Hardware and Electronics History Networking

Sharp Corporation

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Sharp Corporation (シャープ株式会社, Shāpu Kabushiki-gaisha) is a Japanese multinational corporation that designs and manufactures electronic products, headquartered in Sakai-ku, SakaiOsaka Prefecture. Since 2016 it has been majority owned by the Taiwan-based Foxconn Group.[4][5][6] Sharp employs more than 50,000 people worldwide. The company was founded in September 1912 in Tokyo and takes its name from one of its founder’s first inventions, the Ever-Sharp mechanical pencil, which was invented by Tokuji Hayakawa in 1915.

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Hardware and Electronics History Networking

Seiko Epson Corporation

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Seiko Epson Corporation (セイコーエプソン株式会社, Seikō Epuson Kabushiki-gaisha) (Epson being an abbreviation for “Son of Electronic Printer”),[2] or simply Epson, is a Japanese electronics company and one of the world’s largest manufacturers of computer printers, and information and imaging related equipment. Headquartered in SuwaNagano, Japan,[3] the company has numerous subsidiaries worldwide and manufactures inkjetdot matrix and laser printersscannersdesktop computers, business, multimedia and home theatre projectors, large home theatre televisionsrobots and industrial automation equipment, point of sale docket printers and cash registerslaptopsintegrated circuitsLCD components and other associated electronic components. It is one of three core companies of the Seiko Group, a name traditionally known for manufacturing Seiko timepieces since its founding.


The roots of Seiko Epson Corporation go back to a company called Daiwa Kogyo, Ltd. which was founded in May 1942[4] by Hisao Yamazaki, a local clock shop owner and former employee of K. Hattori, in Suwa, Nagano, Japan. Daiwa Kogyo was supported by an investment from the Hattori family (founder of the Seiko Group) and began as a manufacturer of watch parts for Daini Seikosha (currently Seiko Instruments). The company started operation in a 230-square-metre (2,500 sq ft) renovated miso storehouse with 22 employees.


The roots of Seiko Epson Corporation go back to a company called Daiwa Kogyo, Ltd. which was founded in May 1942[4] by Hisao Yamazaki, a local clock shop owner and former employee of K. Hattori, in Suwa, Nagano, Japan. Daiwa Kogyo was supported by an investment from the Hattori family (founder of the Seiko Group) and began as a manufacturer of watch parts for Daini Seikosha (currently Seiko Instruments). The company started operation in a 230-square-metre (2,500 sq ft) renovated miso storehouse with 22 employees.

In 1943, Daini Seikosha established a factory in Suwa for manufacturing Seiko watches with Daiwa Kogyo. In 1959, the Suwa Factory of Daini Seikosha was split up and merged into Daiwa Kogyo to form Suwa Seikosha Co., Ltd: the forerunner of the Seiko Epson Corporation. The company has developed many timepiece technologies. In particular, it developed the world’s first portable quartz timer (Seiko QC-951) in 1963, the world’s first quartz watch (Seiko Quartz Astron 35SQ) in 1969, the first automatic power generating quartz watch (Seiko Auto-Quartz) in 1988 and the Spring Drive watch movement in 1999.

The watch business is the root of the company’s micromechatronics technologies and still one of the major businesses for Seiko Epson today although it accounts for less than one-tenth of total revenues.[5] The watches made by the company are sold through the Seiko Watch Corporation, a subsidiary of Seiko Holdings Corporation.


In 1961, Suwa Seikosha established a company called Shinshu Seiki Co. as a subsidiary to supply precision parts for Seiko watches. When the Seiko Group was selected to be the official time keeper for the 1964 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, a printing timer was required to time events, and Shinshu Seiki started developing an electronic printer.[6]

In September 1968, Shinshu Seiki launched the world’s first mini-printer, the EP-101 (“EP” for Electronic Printer,) which was soon incorporated into many calculators. In June 1975, the name Epson was coined for the next generation of printers based on the EP-101 which was released to the public. (EPSON:E-P-SON: SON of Electronic Printer).[7] In April of the same year Epson America Inc. was established to sell printers for Shinshu Seiki Co.The Epson HX-20

In June 1978, the TX-80 (TP-80), eighty-column dot-matrix printer was released to the market, and was mainly used as a system printer for the Commodore PET Computer. After two years of further development, an improved model, the MX-80 (MP-80), was launched in October 1980.[6] It was soon described in the company’s advertising as the best selling printer in the United States.[8]

In July 1982, Shinshu Seiki officially named itself the Epson Corporation and launched the world’s first handheld computer, HX-20 (HC-20), and in May 1983 the world’s first portable color LCD TV was developed and launched by the company.[9]

In November 1985, Suwa Seikosha Co., Ltd. and the Epson Corporation merged to form Seiko Epson Corporation.[10]

The company developed the Micro Piezo inkjet technology, which used a piezoelectric crystal in each nozzle and did not heat the ink at the print head while spraying the ink onto the page, and released Epson MJ-500 inkjet cartridge (Epson Stylus 800 printer) in March 1993. Shortly after in 1994, Epson released the first high resolution color inkjet printer (720×720 dpi was considered as a high resolution), the Epson Stylus Color (P860A) utilizing the Micro Piezo head technology. Newer models of the Stylus series employed Epson’s special DURABrite ink. They also had two hard drives. The HD 850 and the HD 860 MFM interface. The specifications are reference The WINN L. ROSCH Hardware bible 3rd addition SAMS publishing.[11]

In 1994 Epson started outsourcing sales reps to help sell their products in retail stores in the United States. The same year, they started the Epson Weekend Warrior sales program. The purpose of the program was to help improve sales, improve retail sales reps’ knowledge of Epson products and to address Epson customer service in a retail environment. Reps were assigned on weekend shift, typically around 12–20 hours a week. Epson started the Weekend Warrior program with TMG Marketing (now Mosaic Sales Solutions), later with Keystone Marketing Inc, then to Mosaic, and now with Campaigners INC. The Mosaic contract expired with Epson on June 24, 2007 and Epson is now represented by Campaigners, Inc. The sales reps of Campaigners, Inc. are not outsourced as Epson hired “rack jobbers” to ensure their retail customers displayed products properly. This frees up their regular sales force to concentrate on profitable sales solutions to VAR’s and system integrators, leaving “retail” to reps who did not require sales skills.

Personal computers[edit]

Starting in 1983, Epson entered the personal computer market with the QX-10, a CP/M-compatible Z80 machine. By 1986, the company had shifted to the growing PC compatible market with the Equity line. Epson withdrew from the PC market in 1996.

21st century[edit]

In June 2003, the company became public following their listing on the 1st section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange. As of 2009, the Hattori family and its related individuals and companies are still major shareholders of Seiko Epson and have the power.[12] Even though Seiko Holdings and Seiko Epson have some common shareholders including the key members of the Hattori family, they are not affiliated. They are managed and operated completely independently. Epson has established its own brand image but rarely uses Seiko.

In 2004, Epson introduced their R-D1 digital RangeFinder Camera, which supports Leica M mount and Leica screw mount lenses with an adapter ring. This camera is the first digital rangefinder on the market. Because its sensor is smaller than that of the standard 35 mm film frame, lenses mounted on the R-D1 have the field view 1.53 times as long as that of the standard 35 mm camera. As of 2006 the R-D1 has been replaced by the R-D1s. The R-D1s is less expensive but its hardware is identical. Epson has released a firmware patch to bring the R-D1 up to the full functionality of its successor—the first digital camera manufacturer to make such an upgrade available for free.[citation needed]

In 2009, the company became full owner of Orient Watch, one of the largest timepiece manufacturers in Japan.[13]

In September 2012, Epson introduced a printer called the Epson Expression Premium XP-800 Small-in-One. It has the ability to print wirelessly.[14] Furthermore, the name Expression has followed various models of scanners.

In September 2015 Epson debuted a printer, the Epson ET-4550 which instead of print cartridges, enables the user to pour the ink into separate inkwells from ink bottles.[15] In the third quarter of 2012, Epson’s global market share in the sale of printers, copiers and multifunction devices amounted to 15.20 percent.[16]

Epson is also involved in the smart glasses market. Since 2016 the company has three different models. First up was the Epson Moverio BT-100 which was followed up by the Epson Moverio BT-200. In 2016 the company also released the Moverio Pro BT-2000 which is an enterprise oriented, upgraded version of the BT-200 with stereoscopic cameras. The company also was the first to release consumer smart glasses with see through optics that made them very popular under drone pilots for being able to get a first person view while still being able to see the drone in the sky.

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Toshiba Corporation (株式会社東芝, Kabushiki gaisha TōshibaEnglish: /təˈʃiːbə, tɒ-, toʊ-/[2]) is a Japanese multinational conglomerate headquartered in MinatoTokyo. Its diversified products and services include power, industrial and social infrastructure systems, elevators and escalators, electronic components, semiconductorshard disk drives, printers, batteries, lighting, logistics, as well as IT solutions such as quantum cryptography.[3][4] It had been one of the biggest manufacturers of personal computersconsumer electronicshome appliances, and medical equipment. As a semiconductor company and the inventor of flash memory, Toshiba had been one of top 10 in the chip industry until its flash memory unit was spun off as Toshiba Memory, later Kioxia, in the late 2010s.[5][6][7]

Toshiba was founded in 1939 as Tokyo Shibaura Denki K.K. (Tokyo Shibaura Electric Co., Ltd) through the merger of Shibaura Seisaku-sho (founded in 1875) and Tokyo Denki (founded in 1890). The company name was officially changed to Toshiba Corporation in 1978. It is listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, where it was a constituent of the Nikkei 225 and TOPIX indices (leaving both in August 2018), the Nagoya Stock Exchange, and the London Stock Exchange.

Having been a technology company with a long history and sprawling businesses, Toshiba has been a household name in Japan and looked upon as a symbol of the country’s technological prowess, though its reputation was heavily damaged following the accounting scandal in 2015 and the bankruptcy of Westinghouse in 2017, by when it had to shed a myriad number of its valuable or underperforming businesses, essentially eradicating the company’s century-long presence in consumer markets.[8][9][10]

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History Software Engineering

First Transistorized Computer – 1953 AD

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First Transistorized Computer

Tom Kilburn (1921–2001), Richard Grimsdale (1929–2005), Douglas Webb (b. 1929), Jean H. Felker (1919–1994)

“With the invention of the transistor in 1947, the next step was to use it as a replacement for the vacuum tube. Tubes had a significant advantage compared to relays—they were a thousand times faster—but tubes required an inordinate amount of electricity, produced huge amounts of heat, and failed constantly. Transistors used a fraction of the power, produced practically no heat at all, and were more reliable than tubes. And because transistors were smaller than tubes, a transistorized machine would run inherently faster, because electrons had a shorter distance to move.

The University of Manchester demonstrated its prototype transistorized computer on November 16, 1953. The machine made use of the “point-contact” transistor, a piece of germanium that was in contact with two wires held in very close proximity to each other—the two “points.” The Manchester machine had 92 point-contact transistors and 550 diodes. The system had a word size of 48 bits. (Many of today’s microprocessors can operate on words that are 8, 16, 32, or 64 bits.) A few months later, Jean H. Felker at Bell Labs created the TRADIC (transistor digital computer) for the US Air Force, with 700 point-contact transistors and more than 10,000 diodes.

This point-contact transistor was soon replaced by the bipolar junction transistor, so named because it is formed by a junction involving two kinds of semiconductors. Manchester updated its prototype in 1955 with a new design that used 250 of these junction transistors. Called the Metrovick 950, that computer was manufactured by Metropolitan-Vickers, a British electrical engineering company.

In 1956, the Advanced Development Group at MIT Lincoln Lab used more than 3,000 transistors to build the TX-0 (Transistorized eXperimental computer zero), a transistorized version of the Whirlwind and the forerunner to Digital Equipment Corporation’s (DEC) PDP-1.”

SEE ALSO William Shockley’s Silicon Transistor (1947), Whirlwind (1949), PDP-1 (1959)

Close-up of the prototype of the Manchester transistorized computer.

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History Software Engineering

William Shockley’s Silicon Transistor – 1947 A.D.

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Silicon Transistor

John Bardeen (1908–1991), Walter Houser Brattain (1902–1987), William Shockley (1910–1989)

“A transistor is an electronic switch: current flows from one terminal to another unless voltage is applied to a third terminal. Combined with the laws of Boolean algebra, this simple device has become the building block for microprocessors, memory systems, and the entire computer revolution.

Any technology that can use one signal to switch another on and off can be used to create a computer. Charles Babbage did it with rods, cogs, and steam power. Konrad Zuse and Howard Aiken did it with relays, and ENIAC used tubes. Each technology was faster and more reliable than the previous.

Likewise, transistors have several advantages over vacuum tubes: they use less power, so they generate less heat, they switch faster, and they are less susceptible to physical shock. All of these advantages arise because transistors are smaller than tubes—and the smaller the transistor, the bigger the advantage.

Modern transistors trace their lineage back to a device manufactured by John Bardeen, Walter Brattain, and William Shockley at AT&T’s Bell Laboratories in 1947. The team was trying to build an amplifier that could detect ultra-high frequency radio waves, but the tubes that they had just weren’t fast enough. So they tried working with semiconductor crystals, as radios based on semiconductor diodes called cat’s whiskers had been used since nearly the birth of radio in the 1890s.

A cat’s whisker radio uses a sharp piece of wire (the “whisker”) that’s jabbed into a piece of semiconducting germanium; by moving the wire along the semiconductor and varying the pressure, the semiconductor and the wire work together to create a diode, a device allowing current to pass in only one direction. The Bell Labs team built a contraption that attached two strips of gold foil to the crystal and then applied power to the germanium. The result was an amplifier: a signal injected into one wire was stronger when it came out of the other. Today we call this device a point-contact transistor.

For their discovery of the transistor, Bardeen, Brattain, and Shockley were awarded the Nobel Prize in 1956.”

SEE ALSO Semiconductor Diode (1874), First LED (1927)

“The first transistor ever made, built in 1947 by John Bardeen, William Shockley, and Walter H. Brattain of Bell Labs.”

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First LED – 1927 A.D.

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First LED

Oleg Vladimirovich Losev (1903–1942)

“Although the electroluminescent property of some crystals was discovered in England in 1907, it took more than a decade of work by the self-taught Russian scientist Oleg Vladimirovich Losev to develop a theory (based on Einstein’s photoelectric theory) of how the effect worked, and to produce devices that could be used in practical applications. In total, Losev published 16 academic papers that appeared in Russian, British, and German scientific journals between 1924 and 1930, comprehensively describing the devices in the process. He went on to come up with novel applications for light-emitting diodes (LEDs and other semiconductors, including a “light relay device,” a radio receiver, and a solid-state amplifier, before dying of starvation during the Siege of Leningrad in 1942.

LEDs were rediscovered in 1962 by four different groups of American researchers. This time the technology would not be lost. Compared with incandescent, fluorescent, and nixie tubes of the day, LEDs consumed far less power and produced practically no heat. They had just three disadvantages: they could make only red light, they were not very bright, and they were fantastically expensive—more than $200 each at the beginning.

By 1968, improvements in production let companies push the price of LEDs down to five cents each. At that price, LEDs started showing up in calculators, wristwatches, laboratory equipment, and, of course, computers. Indeed, LEDs arranged as individual lights and seven-segment numeric displays were one of the primary outputs for the first generation of microcomputers in the mid-1970s. Even the early LEDs could be switched on and off millions of times a second, resulting in their use in fiber-optic communications. In 1980, infrared LEDs started showing up in television remotes.

Although blue and ultraviolet LEDs were invented in the 1970s, a number of breakthroughs were required to make them bright enough for practical use. Today those challenges have been overcome. Indeed, the bright-white LED house lights that have largely replaced both incandescent and fluorescent light bulbs are based on an ultraviolet LED that stimulates a white phosphor.”

SEE ALSO First Liquid-Crystal Display (1965)

“Eight decades after it was invented in 1927, light-emitting diodes were finally bright enough and cheap enough to replace incandescent light bulbs on a massive scale.”

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Semiconductor Diode – 1874 A.D.

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Semiconductor Diode

Michael Faraday (1791–1867), Karl Ferdinand Braun (1850–1918)

“Semiconductors are curious devices: not quite conductors like copper, gold, or silver, not quite insulators like plastic or rubber. In 1833, Michael Faraday discovered that the chemical silver sulfide became a better conductor when heated, unlike metals that lose their conductivity under the same conditions. Separately, in 1874, Karl Ferdinand Braun, a 24-year-old German physicist, discovered that a metal sulfide crystal touched with a metal probe would conduct electricity in only one direction. This “one direction” characteristic is what defines diodes or rectifiers, the simplest electronic components.”

“In 1904 the British chemist John-Ambrose Fleming had invented the two-element amplifier, or ‘diode’, and a few months before DeForest the Austrian physicist Robert von Lieben had already built a three-element amplifier, or triode.” (Fair Use: B07XVF5RSP)

“Braun’s discovery was a curiosity until the invention of radio. The diode proved critical in allowing radio to make the transition from wireless telegraphy to the transmission and reception of the human voice. The diode of choice for these early radio sets was frequently called a cat’s whisker diode, because it consisted of a crystal of galena, a form of lead sulfide, in contact with a spring of metal (the “whisker”). By carefully manipulating the pressure and orientation of the metal against the crystal, an operator could adjust the electrical properties of the semiconductor until they were optimal for radio reception. Powered only by the radio waves themselves, a crystal set was only strong enough to faintly produce sounds in an earphone.”

“Crystal radio receivers were used onboard ships and then in homes until they were replaced by new receivers based on vacuum tubes, which could amplify the faint radio waves so that they were strong enough to power a speaker and fill a room with speech or music. But tubes didn’t mark the end of the crystal radio: the devices remained popular for people who couldn’t get tubes—such as on the front lines in World War II — as well as among children learning about electronics. In the 1940s, scientists at Bell Labs turned their attention to semiconductor radios once again in an effort to perfect microwave communications. In the process, they discovered the transistor.”

“Braun went on to make other fundamental contributions to physics and electronics. In 1897, he invented the cathode-ray tube (CRT), which would become the basis of television. He shared the 1909 Nobel Prize with Guglielmo Marconi (1874–1937) “in recognition of their contributions to the development of wireless telegraphy.””

SEE ALSO: Silicon Transistor (1947)

Crystal Detector, made by the Philmore Manufacturing Company. To use this device, the operator would connect a wire to each of the two flanges and press the metal “whisker” into the semiconductor crystal.”

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