History
The following is © http://www.antiquetech.com/companies/Weitek.htm
Founded by Chi-Shin Wang, Edmund Sun, and Godfrey Fong (President and CEO) in 1981 in San Jose. All founders immigrated from China.
Weitek specialized in high-performance digital semiconductor components and systems for the computer and workstation industries. Weitek floating point units have been used with Inmos Transputers (Floating Point System T-series Hypercube, 1986), National Semiconductor NS32032's (Encore Multimax, 1986), and Intel 386's (1988). The 2048 was used in the Thinking Machines Corporations CM-2 Connection Machine. Weitek produced floating point processors for HP. HP allowed to Weitek to use it's facilities to make chip for themselves and for their competition.

Weitek was founded Jan 1981 with an initial investment of $1M. Second round financing brought another $3M. Weitek's promotional material indicates a cash balance of $1.5M and profits in the last three quarters. The founding CEO, Dr. Edmund Sun is now technical staff and new CEO Dr. Arthur Collmeyer minds the business.


The following is © http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weitek
Weitek Corporation was a former chip-design company that originally concentrated on floating point units for a number of commercial CPU designs. During the early to mid-1980s, Weitek designs could be found powering a number of high-end designs and parallel processing supercomputers. During the early 1990s most CPU designs started including FPUs built-into the system, basically "for free", and Weitek made a series of attempts to break into the general CPU and graphics driver market. By 1995 the company was almost dead, and in late 1996 the remains were purchased by Rockwells Semiconductor Systems and quickly disappeared.

Weitek started in 1981, when several Intel engineers left to form their own company. Weitek developed math coprocessors for several systems, including those based on the Motorola 68000 family, the 1064, and Intel based 286-based systems, the 1067. Intel's own FPU design for the 386 fell far behind in development, and Weitek delivered the 1167 for 386-based systems. Later upgrades to this design led to the 2167, 3167 and 4167. Weitek would later deliver similar FPU's for the MIPS architecture, known as the XL line. Weitek FPU's were somewhat odd, supporting single precision math only, although doing so at very fast speeds.

As orders increased for supercomputer applications, Weitek found themselves seriously disadvantaged by their fab, which was becoming rather "dated". HP approached them with a deal to use their newer fabs. This proved advantageous for both, and soon HP's fabs were open to anyone. Weitek also worked with HP on the design of their latest PA-RISC design, and sold their own version known as the RISC 8200 which was sold as an embedded design and saw some use in laser printers.

The following is © http://www.stanford.edu/group/mmdd/SiliconValley/Saxenian/limits.html
The partnership between HP and semiconductor design specialist Weitek illustrates how a large firm benefitted from Silicon Valley's networks. Tiny Weitek, which lacked manufacturing capacity of its own, was the leading designer of ultra- high speed "number crunching" chips for complex engineering problems. In 1987, HP opened its state- of- the- art fabrication facility to Weitek for use as a foundry, hoping to improve the performance of the Weitek chips in its workstations. Realizing that the manufacturing process at the foundry Weitek used slowed down the chips, the HP engineers suggested fully optimizing the Weitek designs by manufacturing them with HP's more advanced fabrication process. This culminated in a three- year agreement that allowed the firms to benefit directly from each other's technical expertise.
The arrangement assured HP of a steady supply of Weitek's chips and allowed them to introduce their new workstation faster than if they had designed the chip in house. It provided Weitek with a market, the legitimacy of a close association with HP, as well as access to a state- of- the- art foundry. Moreover, the final product represented a significant advance over what either firm could have produced independently. This partnership allowed each to draw on the other's distinctive and complementary expertise to devise novel solutions to shared problems.

The following is © http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weitek
In the late 1980s Weitek saw a new opportunity, and started developing frame buffers for Sun Microsystems workstations. In the early 1990s they also introduced the SPARC POWER P (as in "power-up", and technically referred to as WTL 8601), a pin-compatible version of the SPARC processor. The P could be dropped into existing SPARCStation 2 workstations and at 40MHz, about 50% faster than the CPUs it replaced. The 8701 ran twice as fast internally, providing a boost of about 50-60% in overall speed, due to the bus not getting any faster. However they did not pursuit this concept with later generations of SPARC processors.

Weitek turned their frame-buffer experience to the PC market in the early 90s, and introduced a series of SVGA multimedia chipsets known as the "POWER" systems. Consisting of two chips, one drawing the graphics known as the P9000 and another handling the output, the VideoPower 5x86, the POWER series was used in a number of 3rd party designs based on the VESA Local Bus standard. The P9001 moved to PCI and became fairly popular in 1994, known as the Viper in designs from Diamond and Orchid. The final generation, the P9100, combined the P9001 and 5286 into a single chip. Weitek adaptors were fairly successful in the early days of the 486 market, but fell from use as less expensive systems were introduced by a host of new players in the mid-90s.

Weitek attempted to re-enter at the low-end of the market with their W464 (486) and W564 (P5) systems which used the host machines RAM as the frame buffer to lower costs. These were one of the reasons the company was purchased by Rockwell shortly after they shipped.

The following is © http://www.techweb.com/encyclopedia/defineterm.jhtml?term=Weitek+coprocessor#_
In 1996, Weitek declared Chapter 11. Later that year, Rockwell Semiconductor Systems agreed to purchase Weitek's assets and hire its employees to start a new multimedia chip design center in San Jose.