Milestone-Nomination:Toshiba T1100, a pioneering contribution to the development of laptop PC, 1985

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Docket Number: 2011-07

Proposal Link:,_1984-1986

In the space below the line, please enter your proposed citation in English, with title and text. Text absolutely limited to 70 words; 60 is preferable for aesthetic reasons. NOTE: The IEEE History Committee shall have final determination on the wording of the citation

The T1100 was the world’s first commercialized IBM PC-compatible laptop.
This innovative portable PC opened the way for the computer to evolve into a handy device that people can use anytime and anywhere and contributed greatly to the creation of today's notebook PC market.

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Nowadays, people carry their portable PCs and use them anywhere. But until April 1985, with the introduction of Apple II in 1977, IBM PC [1] in 1981, personal computing had increasingly been accepted but usages had still been limited in fixed desktop environment.

Some companies developed smaller size computers, like Compaq’s “Portable I” which was suitcase size with 12.5 kg weight in 1982, Seiko’s “HX-20/HC-20”[2] in 1982 with 1.6 kg weight, and NEC’s “PC8201A” in 1983 which size was about 1.7 kg. But these architectures were original and not only software but also these data were not compatible with these of IBM PC. So people could not bring out their data to out of their office, or they were required to convert these data to fit smaller computers.

In 1984, Toshiba started development of real hand held computer which was compatible with IBM PC and could be used anywhere without bothering AC power supply.
IBM PCs, those days, were designed to be used on desk top computer and parts used for them were designed without consideration of portability. Toshiba engineers set the key point for this development to reducing size of parts and power consumption but keeping compatibility with IBM PC.

Toshiba engineers developed compact size parts. A few Gate Arrays was designed with same functions which were supported with a great number of ICs for desk top IBM PCs. Toshiba selected CMOS technologies for these Gate Arrays even most of ICs those days were designed with NMOS technology. With these solutions, T1100 realized not only compaction and light weight of 4kg, but also low power consumption.
In addition, new LCD and 3.5 inches floppy disc drive were developed for achieving highest density implementations ever before, to support same function of desk top PCs with smaller size devices.
Toshiba also developed rechargeable NiCad batteries from the ground. With reduced power consumption of the Gate Arrays, it achieved 8 hours battery life. One more important technology which enabled this long battery life was charge/discharge mechanism and its controlling driver software which were not yet available for IBM PC machines. This technology had been improved to the current “ACPI (Advanced Configuration and Power Interface)”[4] which has been widely used as a common power control standard in the world and enables stand-by/suspend mode and cutting power supply to sleeping devices in many computer architectures.
Considering mobile environment, Toshiba selected Clam-shell system for T1100. This style is suitable for portable PC to guard LDC and keyboard. Toshiba developed new hinge and FPC (Flexible printed circuits) cable with light and enough durability and endurance.

In April 1985, T1100 was released as the first clam-shell lap-top computer in the world. It provided the same office/engineering computing environment as a desk-top PC, introduced ubiquitous computing style (Anytime, Anyone, Anywhere), and was used not only in offices but also at homes. After T1100, the innovation by Toshiba has triggered the growth of lap-top and Note PC market up to $150 billion[5] and, in addition, created the related component industries. (LCD:14 B$ HDD:17B$, Battery:11B$, CPU 34B$) [6]
In the last 25 years, Toshiba has sold 100 million personal computers. T1100 was the origin of “Lap-top Computers”; as all lap-top and notebook computers can be traced back to this model.

[1] “IBM Personal Computer. Before the beginning: Ancestors of the IBM Personal Computer”, IBM

[2] “HX-20”, Seiko Epson Corporation

[3] “T1100”, Toshiba Corporation

[4] ACPI, Advanced Configuration & Power Interface

[5] “IDC's 2010 Commercial PC Survey, Part 2: Worldwide Results”, IDC

[6] “Worldwide Electronics Market 2009”, Fuji Chimera Research Institute, Inc.

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