Arnie Frisch

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Arnold M. Frisch (? – d. 12 Dec 2019) was a graduate of Stuyvesant High School and Brooklyn Polytechnic Institute (now part of New York University).

In 1962, Arnie, along with Morris Engelson (1935 - ) and Larry Weiss (1936-2018), started Pentrix Corporation in Brooklyn.

Pentrix made spectrum analyzer plug-ins for Tektronix oscilloscopes, initially to get funds to develop a stand alone spectrum analyzer of their own. In the early 1960s, Tektronix made little except oscilloscopes and a few related products. Spectrum analyzers are different from oscilloscopes. They are designed to show the amplitude of a signal versus frequency, as opposed to amplitude versus time.

Tek had almost no experience in the radio frequency world of spectrum analyzers and needed to avoid becoming a one-product company.

Arnie was probably involved in just about every spectrum analyzer at Tektronix until about 1972.



  • In April 1964, Tektronix bought Pentrix for 30,002 shares of Tektronix stock, and the three New Yorkers joined Tektronix at the Sunset South Plant, Building 81 in June 1964. It was a culture jolt for both.
  • The stand alone spectrum analyzer Pentrix had aimed for became the 491 in August 1966.
  • In Sept 1969, Arnie is Program Manager of Spectrum Analyzers & Generators on the third floor of Building 50 (Technical Center)
  • In November 1979, Arnie was in “Staffing Staff” in Building 55 in probably in preparation for starting a new business unit, CBI (Computer Based Instruments).
  • In 1981, Arnie became Tek's first Chief Engineer.
  • In March 1986, Arnie was listed as CBI Administration in Building 02 [(45.49308 -122.81496)]
  • In July 1987, Arnie was back in Building 50, third floor, in Tek Labs Staff.
  • In Aug 1989, he was in ESL Engineering, still in Building 50. ESL is Electronic Systems Laboratory
  • In Mar 1991, Arnie was listed as being in ESL Engineering.
  • In Jul 1994, Sep 1995, Jan 1996, and Aug 1998 he was listed in Building 50, but the these directories no longer listed responsibilities along with phone numbers.
  • Arnie left Tek after 1998, but did not leave electronics. He went on to work at Intel on advanced ICs in Hillsboro, OR.
  • Arnie Frisch, a legend around Tektronix, died December 12, 2019.

Products by Arnie Frisch

Components by Arnie Frisch

Patents by Arnie Frisch

Page Office Number Title Inventors Company Filing date Grant date
Patent US 3274505A US 3274505A Series transistor circuit with selectively coupled stages Arnie Frisch Larry Weiss Morris Engelson Tektronix Inc 1964-02-28 1966-09-20
Patent US 3325754A US 3325754A Resistor-diode attenuator Arnie Frisch Larry Weiss Morris Engelson Tektronix Inc 1964-05-13 1967-06-13
Patent US 3375456A US 3375456A Variable bandwidth crystal filter circuit Arnie Frisch Tektronix Inc 1964-12-07 1968-03-26
Patent US 3321712A US 3321712A Phase lock system for spectrum analyzer Arnie Frisch Gordon D. Long Tektronix Inc 1965-08-16 1967-05-23
Patent US 3487314A US 3487314A Radio receiving and display apparatus Arnie Frisch Tektronix Inc 1966-12-06 1969-12-30
Patent US 4707834A US 4707834A Computer-based instrument system Arnie Frisch Allen L. Hollister Larry L. Hutchinson Tektronix Inc 1985-09-17 1987-11-17
Patent US 5428626A US 5428626A Timing analyzer for embedded testing Arnie Frisch Thomas A. Almy Tektronix Inc 1993-10-18 1995-06-27
Patent US 5418470A US 5418470A Analog multi-channel probe system Thomas P. Dagostino Arnie Frisch Tektronix Inc 1993-10-22 1995-05-23
Patent US 5905383A US 5905383A Multi-chip module development substrate Arnie Frisch Tektronix Inc 1995-08-29 1999-05-18
Patent US 5793642A US 5793642A Histogram based testing of analog signals Arnie Frisch Thomas A. Almy Tektronix Inc 1997-01-21 1998-08-11
Patent US 5949284A US 5949284A CMOS buffer amplifier Arnie Frisch Tektronix Inc 1997-11-10 1999-09-07