Synertek, Inc. was an American semiconductor manufacturer founded in 1973. The initial founding group consisted of Bob Schreiner (from Fairchild), Dan Floyd, Zvi Grinfas, Jack Balletto, and Gunnar Wetlesen.[citation needed] The manufacturing technology was MOS/LSI. Initial products included custom designed devices, as well as a line of standard products (static RAMs, ROMs, dynamic and static shift registers) and then, sometime before 1979, second sourced versions of MOS Technology's successful 6502 8-bit microprocessor, and the (less successful) Philips/Signetics 2650 processor and Zilog Z8 microcomputer. In 1982, Synertek became the second source for Digital Equipment Corporation's DCT11 microprocessor.[1]

Synertek SYM-1 single board computer

Major customers included Atari[2] (for its video game product line, their biggest customer at a certain point in time) and Apple Computer[3] (for its Apple II and Apple III computers). In the days leading up to the 1977 West Coast Computer Faire, Steve Wozniak chose to use a Synertek ROM chip for the Apple II, which was revealed at the event, after a chip from American Microsystems, Inc. didn't arrive on time.[4]

Synertek acquired Microcomputer Associates, Incorporated, consisting of engineers Manny Lemas and Ray Holt, after which it was renamed Synertek Systems, Inc. and established as a subsidiary. In 1978, Synertek Systems released a 6502-based single board computer/evaluation kit called the SYM-1, a derivative of MOS Technology/Commodore Semiconductor Group's KIM-1.

Synertek's semiconductor fabrication plant in Santa Clara, California operated from 1974 to 1985. Sometime after 1979, Synertek was acquired by Honeywell and set up as a subsidiary. Later, around 1983, construction began for an additional manufacturing facility in Santa Cruz, California. There was Superfund attention to pollution at the Synertek factory site.[5][6] When market conditions deteriorated, primarily because of business downturns at Atari, work was stopped at the Santa Cruz facility and it was later sold. Honeywell shut down operations at Synertek in 1985 and assets were sold off.


  1. ^ T-11 Engineering Specification (PDF), March 24, 1982
  2. ^ Walker, Rob; Tersini, Nancy (1992). "25. VLSI-Virtually LSI". Silicon Destiny: The Story of Application Specific Integrated Circuits and LSI Logic Corporation. Walker Research Associates. pp. 184–185. ISBN 0963265407.
  3. ^ "The Amp Hour Podcast#241 – An Interview With Chuck Peddle". 2015-03-19. Retrieved 2015-04-04.
  4. ^ Moritz, Michael (January 22, 2010). The Return to the Little Kingdom: Steve Jobs, The Creation of Apple and How it Changed the World. Gerald Duckworth & Co. ISBN 978-0-7156-4021-0.
  5. ^ "ATSDR-PHA-HC-Synertek-toc". 1992-04-29. Retrieved 2013-12-24.
  6. ^ "NPL Site Narrative for Synertek, Inc. (Building 1)". 1989-10-04. Retrieved 2013-12-24.

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