Nippon Electric Company, Ltd. (NEC)

NEC, a large, diversified, Japanese engineering firm, began research on transistors in 1950 and on computers in 1954. By 1958 they had produced a machine (NEAC 1101 and 1102) based on the novel parametron circuit. One year later they were able to demonstrate a fully transistorized machine.

The company has been a major force in computers of all kinds, peripherals, and storage systems from that time. NEC formed a partnership with Packard Bell for its American marketing and, although still involved in many aspects of computer development, NEC withdrew from the American retail market in 2000, but remains a major supplier of computers in Europe.