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History

  • 1952Receives Deming Application Prize (the first time for a company in the communications industry).
  • 1953Produces microwave PTM (Pulse Time Modulation) multiplexing equipment.
  • 1954Begins research into computers.
  • 1955Produces first domestic-made XB switching system for PBX.
  • 1956Produces first domestic-made XB switching system.

The first intra-city crossbar switchboard prototype

With the rapid expansion of telephone networks around this period, it became necessary to introduce a crossbar switching system that would facilitate automation of switching stations. Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Public Corporation designated NEC the collaborative research partner to develop such a system. In 1954, after installation of the first prototype at the experimental station of the Electrical Communication Laboratory, the first Japanese crossbar switching system was put to practical use.
It was created with systems, circuits and parts that had been developed by proprietary Japanese technologies and boasted high performance even by global standards. Exporting the product overseas met with great success thereafter.

  • 1958Develops fully transistorized NEAC-2201 computer.

The first transistor-based computer NEAC-2201

NEC co-developed its first computer, NEAC-1102, through Tohoku University's Computer Project. The computer was characterized by its highly reliable long-life parametron element developed in Japan, arbitrarily switchable operation of floating-point arithmetic and fixed-point arithmetic depending on the command, and a large-capacity memory of 1,024 words.
The later NEAC-2201 was characterized by its germanium-alloy high-speed transistor for circuit elements and the fact that it was solely built with parts made in Japan. It was exhibited at a tradeshow in Paris in 1959 and its demonstration generated international attention.

  • 1960Begins development of ICs.
    Develops time division electronic switching system.
  • 1960Develops time division electronic switching system.
  • 1961Introduces the business division system.
  • 1963Establishes Nippon Electric New York (now NEC Corporation of America)
    Issues American Depositary Receipts (ADRs).
  • 1963Issues American Depositary Receipts (ADRs).
  • 1964Trans-Pacific TV broadcasts of the 18th Olympiad in Tokyo are successfully implemented using NEC-supplied ground facilities for satellite communications.

Japan’s first satellite communication earth station – KDD Ibaraki Space Communication Laboratory

After started research on microwave transmission-based TV broadcasting, Masasuke Morita successfully developed such technologies as the shared oscillation amplification system and high-sensitivity receiving system one by one. These systems flourished in over-the-horizon communication as well as satellite communication and catapulted NEC to world leadership in the installation of satellite communication earth stations.
NEC installed high-sensitivity receiving equipment in the KDD Ibaraki Space Communication Laboratory, Japan’s first satellite communication earth station (established in 1963). It is well known that the very first news delivered through the first successful trans-Atlantic TV test broadcast between Japan and the US was the shocking news of President Kennedy’s assassination.

  • 1965Delivers the PCM-24 digital transmission system to NTTPC.
    Introduces ZD (Zero Defect) movement.
  • 1965Introduces ZD (Zero Defect) movement.
  • 1968Develops 144-bit high-speed N-channel MOS (Metal Oxide Semiconductor) IC memory

The world’s first 144-bit n-channel MOS memory

The mainstream MOS memory in the semiconductor industry of the time was p-channel. It was thought to be “technically impossible to mass-produce n-channel MOS memory.”
But NEC’s memory development team established a breakthrough in insulation technology and developed 144-bit n-channel MOS memory in 1968. The accomplishment was announced at the International Solid-State Circuits Conference (ISSCC) of 1969. The audience filled up even the isles of the venue to listen to the lecture. Since then, the n-channel MOS memory had become the world standard.

  • 1970Produces Osumi experimental satellite.
    Established “Pollution Prevention & Environmental Management Department.”
  • 1970Established “Pollution Prevention & Environmental Management Department.”
  • 1972The “Operation Quality” program is initiated.
  • 1974The ACOS Series 77 mainframe computer family is announced.
  • 1977"C&C" or the integration of computer and communications technologies is first announced at INTELCOM ’77.

Koji Kobayashi giving a lecture at INTELCOM 77

On October 10th, 1977, Koji Kobayashi (then-chairman of NEC) gave a keynote lecture at INTELCOM 77, the first large-scale general communications expo in the U.S. The lecture, entitled “What communications enterprises should do to accommodate changing social needs,” led to NEC’s C&C business strategy.
“Early in the 21st century, it will become possible for people to talk to each other and see each other anytime, anywhere. This will require an integration of technologies for communications, computers, and television.”

  • 1977The NEAX 61 digital switching system is announced in the United States.
  • 1979The PC-8001 personal computer is announced.

Demonstration at Bit-INN

The microcomputer sales department led by Kazuya Watanabe introduced microcomputer training kit TK-80 in August 1976 and opened a support center called Bit-INN in Akihabara. Day in and day out, Bit-INN was filled with people who wanted microcomputers for personal use. NEC representatives were convinced that the time was ripe for personal computers and introduced its first personal computer, PC-8001, in response to consumer demand. Pre-orders for the product poured in from the very beginning and NEC established itself as the leading personal computer provider in Japan, a significant head start in the personal computer business.

  • 1982The PC-9801 personal computer is announced.
  • 1985The SX-2 supercomputer demonstrates the world's fastest performance.
  • 1991The world's first notebook-sized PC with color LCD is announced.
    A unique graphite crystal is discovered and named “carbon-nanotubes”.
  • 1995The world's first prototype 1Gbit DRAM is unveiled.
  • 1997The Semiconductor Group is honored with the first Japan Quality Award.

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