General Instrument

General Instrument (GI) was an electronics manufacturer based in Chicago, IL specializing in semiconductors and cable television equipment. The company was active until 1997, when it split into [ General Semiconductor] (power semiconductors) which was later acquired by [ Vishay Intertechnology] in 2001, CommScope and NextLevel Systems (the cable and satellite TV division, which later reverted to GI name). The new (post-split) General Instrument Corporation was later acquired by Motorola and became Motorola Connected Home Solutions, and was renamed Home and Networks Mobility in 2007. Donald Rumsfeld served as CEO of General Instrument from 1990 to 1993.

Video Cipher Division

General Instrument produced receivers for old C and Ku band satellites. They also produced video cipher units; as well as digital equipment. 4DTV was a system for picking up free and ciphered analog, and free and ciphered digital. It also brought the interactive guide. The product line included:

* 2700 Series: on screen displays, C/Ku switching, digital sound, satellite memory increases with the model number.

* 2600 Series: similar to 2400 except with on-screen displays.

* 2400/2500 Series: no on-screen displays, everything is controlled from remote, C/Ku compatible.

* 350 Regular: simple receiver with a separate dish mover (some will have a stationary G5 satellite).

* 350i Super: extensive on-screen displays, 50 satellites (C or Ku with external switch), digital sound.

* 450i/550i/650i: extensive on-screen displays, C/Ku pre-programmed satellites, digital sound, extras.

* 4DTV: interactive program guide, two favorite lists, C/Ku band, many other features.

American Totalisator Corporation/AmTote

American Totalisator was a division of General Instrument Corp. It manufactured tote boards for the horse racing industry. It is now owned by horse-track operator Magna Entertainment Corporation.


Jerrold was GI's original cable TV brand, active from 1948 into the early 1990s. Around 1993, GI dropped the Jerrold branding. The Jerrold brand was prominent on both addressable and non-addressable cable TV converter boxes that were used on non-cable ready sets and cable-ready sets with premium pay services. "Jerrold" is the middle name of the company's founder, Milton Jerrold Shapp, who became Pennsylvania's 42nd governor in 1971.

GI Microelectronics

GI Microelectronics was a manufacturer of LSI circuits and a pioneer in MOS technology and EAROM (Electrically Alterable ROM), with both off-the-shelf and custom circuits. GI spun the division off as Microchip Technology in 1989.

In 1980, their product catalog included:

*16-bit Microprocessor: 1600 and [ 1610] , a 16-bit CPU, used in the GIMINI TV-game set and in Mattel's Intellivision
*8-bit Microcontroller: the PIC1650, an NMOS chip. The CMOS version of this chip is the basis of today's PIC microcontrollers.
*Telecommunications chips

Other products were the SP0256 Intellivoice, a single-chip speech generator, and the famous AY-3-8910/11/12 series of sound chips.

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