RW: ...William Mensch today and who is the architect of the Motorola 6800 and he is also the architect of the 6502, which was Apple II and Atari and everything else. Okay Bill, so you grew up in a little farm town.
WM: That's right. The town was named Ottsville or is named Ottsville, probably a couple hundred homes max. And lived on a dairy farm, got up at 4:30, milked the cows, went off to school, Pennridge High School is the high school I went to in Perkasie, Pennsylvania. This is in Buck's County and for those that have heard of The Good Earth, written by Pearl Buck, Phyllis Buck, her foundation is close by, a couple of miles away. Also James Michner who's an author of some renown, he lived close by also. Anyhow, this dairy farm was 72 acres and it taught me all about hard work.
RW: And how many kids were there?
WM: There were 8 of us and I'm the middle, up in the middle. There were 3 older than myself. It went sister, brother, Janet was the oldest, Janet, Bob, Judy, Bill, Cathy, Walt, Ruthie, and Linda.
RW: Oh my god, that's incredible. Now how did you ever get into Temple University?
WM: Well, I was in the academic program and I always liked math and science I suppose. And 4H club, I don't know if you know about 4H club, but it stands for Head, Heart, Hands and Health. And it's what farm kids usually get enrolled - or join as a club and they usually raise a steer or a crop. Well I was - I wanted to do something electronic, so I had electronics as one of my projects.
RW: And so you went to Temple?
WM: Yeah, I went to Temple and I went there because I really wanted to pursue math and science and not english and history. English and history were my average classes and then I excelled in math and science.
RW: After you left Temple, you went to Philco-Ford? Tell us about that.
WM: Well what happened. Yeah. Well what's interesting there is that actually there's a company in between, but the - when I was at Temple, my aunt had a store and if you look on a map you'll see 33 - no, you'll see 113 dead ends into 611. And 611 is Broad Street, Philadelphia, so you take Broad Street up north and you'll go up 611 and my aunt had a store there and I just found out looking - rummaging through some of this stuff, I found out there was a guy named George Rodgers who was the supervisor at IBM that said when he stopped and got gas at my aunt's store there - right there at that intersection, my aunt said talk to him, you're in electronics. I was first year electronics at Temple and she said, talk to this guy he might be able to give you some ideas of what to do. He stopped and got gas and the only thing I remember him saying was get into computers.
RW: Wow. Oh, incredible. How our lives are just changed by these chance encounters.
WM: Yeah. Well I didn't have many choices. That was the only choice that I really had that anybody gave me because my parents didn't go to college and none of my brothers and sisters.
RW: Well I can tell you, I went to Berkeley and I took engineering - electrical engineering because there was no foreign language requirement there, right? And I took - and then as a senior I took - well I went to Berkeley because it was closest to where I lived - I lived, I grew up here. And then in my junior year you had to pick a, you know, some sort of program and I picked digital because it's all one's and zero's and that's so much easier than 48 transforms and all this other stuff. So one's and zero's - you just take the easy way out, it's incredible. So anyway, how did you go to Philco?
WM: Well what happened was then I followed this path called computers and as my senior project I did an analog computer, which is amplifiers with feedback - resistor feedback. And so when I graduated, that - Vietnam was going strong, this was 1966 and I didn't get a job, I was working for Hinkle's and McCoy, a construction company, and so rather than getting a job and then realizing that the employer would have to wait 6 months before I got back, I decided to wait and get a job after I got out of the Army. And I got into the Army guard in Doylestown. And the company that I worked for right when I got out of the Army Guard in 1967 was a company called Polyphase. And Polyphase is in Bridgeport and it's on the south side of the Schuylkill River that flows into Philadelphia. In any event, Polyphase was in transformers and inductors, and this was painful because I wanted to be in digital stuff also. But analog was the name of the game, and coils and inductors was were a friend of mine, a fraternity brother worked and he got me a job and he got paid I think 100 dollars because I took the job. Well after 3 months that was a disappointing place to work and I didn't really use my education. It was 3 years at Temple University getting an Associate degree, so I quit without having any other job and I went home to think about it. I lived at my mother's house at that time. My father had died when I was a sophomore at Temple and we moved off the farm at that point. I was 19 when he died. And...
RW: Now how old was he when he died?
RW: Oh my god.
WM: Yeah, he wanted to be an engineer. He wanted to go to...
RW: That is so young.
WM: Oh yeah, very young. He had a heart attack and he had glaucoma, he had a problem with his back because of a farm accident, and anyhow. So I went home, you know, I just thought well, I'm thinking about this, and so what I did was I looked in the paper and I thought what about these integrated circuits, maybe I want to do that. And transistors were - we were just starting - discussing transistors, discrete components at Temple. Most of the work was done in vacuum tubes, this is in 1963, I started in '63 and ended in '66. So what I did was I went to Philco-Ford, saying, I want to go there. And...
RW: And Bluebell.
WM: ...and Bluebell, and that was their advanced research lab, and Ford Motor Company had bought Philco, the original TV company. And Philco had large plants in Lansdale, there was Lansdale II, part of Philco, I guess and then part of Ford Motor Company. So what I did was I showed up and I said I wanted a - I was looking for a job as a technician and that - they said they weren't hiring, and I said well, you know, I'd like to just fill out an application. And I filled out an application and they surprised me by saying there was a recruiting office or whatever they called it, a personnel office, said hey why don't you come in here and talk to us. And so I went in there and talked to us. Now they already told me they weren't hiring and - in the position I was looking for. They must have been hiring in something else, that's why I went there. So this is about a half an hour ride from my house so it was a serious ride, it wasn't just a walk down the street. So I thought, well I'll go in and talk to them. And here, the woman there says well it looks like you were in a fraternity. Yeah, well, my son was in that fraternity, let me see, and we got to talking like that and then she said you know what, I know someone in here that might have an opening, and let me get him, his name is John Pierce. And so hey, he interviewed me right then, and he said well, he asked me a few questions about beta the transistors and I think it's related to alpha, could it be 1 over 1 minus alpha, or something like that.
RW: It relates to gain actually.
WM: It's the game, yeah; it's the gain of a bipolar transistor and - usually referred to that way. And so I said well you know what, if you gave me a book, I know I could get the answers for you. Every question - he asked me three questions and I don't think I got anyone of them right. He said, so what would you be looking for in salary? And I said well, I'd like to make 120 dollars a week. He said yeah, but you were just working for 85 dollars a week. I said, that's right. Why would you think we'd want to give you that much of a raise. I said well I'll tell you what, as a construction worker, I'm making 120 dollars a week and I just spent 4500 dollars on education at Temple University, I owe my mother that money, I borrowed it from her, and I need to pay her back. And if I don't get a job at 120 dollars a week it'll be really hard for me, I won't feel right working for less than what I worked as a construction worker. So he said, well I don't know that we can do that, but let me think about it. And he said, when would you be available to start? And I said well, this is like Wednesday and I could start Monday if you wanted me to. And he said well we'll let you know. He calls me back the next day or the following day and says, we've got that job for you. And the pay is 120 dollars.
RW: Amazing. Now what did you do at Philco-Ford?
WM: Well as a technician what I did was I evaluated - I was in the test lab and I tested integrated circuits. And one of the things that I did was I test, you know the FTAL of amplifiers and transistors which is the terminal frequency where gain is equal to 1. And I evaluate those in temperature chambers and then what I did was something very interesting, I worked on some of the first solid-state regulators for automobile charging systems.
RW: Which are now standard, right?
WM: Oh yeah, they've been standard for a long time. Also, automatic brake systems. This was in 1967.
RW: So ABS?
WM: ABS. They were testing them in the parking lots in 1967-'68. I left there in '69. I - one of the other things is that I analyzed the thermal coefficient of materials from the surface of the dye through - I could get the surface of the dye, the package, and also in a fluoride, florocarbon, which is inert liquid, I could establish the thermal coefficients to different kinds of environments such as free space or air in a vacuum and in a liquid. And I learned quite a bit from the way that the semiconductor's temperatures caused elevated temperatures that surface - surface of the silicon, and I'll come back to that when we're talking about Motorola. Some interesting things were discovered.
RW: All right. Well let's talk about Motorola. You, what drew you to Motorola?
WM: Ok, well, what happened there is I was going to Villanova University, and since I didn't get a double E degree, and at that point I recognized as a technician there's just so far you can go. I worked with some engineers that had moved from this area right here, from the Silicon Valley, the company was called GME and if you go back to MOS, you'll find that GME was the first company that exploited or tried to exploit the MOS technology that we're all...
RW: We've done that in some degree.
WM: Well okay, there are some - a couple of people that left from Philco-Ford and helped Intel get started as well. Bob Yu I think maybe one of them. I'm not sure about that, but that sticks in my mind. In fact, I'm not sure if I didn't work with him. I'm not sure about that. There could be some historical connections. But when they had worked and developed up here in the Bay Area a solid state emission control system for United Aircraft out of Connecticut, and I worked on that as a technician. And they had a problem with temperature. It stopped working. And that - I figured out what was wrong with it and they had teams and teams of engineers that worked on it for a couple years and couldn't figure out what was wrong and here it was a one shot that was leaky and I doubled the capacitance and it worked. Well John Pierce said if I quit they could give me a raise and I said that doesn't make sense to me. I wouldn't want to quit here and if I ever quit, I'd become an engineer, I'd go to school. So at Villanova, when I was going there in night school, I took about 3 or 4 courses in night school and they said it would take me 8 years to get my engineering degree. They would not transfer but 6 credits from Temple University to Villanova. So the University of Arizona would accept two years of my work and so I transferred to the University of Arizona in Tucson. When I left Philco-Ford, I had been reverse engineering Texas Instruments, RCA and Motorola integrated circuits. They were looking at linear circuits with TVs, etc., and they were looking at circular transistors for increased breakdown voltage and things like this and I said well when I graduate from the University of Arizona, I'm going to work for the leader, Motorola. And when I graduated, I got an opportunity.
RW: Now, how were you involved with the 6800?
WM: Okay, well, at Motorola I have to work up to the 6800. I was one of the designers of the 6800 and actually I was one of the designers of all of Motorola's original microprocessor products, believe it or not. I'm the only engineer at Motorola that was that way. So that's a bit of a secret there. Nobody really knew about that and this is the first interview I've ever talked about that, I think. Let me go back a minute. When I graduated in 1971 from the University of Arizona, I had interviewed in the fall and Jerry Fulton was the head of recruiting at Motorola at the time, he may still be at Motorola, he may be in Austin, Texas is where he was last time I knew him. In any event, he came there in the fall and I signed up to interview at Motorola. You had to have a 3.3 or above grade point average and there weren't any on the list. University of Arizona's a tough school. I happened to be there because I started out as a junior and they found my grades right from there and I had a lot of A's. So anyhow, Jerry says I've got a job for you and we're looking for people like you. You've got experience and you're doing well in school, that's good, you keep up your grades, we've got a job for you.
RW: So how did you get involved with the 6800?
WM: Well I wanted to work for a leader, so what happened is, I got the job at Motorola after being turned down. Motorola turned me down first and I talked to Jerry Fulton and I said I want to work there. So he sent me a whatever. He sent me a letter that said I was hired. At Motorola they have 4...
RW: Dear John.
WM: ...I first got the Dear John and then I got the acceptance. Meanwhile I had turned down Martin, Marietta and NCR, they both wanted me to work. NCR in Rancho Bernardo, I turned them down thinking I was going to get this job at Motorola. So I got the job at Motorola, and I don't know if you know about Motorola's training program, but they have the best training program I can think of. You get 3 months in 4 different areas in their business and you get to pick them. And my first 3 months was in applications engineering where they were doing some of the specifications for, believe it or not, microprocessors. They hadn't started that yet though, but I did the flow chart for the 6860 modem and I worked on some of the original design ideas of the 6800 while I was in the applications group. Then I switched to this - to the circuit design group following the modem chip into the circuit design group and I worked there for three months. Then I worked in MOS - in bipolar processing. I designed ECL process called MECO Motorola ECL N for the Nth, they had different 10K and other product lines. This was a triple diffused bipolar process where they diffused the collector then the base and then the emitter into the base and so it was an interesting process. I simulated that on a computer for the first time at Motorola. And so I...
RW: Now this is way before, way before computer aided design.
WM: That's right. And what they had was the James Dunkley cookbook and they were using slide rules, believe it or not at the time, the Hewlett Packard calculator wasn't out.
RW: I've used slide rules.
WM: That's right and that's what they do. And so what I did was I programmed their mainframe which was a 370, I think, which is the equivalent to an Apple II probably. In any event, and so the fourth rotation was in MOS marketing. So I got 4 different places to work when I was - when I got off the training program, I could work in those 4 places plus bipolar ECL. I selected the circuit design group, and that's how I got on the 6800 program.
RW: Let's - well, so you went to Motorola.
WM: Right. Yes, I got a job at Motorola. I went through their training program where I worked in applications, circuit design, process design and MOS - I mean in marketing.
RW: You went through that, now how did that end up?
WM: How that ended up is the marketing team wanted me to work in the circuit design team because they never had a chip that worked. So they figured because I did the spreadsheets for them. That's right. The marketing team practically insisted that I work in the circuit design group at which point that was not what you call politically a good thing to do.
RW: So what do you got here?
WM: Well what I've got here is the chip - my first chip. This one right here is the PIA, the Motorola 6820 PIA and that one was 135 mils by 137 mils and that right there is the first integrated IO chip in the world, some of the first patents. I brought some of the patents along and my patent on this set the standard for patents for what you call the topology - the topology patent. I don't know if I brought it along but I have a patent on that.
RW: Well let's see all this stuff here if we are on...
WM: Yeah, this one right here is the topology patent.
RW: We're on Stanford TV.
WM: ...and that's the patent. And this patent has been the - what would you call it - a milestone kind of a patent which other companies have looked at on how to patent topology. This was before the mask work, okay, and this gives you 17 years coverage. A mask work is 10 years. So this patent right here was issued in July 6, 1976 while I was at MOS Technology. I went to MOS Technology.
RW: Well I have to tell this story. I have to tell you a story since we're on that intellectual property. Motorola wasn't too hip on that.
WM: Hip on intellectual property?
RW: On intellectual property. And when we started LSI Logic in 1981 we decided to copy the, you know, the people wanted the second source for the macro logic ECL array. Yeah. We went to Motorola and they said fuck you and so we bought, got a copy. We got one of the releases and there was not a copyright or release on it, there was nothing on it. It had - so we just copied it directly and we even decided since they didn't add any - a trademark to macro logic. We called ours macro logic, so, so much for Motorola.
WM: Right. So anyway, I worked on the 6800 and I worked on the ACIA, I worked on the 6820. This was my chip. The 6820 IO device required my understanding the microprocessor, the RAM and the ROM and the IO interfaced with card readers at that time and switches and solenoids through Darlington transistors. So I worked on the - my circuits and I evaluated the process control monitor that controlled the process for all of the microprocessor products. I designed the process control monitor before I worked on these. I worked on Motorola standard cell library back in 1960 - 1972. I - I'm the one that entered in and they used to call them the Local Logic Center in Boston, that's right, it was the Local Logic Center in Boston that used these standard cell libraries. We had 6 different libraries.
RW: Now after all your success at Motorola, you left.
WM: I left.
RW: With a group.
WM: That's right. Left with a group and this is the group. That group right there is the group and this is Will Mathis, this is myself, this is Rod Orgle, Ray Hirt, Chuck Peddle, Harry Bock, and Mike James, and this is Sid. She wasn't from Motorola, and this is Terry Holt. So all of these people except for Sid, who worked at Motorola by the way, or has worked, she bought my car from me after she moved to Arizona, but anyhow, we left Motorola individually but we worked on the 6502. And then, Motorola sued us, right here. Right there, now the date on the Electronics News is November 3, 1975. November 3, 1975, this right here, this picture is in August 25, 1975. We left Motorola in August and the start date at MOS Technology was August 19, 1974. Now if anyone is familiar with the design times in those days, our official start date was one week before this picture was taken. And the Westcon - the Westcon show is where we unveiled the 6502 and this ad right here is the ad that was placed and it even says - what does it say here? Try either product at Westcon booth 1010 in September and this advertisement was in Electronic Engineering Times September 8, 1975
RW: Now so did you take intellectual property with you?
WM: No, we have a new design is what it was. It was a brand new design.
RW: Key question. Okay, all right.
WM: Yeah, the difference - let me explain that. Let's get on record on saying that. Motorola, when I designed the process control monitor at Motorola, I did something unusual. For the first time an engine - the - I think all the process control monitors may have been designed by the process engineers. This is the first time that a circuit designer designed the process control monitor. And what I did when I designed that is I designed not only the enhancement mode process but also depletion mode process. If you look at the 8080, the original 8080, 4004 that started the microprocessor business at Intel, 4004, the 4040, the 8080, the 6800, was the first five volt only microprocessor and Motorola has a patent on that. Five-volt only microprocessor. That's the claim. Intel's was plus 12, minus 12 and five volts. The depletion load would allow us to design much easier, single power supplied microprocessors, but Motorola didn't want to use that technology. They did not want to use it and they wouldn't even process my depletion load mask for months after I had it. When we left in August of 1975, I started there in June, actually, June 14, 1971 is when I started. I left approximately August of, well it was in August of 1975. So I worked there what, three, that's four, four years. No I'm sorry, '74, August 19 of 1974.
RW: So you guys all went to do GI?
WM: No, MOS Technology in Valley Forge Corporate Center in Norristown. So this chip - the 6502 is in here. This chip was depletion load designed. Motorola didn't have any depletion load design. If you look at the architecture of the 6502, gosh, I guess I have that picture here someplace. This 65 - this is a original 6502 NMOS microprocessor. It's totally different instruction set. The only thing that was compatible is the pin out. All of the instructions were different. The way we did the instruction decode was different. All of the registers are different. Most of the addressing modes are different. So Motorola had no claim on this except for some basic patents, and those basic patents are even called out in this thing here that has to do with charged MOS Technology with patent infringement and unfair competition. And their complaints were focused on patents dealing with methods and apparatuses describing germanium and silicon wafers and breaking of wafers into dikes. It doesn't have to do with microprocessors because they didn't have a claim on it.
RW: Dumb. Dumb.
WM: Yeah, but it certainly slowed us down. And if you look at this ad, here's something interesting. You've heard of 6502, right? How many of you've heard of the 6501? There was a 6501.
RW: Yeah, and they made you give that up. Is that right?
WM: Right, that was the pin compatible. It says it's pin compatible with the 6800. Now this right here, this is an interesting thing right here. I didn't even realize that until I'm looking at it right now. This has similar to the PDP 11, Motorola 6800 is similar to the PDP 8, okay, check it out. That's where the 8 came from. Did you know that?
WM: That's where it came from, so the people that were working on defining the 6800 were going to ASU in computer science and learning about the PDP 8 as a mini computer trying to emulate its instruction set and we went after the PDP 11, far more powerful.
RW: Which was the PDP 8 was the first really mini computer, right?
WM: Right. And so we went after a more powerful system, the PDP 11. So the 6501 was removed from the marketplace as part of the settlement of the Motorola lawsuit. But the 6502 integrated the clock generator. So it's a single-phase clock and that was my - I was the project engineer of the 6502; my friend Rod Orgle, another pioneer in this industry was the project engineer of the 6501. We kind of split it up that way. We made a bet and said who's going to have the highest volume and Rod says there's no question. Following Motorola's marketing the 6501 will surpass your design and yours won't even have a chance. And I said, well that's interesting. I think technology might win out. Motorola has removed his project. He lost the bet.
RW: That is amazing. That is amazing.
WM: So I've got a 6501 in here in my collection.
RW: Now, you then went to ICE?
WM: Right. When I was at MOS Technology I had been designing chips without the use of a computer. I didn't sim - we couldn't simulate. We didn't have a logic simulation package.
RW: That's a little unusual.
WM: A little unusual is right. They cut rubies how they made the maps. Now we went from Motorola that had a large budget for this kind of stuff. They had a pattern generation system at Motorola. We got - we obsolete ruby lift before we left them at Motorola. We had to go back and design without a computer. So when I went to - I had planned then to be able to design chips without a computer and I wanted to become - I wanted to start a design company called the Western Design Center and I was going to found it on July 4, 1976. That's when I was going to found it.
RW: The 4th of July.
WM: That's right, and that's the bicentennial. The wagon trains that came in from the southwest in the Valley Forge that year and I was there handing him sandwiches because they were hungry after riding.
RW: All right. Okay.
WM: But what happened was I at that point, MOS Technology was going bankrupt. The 6502 although became used couldn't support the company's needs. And Commodore ended up buying a bunch of calculator chips and then burying the company and then buying the company from its founders at which point I...
RW: And Synertech went under.
WM: No, they didn't go under until later. So what happened then was we had, in order to get 6502 recognized in the industry, we licensed Rockwell and Synertech, second sources from that stage. And after Commodore took over the company, I didn't - they didn't want to do any more microprocessors; they wanted to do game computers, that's what they wanted to do and they wanted to do something that was competitive with Atari. And so I left there and went to ICE as a consultant hoping that I could design chips again. And ICE, I worked there for a year, when Jack Tramiel, the founder of Commodore wanted to hire me back to help him out with a calculator project, which is this thing right here. Before I depart from something though, this right here is the tester that tested all of the first year and a half of every product manufactured in the 6502-product line. The 6502 would plug into here. This is a five megahertz 6502 and the date code on it I think is 1976 or 1975.
RW: Well, testers are these huge machines that cost millions of bucks.
WM: We couldn't afford them at MOS Technology. See this connector right here, you see this circuitry, that's interface to a Teletype. And that's a chip - another chip I designed there. That's the Teletype input monitor, that's a 1K ROM...
RW: You mean this replaces this huge machine?
WM: This was replaced by a Century, a Fairchild Century System.
WM: That's right. This right here is page 0 and page 1 of ECL RAM. This tester - I had microprocessors in 1976 running at ten megahertz in this socket. Ten megahertz, that's five million instructions per second. I was going to send this into Ripley's Believe It Or Not because I think we would have had a world record. Not Ripley's Believe It Or Not, who is the one with the records?
RW: Well send it to somebody.
WM: Somebody, but anyhow, this had the two pages on it. You'd load the test program. This is data log and everything. I designed this as a technician, but I wasn't a technician, I was an engineer there. But this right here tested all the 6502s that Woznyak bought for the Apple II.
RW: Utterly incredible because you know the size of the Century machine, right, tester? And I was involved with the design of that and it's a big machine. I mean it takes up a room.
WM: Right. They were three quarters of a million dollars. This thing - we - when we wanted to sell two megahertz chips we run it four megahertz. When we wanted to sell one megahertz chips we'd tell them to test them at one. That's right, that's how we did it. No parametric tests whatsoever.
RW: That is fabulous. That is fabulous. This is going to be a highlight I think of this interview.
WM: I got that after they obsolete this, they gave it to me.
RW: That's fabulous. I actually also have from some of the early microprocessor people, they also have, you know, some of these things themselves. Okay.
WM: Now this was at MOS Technology. And then you said ICE. I went there.
RW: You went there for a while.
WM: I reverse engineered about every microprocessor in the business...
RW: ...you fooled around.
RW: You fooled aroune at ICE.
WM: ...wanted to get back into design, so I got back into design. And I started a little company called the Western Design Center. And the first project I did was copied. We reverse engineered and designed - redesigned or what do you call that? Reverse engineering and - in any event, it had the same function when the dust cleared. LC5K3 is what it was called. Toshiba had a five function calculator and why I - Jack Tramel wanted me to get them back into the calculator business because of PMOS product line had too much power and they had to pay high prices for the Japanese CMOS calculator chips. And they had a factory in Southern California called Frontier I think, yeah, Frontier. And so I designed a calculator chip and then Jack Tramel got the - he called it the Japanese price, which was one half the U.S. price. This right here is the only 64-bit microprocessor in captivity in 19 - this was in 1979 - 19, no, I started in '78. This was in 1979-1980, sixty four-bit microprocessor for scientific calculating functions and still works. This is the only, that I'm aware of, single transistor non-aligned, metal gate, single transistor dynamic RAM is in there. I used the balance or not the balance bit line, but well it's the balance bit line kind of a dynamic RAM sense amp. In any event, that right there, that little chip in here could do four-bit operations, eight-bit all the way up to 64-bit in one op code. So this little, that little chip right there was a scientific calculator that was probably about 50 percent smaller than the Japanese serial calculator.
RW: Well Jack Tramel was a piece of work, is that right?
WM: Well, he, you know, at 9, I don't know if he escaped or that's when the war ended, but he was in Auschwitz prison camp. Yeah, so he, he had survived Auschwitz.
RW: That's what bended him.
WM: Well, you know, he really - his comment from time to time was business is like war. And he put more companies out of business than probably anyone in the electronics industry, with great pride. He put me into business. I figured if I could survive with Jack Tramel for two years, I could survive anywhere.
RW: I actually dated one of her - one of his people.
WM: So, you know, we just talked a lot about history, right? The last thing we talked about was in 1980, '80, right, that's fifteen years ago.
RW: Okay, what's new?
WM: Well what's new, between 1980 there was another - another chip that came out. We did the CMOS 6502. The CMOS 6502 was in the Apple II C and then the Apple II E was changed over. Then there was the 816, which most companies, most people might not even know, it was in the Apple II GS. It's the first microprocessor that all the software ran from its 8-bit predecessor on a 16-bit with no changes. Now we have that with the Pentium right?
RW: Yeah, well, you know, the whole thing with the Pentium was, that's another story, I'll tell you about that some other time.
WM: Right. But the 816 was the first 16-bit microprocessor that could be plugged into the 8-bit socket. That's why they used it at Apple for the Apple II GS.
RW: So you've got the prototype number one.
WM: That's right. This is my own computer. So what I have here is taking the same microprocessor - did you know that the Super Nintendo used the 816?
WM: Did you know that the 816 is probably the largest selling 16-bit microprocessor of all time?
WM: Didn't know that because most people don't know the Western Design Center or what we're doing market wise. So do you know that the Franklin - I have a Franklin digital book system around here someplace in my briefcase, but anyhow, the Franklin digital book system uses the 816 in it. Best kept secret. In my brochure I show you some of the logos of that and here is a brand new system. I've sold one of these. I've sold one of these systems since advertising it more than a year ago. But before I forget, here's the Franklin digital book system. The books plug into the back. I just happen to have the dictionary here and I've got the Bible. You pop them out like this and if you want an encyclopedia, you pop it in this way. This kind of a product, okay, is something that amplifies the value in this product the value of words. This is a well selling product. This product right here is also about words; it's 40 columns, 16 lines. You can do email with this system. This is a 40 column credit verification printer, okay, the Seiko, Epson printer. This is a standard keyboard except the controller we've replaced inside of this box with a low power microprocessor. This has in it NiCAD batteries that are charged when you plug it in the wall power supply. We can plug in a Sega controller to control menus on the screen or do some fun, perhaps some games with it. This has four serial ports on it and this is the CPU module. Okay, the four serial port hook to a PC for one, for a host processor, if you want to, a modem, a printer and a keyboard. All of them use this low cost connector. All of them have the same serial interface. So what I'm doing in introducing this system so anyone can build it. Just like my microprocessors. I didn't mention that. There are more then 40 companies that are under license right now to build my microprocessor. You probably didn't know that. Rockwell, Hyundai, NCR part of AT and T before Hyundai built them, but I licensed Hyundai individually, Seiko, Rico, Rico builds the chip sets for Nintendo, ITT in Germany, the Swatch organization, these kind of companies. So what my plan is is to have a low cost, low power system like this for communicating words. So while the world is looking at the Pentium and the Pentium Pro, I'm looking at the other end.
RW: Well thank you.
WM: You're welcome.