Sord Computer Corporation
IndustryPeripherals
FounderTakayoshi Shiina
HeadquartersChiba, Japan
ProductsPeripherals
Number of employees
390 (as of 2009}[1]
WebsiteSord Computer Corporation (in Japanese)

Sord Computer Corporation is a Japanese electronics company, founded in 1970 by the entrepreneur Takayoshi Shiina.[2]

From 1985 until 2018, it was a subsidiary of Toshiba and became known variously as Toshiba Personal Computer System Corporation[3] and Toshiba Platform Solution Corporation.[4]

In 2018, Toshiba sold off the business[4] and its name reverted to Sord Computer Corporation.[5] It now focuses on embedded systems among other interests.[6]

History

Early years

Sord M5 home computer
Sord M5 home computer

SORD was founded by Takayoshi Shiina in 1970 when he was 26 years old. Initially, the company wrote software for DEC PDP minicomputers, before it branched out into hardware production. The name SORD is a contraction of SOftware/haRDware, reflecting the dual focus of the company.

Sord presented the SMP80/08 in 1973, one of the first microcomputers, using the Intel 8008 microprocessor.[3] However, it did not have a commercial release. After the first general-purpose microprocessor, the Intel 8080, was announced in April 1974, Sord announced the SMP80/x series in May 1974.[3]

In 1977, SORD released the M200 Smart Home Computer, one of the first home computers. It was a desktop computer that combined a Zilog Z80 CPU, keyboard, CRT display, floppy disk drive and MF-DOS operating system into an integrated unit.[7]

This was followed by the M100 and various other versions of the M100/M200 series, plus the multi-user M223 and M243 computers. The SORD M23 followed in 1981 and become one of the most popular SORD computers. It was one of the first to see significant use outside Japan.

In 1982, Sord released the M5, a home computer that primarily competed in the Japanese market.

The M68, a dual 8/16 bit computer using both 68000 and Z80 CPUs, was released in Japan in 1983.

The PIPS - Personal (or Pan) Information Processing System was released in 1980. This package was a combined spreadsheet and database business package. This was followed by PIPS-II in 1981, PIPS-III in 1982 and a complete rewrite (by a team led by Peter Hyde) as 4G-PIPS in 1986.

Under Toshiba ownership

Shiina was approached by a larger Japanese corporation in 1983 and advised to sell. He didn't - and in 1984, on the back of turnover of 35 billion yen and profit of 2 billion yen SORD found itself struggling with suppliers and the banks. SORD was sold to Toshiba in 1985.

Under Toshiba, SORD went on to produce additional hardware such as the M68MX (with no Z80A) and M343SX-II multi-user computer and new versions of PIPS, a series of high performance IBM compatible machines and systems based on Alpha. Latterly, SORD (known at that point as Toshiba-TOPS) changed focus to primarily dealing with embedded systems.

Sell-off and restoration of 'Sord' name

In 2018, Toshiba sold Toshiba Platform Solution Corporation to Aspirant Group.[4] Following this, the company name was changed back to Sord Computer Corporation.[5] The company continues the focus on embedded systems begun under Toshiba.[6]

Selected models

See also

References

  1. ^ TOPS - Corporate Profile (2009) Archived 2009-05-22 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ David H. Ahl (June 1984). "Sord IS-11 notebook computer". Creative Computing. Retrieved 2009-04-23.
  3. ^ a b c "IPSJ Computer Museum:【Sord】 SMP80/x series". Retrieved 2017-03-27.
  4. ^ a b c "Aspirant Group to acquire Toshiba Platform Solution Corporation" (PDF). 2018-02-28. Retrieved 2021-04-16. Aspirant Group [announces it] has acquired Toshiba Platform Solution Corporation (“TOPS”) [from] Toshiba. TOPS, founded as SORD Corporation in 1970 [was acquired] by Toshiba in 1985.
  5. ^ a b "会社合併と社名変更のご案内" [Information on company merger and company name change] (in Japanese). 2018年7月2日付で、弊社は親会社であるTOPSホールディングス株式会社と合併し、弊社がTOPSホールディングス株式会社の権利義務の一切を継承して存続会社となりました。また 弊社は同日付で「株式会社ソード」に社名変更いたしました。 [As of July 2, 2018, we merged with our parent company, TOPS Holdings Co., Ltd., and we inherited all the rights and obligations of TOPS Holdings Co., Ltd. and became the surviving company. In addition, we changed the company name to "Sord Computer Corporation " on the same date.]
  6. ^ a b "会社概要" [Company Profile]. Retrieved 2021-04-16. エンベデッドソリューション事業(組込みPC、周辺機器の販売・設計・製造および保守サービス)および、一般派遣事業、有料職業紹介事業 [Business content: Embedded solution business (sales, design, manufacturing and maintenance services for embedded PCs and peripherals), general dispatch business, paid employment placement business]
  7. ^ "M200 Smart Home Computer Series-Computer Museum".
  8. ^ "Sord M223 series", Old-Computers.com
  9. ^ http://www.old-computers.com/museum/computer.asp?c=218&st=1
  10. ^ "Toshiba Finds Profit in WebFOCUS" (PDF). Information Builders. 2008. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2010-01-05. Retrieved 2009-04-23.
  11. ^ a b "SORD M685 Micro-mainframe with DF44H Floppy Disk Unit" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2019-11-04. Vintage: c.1984
  12. ^ "SORD M343SX Multi-user computer" (PDF). Vintage: c.1984