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News Archive - Announcment of Electronic Arrays 6-Chip Calculator Chipset

IEEE Computer Magazine, November, 1970

In July of 1970, Electronic Arrays announced that it had developed a calculator chipset that provided a four function, fixed decimal, eight-digit (with calculation results to 16 digits) calculator on six LSI chips that the company dubbed the EAS100 chipset. The chips were split by their function, with a Register Chip (5001), Control Chip(5013), Output Chip (5004), Input Chip (5014), Arithmetic Chip (5017) and Firmware ROM (5014 and 5019 known). The cost for a complete chipset as advertised at introduction was just under $200 for a single chipset. When availability was announced a few months later, the price had dropped to $156.47 for a set. Each of the ICs was packaged in a standard 24-pin DIP (Dual Inline Package) format, initially in a ceramic package, but later, in plastic.

In November of 1970, Electronic Arrays created a subsidiary company called International Calculating Machines (ICM) headquartered in Woodland Hills, CA, and began producting a calculator using the chipset. The calculator, called the ICM 816, was introduced in early 1971.

In early 1971, a company called Lago-Calc, Inc., also of Woodland Hills, California, marketed a calculator based on the S-100 chipset, using a Pandicon display module versus the individual Nixie tubes of the ICM 816, as well as subtle cabinet and keyboard design differences, but utilized the same main circuit board as the ICM 816. This machine was called the Lago-Calc LC-816.

In the fall of 1971, Sony announced the ICC-88 portable (rechargable battery-powered) calculator based on the Electronic Arrays chipset. This was a watershed calculator for Sony, as in all previous Sony calculators, Sony had manufactured their own chips for their calculators.

In November of 1971, Micro Instrumentation and Telemetry Systems (MITS), which later became famous for the Altair 8800 microcomputer, announced their first electronic calculator kit in a Popular Electronics magazine. The calculator was featured in an article introducing the MITS 816 calculator, and the amazing technology used to create it. The MITS 816 used the Electronic Arrays EAS100 chipset. The kit sold for $179, and a fully-assembled MITS 816 was available for $275. The calculator chipset was offered for $75.

Also in the latter part of 1971, another manfacturer, German business machine company Walther Büromaschinen GmbH (known primary as a manufacturer of high-quality firearms), introduced a nice AC-powered Nixie-tube display calculator based on the EAS100 chipset called the ETR-2. A number of months after the introduction of the ETR-2, a portable battery (lead-acid sealed cell) powered rechargable version called the ETR-3 was introduced. Walther went on to develop quite a family of electronic calculators based on variants of the Electronic Arrays EAS100 chipset.