Former Ferranti Electrical Engineer [Martin Mallinson] recent Published a documentary from the 1980s on YouTube (See the video below the break time). It shows in detail the semiconductor factory in Gem Mill outside Manchester, UK, which can be seen in the ghostly eyes of the founder Dr. Sebastian Ferranti. This dramatic installation sometimes seems a bit silly, but this documentary still provides a very interesting view of the industry at the time.
The Gem Mill factory was one of the earliest semiconductor factories, and was operated by Ferranti in the 1950s. In 1959, they manufactured the first European silicon diode and commercialized the uncommitted logic array (ULA) in the early 1980s. The most famous is that Ferranti ULA was used in many home computers at the time, such as Sinclair ZX81 and ZX Spectrum, Acorn Electron and BBC Micro. Most of the factory tours in this documentary describe the ULA process, and they imply that (unnamed) competitors are developing a more advanced technology-FPGA? CPLD?
In a series of events comparable to mystery novels, Ferranti finally closed its doors in 1993 after acquiring a company involved in secret agencies and illegal arms sales (see Ferranti on Wikipedia). But through a series of acquisitions over the years, many of their products have a longer lifespan than the company and are sold under the labels of future owners Plessey, Zetex, and Diodes, Inc.. The Gem Mill factory was decommissioned in 2004 and was demolished in 2008 and replaced by a residential area.
thanks [Cogidubnus Rex] Let us notice this video. Several other Ferranti documentaries from the same era are also included under the break.