the leading edge of the digital revolution, introducing world-class products that are helping to improve people’s lives as we continue into the new millennium.


oracleOracle Corporation started life as Software Development Laboratories in June of 1977 by Larry Ellison, Bob Miner and Ed Oates. Renamed to Relational Software Inc. two years later, the company sold the first version of the Oracle database to Wright Patterson Air Force Base. Oracle 2 was designed to run on the PDP-11. In March of 1983, the product was completely rewritten in C language and RSI was renamed to Oracle to closely identify with their flagship software. In 1984 Oracle was ported to the PC platform. The DOS version ran with only 640k of memory. Released in 1985, Oracle 5 became one of the first RDBMSs to operate in client/server mode.

Oracle has become a giant of relational database management systems and resource planning software and has grown into a multibillion dollar company. It’s products are widely used to this day especially in the enterprise computing world, and it currently boasts over 50k employees worldwide.


Apple Computer

applelogo4Steven Wozniak and Steven Jobs had been friends in high school. They had both been interested in electronics, and both had been perceived as outsiders. They kept in touch after graduation, and both ended up dropping out of school and getting jobs working for companies in Silicon Valley. ( Woz for Hewlett-Packard, Jobs for Atari ). Wozniak had been dabbling in computer-design for some time when, in 1976, he designed what would become the Apple I. Jobs, who had an eye for the future, insisted that he and Wozniak try to sell the machine, and on April 1, 1976, Apple Computer was born.


zilog5Zilog was founded in 1974 and became a wholly owned subsidiary of Exxon Corp. by 1980. The company’s management and employees purchased Zilog back from Exxon in 1989. Zilog became a publicly-held company in February, 1991. In March of 1998, Zilog was privatized, as a result of the merger and recapitalization transaction by Texas Pacific Group (TPG). Zilog now produce a range of microcontrollers, microprocessors, and digital signal processors, covering the home entertainment, communications, and embedded systems markets.


atari_VCSAtari got its start in the consumer electronics side of home entertainment with its release of Pong for the home. Originally Atari had planned to build 50,000 units, however Atari was approached by Sears and ended up making 150,000 for the Christmas 1975 season. People stood in line for nearly 2 hours in the cold to sign up to be on the waiting list for an Atari Home Pong.

Atari continued its foray into the home consumer electronics market with various versions of Pong, then bringing home other popular Atari coin-op games such as Video Pinball, Stunt Cycle and even a hand held version of its Touch Me coin-op. Atari delved into the unusual with its Video Music console which created pulsating patterns on the screen in sync with an owners home stereo system.

Intel Corporation

intel From Intel’s “Corporate Overview”;

For more than three decades, Intel Corporation has developed technology enabling the computer and Internet revolution that has changed the world. Founded in 1968 to build semiconductor memory products, Intel introduced the world’s first microprocessor in 1971. Today, Intel supplies the computing and communications industries with chips, boards, systems, and software building blocks that are the “ingredients” of computers, servers and networking and communications products. These products are used by industry members to create advanced computing and communications systems. Intel’s mission is to be the preeminent building block supplier to the Internet economy.

Principal Products and Services
Microprocessors, also called central processing units (CPUs), are frequently described as the “brain” of a computer because they control the central processing of data in personal computers (PCs), servers, workstations, and other devices.