The 6800 is an 8-bit microprocessor designed and first manufactured by Motorola in 1974. The MC6800 microprocessor was part of the M6800 Microcomputer System that included serial and parallel interface ICs, RAM, ROM and other support chips. A significant design feature was that the M6800 family of ICs required only a single five-volt power supply at a time when most other microprocessors required three voltages; the M6800 Microcomputer System was announced in March 1974 and was in full production by the end of that year. The 6800 has a 16-bit address bus that can directly access 64 kB of memory and an 8-bit bi-directional data bus, it has 72 instructions with seven addressing modes for a total of 197 opcodes. The original MC6800 could have a clock frequency of up to 1 MHz. Versions had a maximum clock frequency of 2 MHz. In addition to the ICs, Motorola provided a complete assembly language development system; the customer could use the software on a remote timeshare computer or on an in-house minicomputer system.
The Motorola EXORciser was a desktop computer built with the M6800 ICs that could be used for prototyping and debugging new designs. An expansive documentation package included datasheets on all ICs, two assembly language programming manuals, a 700-page application manual that showed how to design a point-of-sale computer terminal; the 6800 was popular in computer peripherals, test equipment applications and point-of-sale terminals. It found use in arcade games and pinball machines; the MC6802, introduced in 1977, included an internal clock oscillator on chip. The MC6801 and MC6805 included RAM, ROM and I/O on a single chip and were popular in automotive applications. Galvin Manufacturing Corporation was founded in 1928, they began commercial production of transistors at a new US$1.5 million facility in Phoenix in 1955. Motorola's transistors and integrated circuits were used in-house for their communication, military and consumer products and they were sold to other companies. By 1973 the Semiconductor Products Division had sales of $419 million and was the second largest semiconductor company after Texas Instruments.
In the early 1970s Motorola started a project that developed their first microprocessor, the MC6800. This was followed by single-chip microcontrollers such as the MC6801 and MC6805. Motorola did not chronicle the development of the 6800 microprocessor the way that Intel did for their microprocessors. In 2008 the Computer History Museum interviewed four members of the 6800 microprocessor design team, their recollections can be confirmed and expanded by magazine and journal articles written at the time. The Motorola microprocessor project began in 1971 with a team composed of designer Tom Bennett, engineering director Jeff LaVell, product marketer Link Young and systems designers Mike Wiles, Gene Schriber and Doug Powell, they were all located in Arizona. By the time the project was finished, Bennett had 17 chip designers and layout people working on five chips. LaVell had 15 to 20 system engineers and there was another applications engineering group of similar size. Tom Bennett had a background in industrial controls and had worked for Victor Comptometer in the 1960s designing the first electronic calculator to use MOS ICs, the Victor 3900.
In May 1969 Ted Hoff showed Bennett early diagrams of the Intel 4004 to see if it would meet their calculator needs. Bennett joined Motorola in 1971 to design calculator ICs, he was soon assigned as the chief architect of the microprocessor project that produced the 6800. Others have taken credit for designing the 6800. In September 1975 Robert H. Cushman, EDN magazine's microprocessor editor, interviewed Chuck Peddle about MOS Technology's new 6502 microprocessor. Cushman asked "Tom Bennett, master architect of the 6800", to comment about this new competitor. After the 6800 project Bennett worked on automotive applications and Motorola became a major supplier of microprocessors used in automobiles. Jeff LaVell worked in the computer industry marketing organization. Jeff had worked for Collins Radio on their C8500 computer, built with small scale ECL ICs. In 1971, he led a group that examined the needs of their existing customers such as Hewlett-Packard, National Cash Register, Control Data Corporation, Digital Equipment Corporation.
They would study the customer's products and try to identify functions that could be implemented in larger integrated circuits at a lower cost. The result of the survey was a family of 15 building blocks; some of these blocks were implemented in the initial M6800 release and more were added over the next few years. To evaluate the 6800 architecture while the chip was being designed, Jeff's team built an equivalent circuit using 451 small scale TTL ICs on five 10 by 10 inch circuit boards, they reduced this to 114 ICs on one board by using ROMs and MSI logic devices. John Buchanan was a memory designer at Motorola when Bennett asked him to design a voltage doubler for the 6800. Typical n-channel MOS IC's required three power supplies: -5 volts, +5 volts and +12 volts; the M6800 family was to use +5 volts. It was easy to eliminate the -5 volt supply but the MOS transistors needed a supply of 10 to 12 volts; this on-chip voltage doubler would supply the higher voltage and Buchanan did the circuit design and layout for the 6800 microprocessor.
He received patents on the 6800 chip layout. Rod Orgill assisted Buchanan with 6800 chip layout. Orgill would design the MOS Technology 6501 microprocessor, socket compatible with the 6800
A light-emitting diode is a semiconductor light source that emits light when current flows through it. Electrons in the semiconductor recombine with electron holes, releasing energy in the form of photons; this effect is called electroluminescence. The color of the light is determined by the energy required for electrons to cross the band gap of the semiconductor. White light is obtained by using multiple semiconductors or a layer of light-emitting phosphor on the semiconductor device. Appearing as practical electronic components in 1962, the earliest LEDs emitted low-intensity infrared light. Infrared LEDs are used in remote-control circuits, such as those used with a wide variety of consumer electronics; the first visible-light LEDs were of low intensity and limited to red. Modern LEDs are available across the visible and infrared wavelengths, with high light output. Early LEDs were used as indicator lamps, replacing small incandescent bulbs, in seven-segment displays. Recent developments have produced white-light LEDs suitable for room lighting.
LEDs have led to new displays and sensors, while their high switching rates are useful in advanced communications technology. LEDs have many advantages over incandescent light sources, including lower energy consumption, longer lifetime, improved physical robustness, smaller size, faster switching. Light-emitting diodes are used in applications as diverse as aviation lighting, automotive headlamps, general lighting, traffic signals, camera flashes, lighted wallpaper and medical devices. Unlike a laser, the color of light emitted from an LED is neither coherent nor monochromatic, but the spectrum is narrow with respect to human vision, functionally monochromatic. Electroluminescence as a phenomenon was discovered in 1907 by the British experimenter H. J. Round of Marconi Labs, using a crystal of silicon carbide and a cat's-whisker detector. Russian inventor Oleg Losev reported creation of the first LED in 1927, his research was distributed in Soviet and British scientific journals, but no practical use was made of the discovery for several decades.
In 1936, Georges Destriau observed that electroluminescence could be produced when zinc sulphide powder is suspended in an insulator and an alternating electrical field is applied to it. In his publications, Destriau referred to luminescence as Losev-Light. Destriau worked in the laboratories of Madame Marie Curie an early pioneer in the field of luminescence with research on radium. Hungarian Zoltán Bay together with György Szigeti pre-empted led lighting in Hungary in 1939 by patented a lighting device based on SiC, with an option on boron carbide, that emmitted white, yellowish white, or greenish white depending on impurities present. Kurt Lehovec, Carl Accardo, Edward Jamgochian explained these first light-emitting diodes in 1951 using an apparatus employing SiC crystals with a current source of battery or pulse generator and with a comparison to a variant, crystal in 1953. Rubin Braunstein of the Radio Corporation of America reported on infrared emission from gallium arsenide and other semiconductor alloys in 1955.
Braunstein observed infrared emission generated by simple diode structures using gallium antimonide, GaAs, indium phosphide, silicon-germanium alloys at room temperature and at 77 kelvins. In 1957, Braunstein further demonstrated that the rudimentary devices could be used for non-radio communication across a short distance; as noted by Kroemer Braunstein "…had set up a simple optical communications link: Music emerging from a record player was used via suitable electronics to modulate the forward current of a GaAs diode. The emitted light was detected by a PbS diode some distance away; this signal was played back by a loudspeaker. Intercepting the beam stopped the music. We had a great deal of fun playing with this setup." This setup presaged the use of LEDs for optical communication applications. In September 1961, while working at Texas Instruments in Dallas, James R. Biard and Gary Pittman discovered near-infrared light emission from a tunnel diode they had constructed on a GaAs substrate. By October 1961, they had demonstrated efficient light emission and signal coupling between a GaAs p-n junction light emitter and an electrically isolated semiconductor photodetector.
On August 8, 1962, Biard and Pittman filed a patent titled "Semiconductor Radiant Diode" based on their findings, which described a zinc-diffused p–n junction LED with a spaced cathode contact to allow for efficient emission of infrared light under forward bias. After establishing the priority of their work based on engineering notebooks predating submissions from G. E. Labs, RCA Research Labs, IBM Research Labs, Bell Labs, Lincoln Lab at MIT, the U. S. patent office issued the two inventors the patent for the GaAs infrared light-emitting diode, the first practical LED. After filing the patent, Texas Instruments began a project to manufacture infrared diodes. In October 1962, TI announced the first commercial LED product, which employed a pure GaAs crystal to emit an 890 nm light output. In October 1963, TI announced the first commercial hemispherical LED, the SNX-110; the first visible-spectrum LED was developed in 1962 by Nick Holonyak, Jr. while working at General Electric. Holonyak first reported his LED in the journal Applied Physics Letters on December 1, 1962.
M. George Craford, a former graduate student of Holonyak, invented the first yellow LED and improved the brightness of red and red-orange LEDs by a factor of ten in 1972. In 1976, T. P. Pearsall created the first high-brightness, high-efficiency LEDs for optical fiber telecommunicat
The Atari 2600 sold as the Atari Video Computer System or Atari VCS until November 1982, is a home video game console from Atari, Inc. Released on September 11, 1977, it is credited with popularizing the use of microprocessor-based hardware and games contained on ROM cartridges, a format first used with the Fairchild Channel F in 1976; this contrasts with the older model of having dedicated hardware that could play only those games that were physically built into the unit. The 2600 was bundled with two joystick controllers, a conjoined pair of paddle controllers, a game cartridge: Combat, Pac-Man; the Atari VCS launched with nine low-resolution games in 2 KiB cartridges. Disagreements over sales potential of the VCS led Bushnell to leave Atari in 1978; the system found its killer app with the port of Taito's Space Invaders in 1980 and became successful, leading to the creation of third-party game developers, notably Activision, competition from other home console makers such as Mattel and Coleco.
By the end of its primary lifecycle in 1983-4, the 2600 was home to games with much more advanced visuals and gameplay than the system was designed for, such as scrolling platform adventure Pitfall II: Lost Caverns, which uses four times the ROM of the launch titles. Atari invested in two games for the 2600, Pac-Man and E. T. the Extra-Terrestrial, that would become commercial failures and contributed to the video game crash of 1983. The 2600 was shelved as the industry recovered, while Warner sold off the home console division of Atari to Commodore CEO Jack Tramiel; the new Atari Corporation under Tramiel re-released a lower-cost version of the 2600 in 1986, as well as the Atari 7800, backwards compatible with the 2600. Atari dropped support for the Atari 2600 on January 1, 1992, after an estimated 30 million units were sold over the system's lifetime. Atari was founded by Nolan Bushnell and Ted Dabney of which their first major product was Pong in 1972, one of the first successful arcade games.
It transitioned Pong into a home console version by 1975, helping to pit Atari against Magnavox, the only other major competitor for home consoles at the time. Bushnell recognized that this approach to home consoles has a drawback in that because it used custom logic burned onto the circuit board, it was limited to only one game and any variants, would require consumers to buy another console to play a different set of games. Further, while they could continue to take games they had created for arcade machines to home consoles, this development step cost at least US$100,000 and time to complete, once on the market, had only about a three-month shelf life before being outdated, making this a risky move. In 1974, Atari had acquired Cyan Engineering, an electronics company founded by Steve Mayer and Larry Emmons, both former colleagues of Bushnell and Dabney from Ampex, started Atari's Grass Valley Think Tank, where they were involved with coming up with new ideas for arcade games. Based on Bushnell's concern about single-game consoles, the Grass Valley team started working on how to achieve a home console with multi-game support.
Mayer and Emmons recognized that to achieve a home console with multiple game functionality, they would need newly-invented microprocessors within the console, but at that time, such microprocessors cost US$100–300, far outside the range that their market would support. In September 1975, Chuck Peddle of MOS Technology had created a low-cost replacement for the Motorola 6800, the MOS Technology 6502, which they introduced at the 1975 Wescon trade show in San Francisco. Mayer and Ron Milner attended the show, met with Peddle, invited Peddle to Cyan's headquarters to discuss using MOS's microprocessors for a game console. Mayer and Milner had been able to negotiate purchase of the 6502 chips for US$8 a piece, sufficient to begin development of a console. Through their discussions, Cyan and MOS decided that the better solution would be the MOS Technology 6507, a more restrictive but lower-cost version of the 6502. Cyan and MOS arranged to bring in Synertek, a semiconductor manufacturer whose co-founder, Bob Schreiner, was good friends with Peddle, to act as a second source for the 6507.
By December 1975, Atari hired Joe Decuir to help design the first prototype around the 6502, codenamed "Stella", the name of Decuir's bicycle. A second prototype had been completed by March 1976 with the help of Jay Miner, able to squeeze an entire wire wrap of equipment making up the Television Interface Adaptor, sending graphics and audio to the television display, into a single chip; the second prototype included the 6507, the TIA, a ROM cartridge slot and adapter, each cartridge holding a ROM image of a game. Believing that "Stella" would be a success, Bushnell acquired the entire Grass Valley Think Tank and relocated them into Atari's new headquarters in Sunnyvale, California by mid-1976, putting Steve Mayer in charge of the project. Bushnell feared that once this unit was released, competitors would try to copy it, preemptively made arrangements with all integrated chip manufacturers that had interest in the games market to deny sales to his competitors. Fairchild Semiconductor introduced its Fairchild Channel F home console in November 1976, which included ROM cartridge technology, beating Atari to the market.
The company lacked the funds to do so. Bushnell had considered taking Atari public but instead decided to sell the company to Warner Communications for US$28 million, subsequently Warner provided around US$100 million to Atari, allowing them to prioritize and fast-track Stella. By 1977, the product had advanced far enough to brand it as the "Atari Video Computer System" and enga
Allen-Bradley is the brand-name of a line of Factory Automation Equipment manufactured by Rockwell Automation. The company, with revenues of US $6.4 billion in 2013, manufactures programmable logic controllers, human-machine interfaces, safety components and systems, software and drive systems, motor control centers, systems of such products. Rockwell Automation provides asset-management services including repair and consulting. Rockwell Automation's headquarters is in Wisconsin; the Allen-Bradley Clock Tower is a Milwaukee landmark featuring the largest four-sided clock in the western hemisphere. The company was founded in 1903 as the Compression Rheostat Company by Dr. Stanton Allen and Lynde Bradley with an initial investment of $1,000. In 1910 the firm was renamed Allen-Bradley Company. In 1952 it opened a subsidiary in Galt, Canada, that employs over 1000 people. In 1985 a company record was set as the fiscal year ended with $1 billion in sales. In February 1985, Rockwell International purchased Allen-Bradley for $1.651 billion, the largest acquisition in Wisconsin history.
For all intents and purposes, Allen-Bradley took over Rockwell's industrial automation division. Rockwell moved its headquarters to Milwaukee. In 2002, when Rockwell split into two companies, Allen-Bradley followed the automation division into Rockwell Automation. AB.com Allen Bradley Rockwell Automation
The Commodore 64 known as the C64 or the CBM 64, is an 8-bit home computer introduced in January 1982 by Commodore International. It has been listed in the Guinness World Records as the highest-selling single computer model of all time, with independent estimates placing the number sold between 10 and 17 million units. Volume production started in early 1982, marketing in August for US$595. Preceded by the Commodore VIC-20 and Commodore PET, the C64 took its name from its 64 kilobytes of RAM. With support for multicolor sprites and a custom chip for waveform generation, the C64 could create superior visuals and audio compared to systems without such custom hardware; the C64 dominated the low-end computer market for most of the 1980s. For a substantial period, the C64 had between 30% and 40% share of the US market and two million units sold per year, outselling IBM PC compatibles, Apple computers, the Atari 8-bit family of computers. Sam Tramiel, a Atari president and the son of Commodore's founder, said in a 1989 interview, "When I was at Commodore we were building 400,000 C64s a month for a couple of years."
In the UK market, the C64 faced competition from the BBC Micro and the ZX Spectrum, but the C64 was still one of the two most popular computers in the UK. Part of the Commodore 64's success was its sale in regular retail stores instead of only electronics or computer hobbyist specialty stores. Commodore produced many of its parts in-house to control costs, including custom integrated circuit chips from MOS Technology, it has been compared to the Ford Model T automobile for its role in bringing a new technology to middle-class households via creative and affordable mass-production. 10,000 commercial software titles have been made for the Commodore 64 including development tools, office productivity applications, video games. C64 emulators allow anyone with a modern computer, or a compatible video game console, to run these programs today; the C64 is credited with popularizing the computer demoscene and is still used today by some computer hobbyists. In 2011, 17 years after it was taken off the market, research showed that brand recognition for the model was still at 87%.
In January 1981, MOS Technology, Inc. Commodore's integrated circuit design subsidiary, initiated a project to design the graphic and audio chips for a next generation video game console. Design work for the chips, named MOS Technology VIC-II and MOS Technology SID, was completed in November 1981. Commodore began a game console project that would use the new chips—called the Ultimax or the Commodore MAX Machine, engineered by Yash Terakura from Commodore Japan; this project was cancelled after just a few machines were manufactured for the Japanese market. At the same time, Robert "Bob" Russell and Robert "Bob" Yannes were critical of the current product line-up at Commodore, a continuation of the Commodore PET line aimed at business users. With the support of Al Charpentier and Charles Winterble, they proposed to Commodore CEO Jack Tramiel a true low-cost sequel to the VIC-20. Tramiel dictated. Although 64-Kbit dynamic random-access memory chips cost over US$100 at the time, he knew that DRAM prices were falling, would drop to an acceptable level before full production was reached.
The team was able to design the computer because, unlike most other home-computer companies, Commodore had its own semiconductor fab to produce test chips. The chips were complete by November, by which time Charpentier and Tramiel had decided to proceed with the new computer; the product was code named the VIC-40 as the successor to the popular VIC-20. The team that constructed it consisted of Yash Terakura, Shiraz Shivji, Bob Russell, Bob Yannes and David A. Ziembicki; the design and some sample software were finished in time for the show, after the team had worked tirelessly over both Thanksgiving and Christmas weekends. The machine used the same case, same-sized motherboard, same Commodore BASIC 2.0 in ROM as the VIC-20. BASIC served as the user interface shell and was available on startup at the READY prompt; when the product was to be presented, the VIC-40 product was renamed C64. The C64 made an impressive debut at the January 1982 Consumer Electronics Show, as recalled by Production Engineer David A. Ziembicki: "All we saw at our booth were Atari people with their mouths dropping open, saying,'How can you do that for $595?'"
The answer was vertical integration. Commodore had a reputation for announcing products that never appeared, so sought to ship the C64. Production began in spring 1982 and volume shipments began in August; the C64 faced a wide range of competing home computers, but with a lower price and more flexible hardware, it outsold many of its competitors. In the United States the greatest competitors were the Atari 8-bit 400, the Atari 800, the Apple II; the Atari 400 and 800 had been designed to accommodate stringent FCC emissions requirements and so were expensive to
The Intel 8080 was the second 8-bit microprocessor designed and manufactured by Intel and was released in April 1974. It is an extended and enhanced variant of the earlier 8008 design, although without binary compatibility; the initial specified clock frequency limit was 2 MHz, with common instructions using 4, 5, 7, 10, or 11 cycles this meant that it operated at a typical speed of a few hundred thousand instructions per second. A faster variant 8080A-1 became available with clock frequency limit up to 3.125 MHz. The 8080 requires two support chips to function in most applications, the i8224 clock generator/driver and the i8228 bus controller, it is implemented in NMOS using non-saturated enhancement mode transistors as loads therefore demanding a +12 V and a −5 V voltage in addition to the main TTL-compatible +5 V. Although earlier microprocessors were used for calculators, cash registers, computer terminals, industrial robots, other applications, the 8080 became one of the first widespread microprocessors.
Several factors contributed to its popularity: its 40-pin package made it easier to interface than the 18-pin 8008, made its data bus more efficient. It became the engine of the Altair 8800, subsequent S-100 bus personal computers, until it was replaced by the Z80 in this role, was the original target CPU for CP/M operating systems developed by Gary Kildall; the 8080 was successful enough that compatibility at the assembly language level became a design requirement for the 8086 when design for it was started in 1976. This means that the 8080 directly influenced the ubiquitous 32-bit and 64-bit x86 architectures of today; the Intel 8080 is the successor to the 8008. It uses the same basic instruction set and register model as the 8008 though it is not source-code compatible nor binary-compatible with its predecessor; every instruction in the 8008 has an equivalent instruction in the 8080. The 8080 adds a few 16-bit operations in its instruction set as well. Whereas the 8008 required the use of the HL register pair to indirectly access its 14-bit memory space, the 8080 added addressing modes to allow direct access to its full 16-bit memory space.
In addition, the internal 7-level push-down call stack of the 8008 was replaced by a dedicated 16-bit stack-pointer register. The 8080's large 40-pin DIP packaging permits it to provide a 16-bit address bus and an 8-bit data bus, allowing easy access to 64 KB of memory; the processor has seven 8-bit registers, where A is the primary 8-bit accumulator, the other six registers can be used as either individual 8-bit registers or as three 16-bit register pairs depending on the particular instruction. Some instructions enable the HL register pair to be used as a 16-bit accumulator, a pseudo-register M can be used anywhere that any other register can be used, referring to the memory address pointed to by the HL pair, it has a 16-bit stack pointer to memory, a 16-bit program counter. The processor maintains internal flag bits, which indicate the results of arithmetic and logical instructions; the flags are: Sign, set. Zero, set. Parity, set if the number of 1 bits in the result is even. Carry, set if the last addition operation resulted in a carry or if the last subtraction operation required a borrow Auxiliary carry, used for binary-coded decimal arithmetic.
The carry bit can be complemented by specific instructions. Conditional-branch instructions test the various flag status bits; the flags can be copied as a group to the accumulator. The A accumulator and the flags together are called program status word; as with many other 8-bit processors, all instructions are encoded for simplicity. Some of them are followed by one or two bytes of data, which can be an immediate operand, a memory address, or a port number. Like larger processors, it has automatic CALL and RET instructions for multi-level procedure calls and returns and instructions to save and restore any 16-bit register pair on the machine stack. There are eight one-byte call instructions for subroutines located at the fixed addresses 00h, 08h, 10h... 38h. These were intended to be supplied by external hardware in order to invoke a corresponding interrupt service routine, but were often employed as fast system calls; the most sophisticated command is XTHL, used for exchanging the register pair HL with the value stored at the address indicated by the stack pointer.
Most 8-bit operations can only be performed on the 8-bit accumulator. For 8-bit operations with two operands, the other operand can be either an immediate value, another 8-bit register, or a memory byte addressed by the 16-bit register pair HL. Direct copying is supported between any two 8-bit registers and between any 8-bit register and an HL-addressed memory byte. Due to the regular encoding of the MOV instruction, there are redundant codes to copy a reg
Atari SA is a French corporate and brand name owned by several entities since its inception in 1972 by Atari Interactive, a subsidiary of the French publisher Atari, SA. The original Atari, Inc. founded in Sunnyvale, California in 1972 by Nolan Bushnell and Ted Dabney, was a pioneer in arcade games, home video game consoles, home computers. The company's products, such as Pong and the Atari 2600, helped define the electronic entertainment industry from the 1970s to the mid-1980s. In 1984, as a result of the video game crash of 1983, the original Atari Inc. was split, the arcade division was turned into Atari Games Inc. Atari Games received the rights to use the logo and brand name with appended text "Games" on arcade games, as well as rights to the original 1972–1984 arcade hardware properties; the Atari Consumer Electronics Division properties were in turn sold to Jack Tramiel's Tramiel Technology Ltd. which renamed itself to Atari Corporation. In 1996, Atari Corporation reverse-merged with disk-drive manufacturer JT Storage, becoming a division within the company.
In 1998, Hasbro Interactive acquired all Atari Corporation related properties from JTS, creating a new subsidiary, Atari Interactive. Infogrames Entertainment bought Hasbro Interactive in 2001 and renamed it Infogrames Interactive, which intermittently published Atari branded titles. In 2003, it renamed the division Atari Interactive. Another IESA division, Infogrames Inc. changed its name to Atari Inc. the same year, licensing the Atari name and logo from its fellow subsidiary. In 2008, IESA completed its acquisition of Atari, Inc.'s outstanding stock, making it a wholly owned subsidiary. IESA renamed itself Atari, SA in 2009, it sought bankruptcy protection under French law in January 2013. In 1971, Nolan Bushnell and Ted Dabney founded a small engineering company, Syzygy Engineering, that designed and built Computer Space, the world's first commercially available arcade video game, for Nutting Associates. On June 27, 1972, the two incorporated Atari, Inc. and soon hired Al Alcorn as their first design engineer.
Bushnell asked Alcorn to produce an arcade version of the Magnavox Odyssey's Tennis game, which would be named Pong. While Bushnell incorporated Atari in June 1972, Syzygy Company was never formally incorporated. Before Atari's incorporation, Bushnell considered various terms from the game Go choosing atari, referencing a position in the game when a group of stones is imminently in danger of being taken by one's opponent. Atari was incorporated in the state of California on June 27, 1972. In 1973, Atari secretly spawned a competitor called Kee Games, headed by Nolan's next door neighbor Joe Keenan, to circumvent pinball distributors' insistence on exclusive distribution deals. Joe Keenan's management of the subsidiary led to him being promoted president of Atari that same year. In 1976, through Grass Valley, CA firm Cyan Engineering, started development of a flexible console, capable of playing the four existing Atari games; the result was the Atari Video Computer System, or AVCS. The introductory price of $199 included a console, two joysticks, a pair of paddles, the Combat game cartridge.
Bushnell knew he had another potential hit on his hands but bringing the machine to market would be expensive. Looking for outside investors, Bushnell sold Atari to Warner Communications in 1976 for an estimated $28–32 million, using part of the money to buy the Folgers Mansion. Nolan continued to have disagreements with Warner Management over the direction of the company, the discontinuation of the pinball division, most the notion of discontinuing the 2600. In 1978, Kee Games was disbanded. In December of that year, Nolan Bushnell was fired following an argument with Manny Gerard. "e started fighting like dogs. And the wheels came off that fall. Warner claimed they fired me," recalled Bushnell. "I say I quit. It was a mutual separation."Development of a successor to the 2600 started as soon as it shipped. The original team estimated. Mid-way into their effort the home computer revolution took off, leading to the addition of a keyboard and features to produce the Atari 800 and its smaller sibling, the 400.
The new machines had some success when they became available in quantity in 1980. From this platform Atari released their next-generation game console in 1982, the Atari 5200, it was unsuccessful due to incompatibility with the 2600 game library, a small quantity of dedicated games, notoriously unreliable controllers. Under Warner and Atari's chairman and CEO, Raymond Kassar, the company achieved its greatest success, selling millions of 2600s and computers. At its peak, Atari accounted for a third of Warner's annual income and was the fastest growing company in US history at the time. However, it ran into problems in the early 1980s as interference from the New York-based Warner management affected daily operations, its home computer, video game console, arcade divisions operated independently and cooperated. Faced with fierce competition and price wars in the game console and home computer markets, Atari was never able to duplicate the success of the 2600; these problems were followed by the video game crash of 1983, with losses that totaled more than $500 million.
Warner's stock price slid from $60 to $20, the company began searching for a buyer for its troubled division. In 1983, Ray Kassar had res