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Milestones:Pioneering Work on Electronic Calculators, 1964-1973

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Pioneering Work on Electronic Calculators, 1964-1973

IEEE Kansai Section, Dedication: 1 December 2005 

A Sharp Corporation project team designed and produced several families of electronic calculators on the basis of all-transistor (1964), bipolar and MOS integrated circuit (1967), MOS Large Scale Integration (1969) and CMOS-LSI/Liquid Crystal Display (1973). The integration of CMOS-LSI and LCD devices onto a single glass substrate yielded battery-powered calculators. These achievements made possible the widespread personal use of hand-held calculators.

The plaque can be viewed in the Sharp Memorial Hall in the Tenri Factory, 2613-1 Ichinomotocho, Nara Prefecture, Japan.

Beginning in 1960, a project team of Sharp Corporation computer engineers, headed by Atsushi Asada, began a long process of developing and commercializing solid-state calculators. At that time, the available calculating machines were mechanical, electro-mechanical, and electronic (vacuum-tube based) calculators that tended to be noisy, bulky and slow, and Sharp, along with a number of other companies, saw the opportunity for new technology.

After four years of development, Sharp announced Compet CS-10A, an all-electronic transistorized calculator in 1964. The following year, it replaced the original germanium transistors and developed the silicon-transistor calculator Compet CS-20A. With the subsequent development of IC (Integrated Circuit) technology, the project team in 1967 released both the Bipolar-IC calculator Compet CS-31A and the MOS (Metal Oxide Semiconductor)-IC calculator Compet CS-16A. In 1969, under Dr. Tadashi Sasaski’s leadership, MOS-LSI (Large Scale Integration) calculator Compet QT-8D, the first handheld LSI calculator, was introduced. That following year, the first handheld battery-powered MOS-LSI calculator, Compet QT-8B, was released. In 1973, under Isamu Washizuka’s direction, Compet EL-805, the first battery-powered LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) calculator, with its CMOS-LSI and LCD devices integrated onto a single glass substrate, was introduced.

The pioneering work of the Sharp Corporation project team in the development, production, and commercialization of electronic calculators also realized an increase in the durability and power of calculating devices, along with a reduction in product weight and consumer cost. The team's great achievement, the first battery-powered LCD calculator, is an innovation which made today’s low-power mobile appliances and personal computers possible.

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