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Tadashi Sasaki (佐々木 正, Sasaki Tadashi, born May 12, 1915)[1] is a Japanese engineer. He was influential in founding Busicom, drove the development and deployment of the first microprocessor (the Intel 4004), and later drove Sharp into the LCD calculator market.[2]

BiographyEdit

Son of a teacher, Sasaki grew up in Taiwan and studied electrical engineering at Kyoto University, later working in Kobe Kogyo, the first Japanese company to manufacture transistors, and then in Hayakawa Electrical Industries, where he helped to develop electrical calculators.[3] This eventually led him to obtain American patent licences to fabricate integrated chips and thus the first commercially successful pocket calculator. His subordinates at Hayakawa company knew him as "Doctor Rocket" due to his hyperactive nature.

Intel 4004Edit

Sasaki played a key role in the creation of the first microprocessor, the Intel 4004. He was involved in the development of the Busicom 141-PF desktop calculator which led to the 4004's creation.[4] He conceived of a single-chip CPU in 1968, when he discussed the concept at a brainstorming meeting that was held in Japan. Sasaki attributes the basic invention to break the calculator chipset into four parts with ROM (4001), RAM (4002), shift registers (4003) and CPU (4004) to an unnamed woman, a software engineering researcher from Nara Women's College, who was present at the meeting. Sasaki then had his first meeting with Robert Noyce from Intel in 1968, and presented the woman's four-division chipset concept to Intel and Busicom, providing the basis for the single-chip microprocessor design of the Intel 4004.[5]

ReferencesEdit

  1. Shimbun, Nihon Kogyo (1984). Business Japan - Volume 29, Issues 7-12. 52: Nihon Kogyo Shimbun. 
  2. Aspray, William (1994-05-25). Oral-History: Tadashi Sasaki. Interview #211 for the Center for the History of Electrical Engineering. The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc.. Retrieved on 2013-01-02.
  3. Johnstone, Bob (1999). We were burning: Japanese entrepreneurs and the forging of the electronic age.. New York: A Cornelia and Michael Bessie book. pp. 23–60. ISBN 0-465-09118-0. 
  4. Nigel Tout. The Busicom 141-PF calculator and the Intel 4004 microprocessor. Retrieved on November 15, 2009.
  5. Aspray, William (1994-05-25). Oral-History: Tadashi Sasaki. Interview #211 for the Center for the History of Electrical Engineering. The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc.. Retrieved on 2013-01-02.
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