Historyof Nippon Electric Corporation (NEC)
Taken from publicity material issued at the Telecom 83 exhibition.
NEC Corp. (formerly Nippon Electric Co., Ltd.) is one of the world's leading electronic equipment and systems manufacturers. It markets more than 15,000 products in 140 countries. The company has 47 domestic plants and its overseas affiliates operate 19 plants in 12 countries. In the August 1982 Fortune, NEC was ranked 97th among the non-USA industrial companies and 21st among the Japanese companies.
With the advent of digital communications and the trend toward distributed data processing, NEC has developed the concept of "C&C," the integration of computers and communications, as its major strategy for corporate growth. NEC is developing a wide range of C&C systems.
The company has four major product areas: communications, computers and industrial electronic systems, electron devices, and home electronics. Communications products account for 37 percent of NEC's business. The products manufactured include electronic telephone switching systems, digital data switching systems, telephone sets, teleconference systems, and fiber-optic communication systems.
A total of 23 percent of the company's net sales is attributed to computers and industrial electronic systems, such as the ACOS series computers, minicomputers, data modems, peripheral and terminal equipment,office automation systems, and robots.
Electron devices, such as transistors, diodes, electron tubes, semiconductor lasers, and vacuum equipment, make up 24 percent of the net sales for the company.
Home electronics products account for 12 percent of the business. The products manufactured include TV receivers, VTR's, TV projectors, radio receivers, kitchen appliances, and hi-fi audio systems.
The remaining 4 percent of the net sales is attributed to such products as electrical connectors, measuring instruments and testing equipment, and vending machines.
NEC was established on July 17, 1899 in Tokyo as a partner of Western Electric of Illinois. During its early years, NEC was primarily a manufacturer of telephone-related equipment. But since the 1920s, it has been involved in nearly every aspect of the communications field.
In 1925, International Western Electric which had been formed to govern the overseas operations of WE was sold to International Telephone and Telegraph and renamed International Standard Electric Co. ISE continued to be involved with NEC, but in 1951 it ceased to own stock in NEC.
It was also in 1925 that NEC began to expand its interests to include the manufacture of radio equipment. During the late 1940s, the company began doing research with solid-state devices and transistors.
NEC began research work on computers in 1954. By 1958, it had built Japan's first computer using solid-state devices, the NEAC 1101. The general-purpose
ACOS series computers were introduced in 1974. The series now numbers 16 and includes small to large configurations. At the top of the series is the NEC System 1000, one of the world's largest general-purpose computers for commercial use.
The company is also involved in distributed data processing. NEC has an extensive line of products, including the ACOS, small business computers, personal computers, and word processors. The development of these products is based on Distributed Information-processing Network Architecture (DINA), which was introduced in 1976.
The development of software is an important aspect of easy, efficient man-to-machine interaction. NEC has established subsidiaries to develop various software tools in this area.
In the area of computer-based industrial and communications control systems, NEC has introduced various kinds of "C&C" equipment, such as industrial robots, voice recognition and synthesis systems, automatic mail processing systems, and medical electronic equipment.
The manufacture of semiconductor devices is an important aspect of NEC's business operations. As early as 1925, NEC was building electron tubes for communications systems. Today it is one of the world's leading manufacturers of VLSI, LSI, and 1C devices, discrete semiconductor devices, circuit components, and various display devices. In the annual sales of LSI's and IC's, NEC ranks first in Japan and second in the world. In 1982, NEC introduced the world's first 256-kbit dynamic random access memory.
In June 1982, NEC absorbed NEC Sylvania Corp., a joint venture between NEC and GTE International, to unify the manufacture and marketing of its lighting
NEC operates 13 communications manufacturing plants in 10 countries. It is involved in the development of digital switching, digital microwave and satellite, fiber-optic, and mobile telephone communication systems. NEC has supplied advanced fiber-optic systems to NTT for Japan's emerging Information Network System (INS).
NEC is responding to the growing demand for systems requiring the flexibility to handle both voice and data efficiently. This has been accomplished by adding various "intelligent" functions to products, such as PBXs, facsimile equipment, and key telephones. The company is emphasizing "C&C" systems to serve the office of the future, through the development of fiber-optic local area network systems, teleconference systems, and integrated communications terminals for various applications.
In the area of microwave and satellite communications, NEC has been an international supplier for years. It has built INTELSAT and domestic satellite earth stations for more than 70 countries.
NEC supplies equipment for broadcast and radio stations throughout Japan. NEC equipment twice has been awarded the Engineering Emmy Award from the USA National Academy of Arts and Sciences.
In Japan, NEC is ranked among the top ten defense equipment suppliers and produces various kinds of defense systems for use by the Japanese ground, maritime, and air self-defense forces. NEC also has a long history as a supplier of scientific and applications satellites and ground equipment for satellite tracking and control.
Since its establishment, NEC has had a corporate motto of offering "Better Products, Better Services." Koji Kobayashi is the Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer. Tadahiro Sekimoto serves as the President of the company.
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