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

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Docket #:2011-07

This Proposal has been approved, and is now a Milestone Nomination

This is a draft proposal, that has not yet been submitted. To submit this proposal, click on "Edit with form", check the "Submit this proposal for review" box at the bottom, and save the page.

Is the achievement you are proposing more than 25 years old?

Is the achievement you are proposing within IEEE’s fields of interest? (e.g. “the theory and practice of electrical, electronics, communications and computer engineering, as well as computer science, the allied branches of engineering and the related arts and sciences” – from the IEEE Constitution)

Did the achievement provide a meaningful benefit for humanity?

Was it of at least regional importance?

Has an IEEE Organizational Unit agreed to pay for the milestone plaque(s)?

Has an IEEE Organizational Unit agreed to arrange the dedication ceremony?

Has the IEEE Section in which the milestone is located agreed to take responsibility for the plaque after it is dedicated?

Has the owner of the site agreed to have it designated as an Electrical Engineering Milestone? Yes

Year or range of years in which the achievement occurred:


Title of the proposed milestone:

The first laptop personal computer, 1984-1986

Plaque citation summarizing the achievement and its significance:

In what IEEE section(s) does it reside?

The IEEE Tokyo Section

IEEE Organizational Unit(s) which have agreed to sponsor the Milestone:

IEEE Organizational Unit(s) paying for milestone plaque(s):

Unit: The IEEE Tokyo Section
Senior Officer Name: Senior officer name

IEEE Organizational Unit(s) arranging the dedication ceremony:

Unit: The IEEE Tokyo Section
Senior Officer Name: Senior officer name

IEEE section(s) monitoring the plaque(s):

IEEE Section: The IEEE Tokyo Section
IEEE Section Chair name: Section chair name

Milestone proposer(s):

Proposer name: Mr. Koichi Hasebe
Proposer email: Proposer email

Please note: your email address and contact information will be masked on the website for privacy reasons. Only IEEE History Center Staff will be able to view the email address.

Street address(es) and GPS coordinates of the intended milestone plaque site(s):

Ome Complex of Toshiba Corporation, in Ome, Tokyo, Japan

Describe briefly the intended site(s) of the milestone plaque(s). The intended site(s) must have a direct connection with the achievement (e.g. where developed, invented, tested, demonstrated, installed, or operated, etc.). A museum where a device or example of the technology is displayed, or the university where the inventor studied, are not, in themselves, sufficient connection for a milestone plaque.

Please give the address(es) of the plaque site(s) (GPS coordinates if you have them). Also please give the details of the mounting, i.e. on the outside of the building, in the ground floor entrance hall, on a plinth on the grounds, etc. If visitors to the plaque site will need to go through security, or make an appointment, please give the contact information visitors will need.

Toshiba Ome Complex This achievement (T-1100) developed in the factory in 1984-1985 and mass production also was performed by this factory.

Are the original buildings extant?


Details of the plaque mounting:

How is the site protected/secured, and in what ways is it accessible to the public?

As Ome Complex is one of Toshiba’s facilities, it has enough secure gates. But it has a museum area in the building, and people are allowed to go into the building can access the museum area. Already IEEE Milestone Award “The First Word Processor for The Japanese Language, 1971-1978” is displayed at Ome Complex.

Who is the present owner of the site(s)?

Toshiba Corporation

A letter in English, or with English translation, from the site owner(s) giving permission to place IEEE milestone plaque on the property:

A letter or email from the appropriate Section Chair supporting the Milestone application:

What is the historical significance of the work (its technological, scientific, or social importance)?

Nowadays, people carry their portable PCs and use them anywhere. But until April 1985, with the introduction of Apple II in 1977, IBM PC in 1981, and other clone PCs, personal computing had increasingly been accepted but usages had still been limited in fixed desktop environment. T-1100, released in April 1985, was a real 16 bit lap-top personal computer weighting only 4 kg. Equipped with battery, it provided the user the same computing environment anywhere even without AC power just like in the office. T-1100 was 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 T-1100, the innovation by Toshiba has triggered the growth of lap-top and Note PC market up to $150 billion and, in addition, created the related component industries. (LCD:14 B$ HDD:17B$, Battery:11B$, CPU 34B$) In the last 25 years, Toshiba has sold 100 million personal computers. T-1100 was the origin of “Lap-top Computers”; as all lap-top and notebook computers can be traced back to this model.

What obstacles (technical, political, geographic) needed to be overcome?

In order to realize portability, operability without AC power, and compatibility with IBM-PC/AT, it was necessary to make it as light as possible and reduce power usage for long battery life. To achieve this, Toshiba had consolidated a great number of ICs which were normally used in desktops PCs into a few Gate Arrays and, instead of the existing mainstream NMOS technology, adopted CMOS technology. With these solutions, T-1100 realized not only compaction and light weight of 4kg, but also low power consumption. In addition, Toshiba had also developed main components such as LCD and 3.5 inches floppy disc drive for achieving the highest density implementation ever before. Toshiba had also developed rechargeable NiCad batteries from the ground and achieved 8 hours battery life. This battery life was realized with the enabling technologies including charge/discharge mechanism and driver software which were not yet available for PC ATs. This technology had been improved to the current “ACPI (Advanced Configuration and Power Interface)” which has been widely used as a common power control standard and enables stand-by/suspend mode and cutting power supply to sleeping devices. Although Clam-shell system is suitable for portable PC to guard LCD and keyboard, there was no clam-shell hinge and FPC (Flexible printed circuits) cable with light and enough durability and endurance. But Toshiba developed these components with countless repeated trials.

What features set this work apart from similar achievements?

As for portable computing devices prior to T-1100, Compaq released Portable I in 1982, but it came with size of the suitcase, 12.5kg weight, separate display and keyboard. Therefore, although it was portable, it was not light enough to call lap-top. In Japan, HC-20 of Seiko released in 1982 and PC8201A of NEC released in 1983 were about 1.7kg handheld device, but were 8 bit BASIC machine not compatible with IBM PC/AT. T-1100 was the first clam-shell lap-top computer with IBM-PC/AT compatibility and workable without AC power.

References to establish the dates, location, and importance of the achievement: Minimum of five (5), but as many as needed to support the milestone, such as patents, contemporary newspaper articles, journal articles, or citations to pages in scholarly books. At least one of the references must be from a scholarly book or journal article.

Supporting materials (supported formats: GIF, JPEG, PNG, PDF, DOC): All supporting materials must be in English, or if not in English, accompanied by an English translation. You must supply the texts or excerpts themselves, not just the references. For documents that are copyright-encumbered, or which you do not have rights to post, email the documents themselves to Please see the Milestone Program Guidelines for more information.