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Sony Sobax ICC-88 Portable Calculator

Sony Sobax ICC-88, Circa Fall, 1971

The Sony ICC-88 is unusual in that it represented the first electronic calculator made by Sony that utilized a US-made calculator chipset for its main logic. The machine utilized a version of American MOS/LSI chipmaker Electronics Arrays' six-chip S-100 chipset. This chipset, introduced by Electronic Arrays in November of 1970, set a new low-price benchmark for full calculator functionality in a MOS/LSI chipset, making it a very popular chipset to serve as the brains for calculators from quiet a number of manufactures. Companies including Lago Calc, International Calculating Machinees (ICM), Micro Instrumentation and Telemetery Systems (MITS), Caltype(A division of Transitron Co.), Rex Rotary, and Walther, used the chipset in their calculators. The ICC-88 was introduced to the market in September of 1971, at a time when competition in the portable electronic calculator marketplace was really starting to heat up.

The Sobax ICC-88 is a basic four function portable office calculator, with eight digit seven-segment gas-discharge display, and a numeric capacity of 16 digits, using a special key to toggle the display between the upper digits and lower eight digits on the display register. The machine has a built-in Nickel-Cadmium battery pack, which is charged by placing the calculator into a "docking-station" style charger. The calculator can be operated while in the charging station, or away from the charging station on battery power. The ICC-88 is the only battery-powered calculator known to have been made using the Electronic Arrays S-100 chipset.
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