|Manufactured by||NEC Corporation|
|Owner||NEC Personal Products, Ltd.|
|Location of historical materials||NEC Personal Products, Ltd.
Akihabara UDX, 4-14-1 Sotokanda, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 101-0021
|Visitor information||Not open to the public (visit by appointment only)|
|Contact||Personal Solutions Planning Division Tel.+81-44-455-8915
TK-80 is a training kit for 8-bit microcomputers released by NEC Corporation (NEC) in 1976. In February of the same year, the Microcomputer Sales Department was newly established within the Semiconductor Department, and began selling new microcomputer chips. With an appeal by the head of the sales department at the time – “Think of a new idea using microcomputers, anything!” – the TK-80 was born.
Just then, educational materials for microcomputer kits aimed at beginners were produced in consultation with Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Public Corporation (NTT) and they became the training kit’s prototype; August 3rd marked the beginning of the microcomputer era with the release of the TK-80 training kit at 88,500 yen.
The TK-80 was equipped with the_PD8080A (compatible with the 8080 8-bit microprocessor from Intel), an LED display, and a hex keypad, and enabled the creation and execution of programs in machine language. An assembly manual, circuit diagram, and a program listing of basic software called a “monitor” were also included.
Initially, the TK-80 was released as an educational kit for engineers working at companies. However, contrary to expectations, large numbers of students and private individuals showed interest at NEC Bit – INN, a sales office that opened in Akihabara, Tokyo. Third parties released peripheral equipment, thus widening its use and making major waves.
The subsequent strengthening of the TK-80BS and COMPO BS/80 in response to demand for microcomputers and the desire to work with them from private individuals created a bridge to the birth of computers for private use – the modern-day personal computer.