Japanese Computer Pioneers

Yamada HiroshiYamada Hiroshi

Yamada Hiroshi (b. 1929/03/09) graduated from the Department of Physics, the University of Tokyo in 1952 and started his research work at Professor Takahasi Hidetosi's Laboratory. In the meantime, driven by the ingenious invention of the Parametron (the logical elements) by Goto Eiichi, the Laboratory was highly motivated in developmental research of a computer employing the Parametron. In 1956, Yamada Hiroshi successfully constructed the Decimal Parametron Computer PD1516 with the Japan Electronic Instruments Co. Ltd. which had also shown interest in Parametron technologies. He then, in 1959, moved to Fuji Tsushinki Manufacturing Co. (Currently Fujitsu Ltd.) and sent two types of Parametron Computers to market, namely FACOM 212 in 1959 and FACOM 202 in 1960, the latter of which was originally developed at the University of Tokyo as the PC-2. Next, he led the FONTAC project manufactured jointly by Fujitsu, Ltd., NEC Corporation, and Oki Electric Co. (1963-64). The result of the project came out later as the FACOM 230-50 and 30.

With the completion of the DIPS-1, which was initiated by the NipponTelegraph and Telephone Public Corporation in 1971, Yamada contributed to the promotion of the DIPS project. When the Fujitsu-Amdahl project was launched, he participated in completion of the amdahl 470V/6 which utilized 100 gates LSI. From 1972 to 76, the Ministry of International Trade and Industry sponsored the Super-high-performance Computer Project and it was the resulting new LSI used in the FACOM M series computers which gave Fujitsu global renown.

In 1979, Yamada Hiroshi transferred to Fujitsu Laboratories, where he intensively promoted research in various fields such as Artificial Intelligence, the Fifth Generation Computer, Neurocomputers, etc. as the General Manager of the Kawasaki Laboratory. He retired as the Fujitsu Laboratory Adviser in 2000. From 1990 to 1999, he served as Professor at the School of Computer and Cognitive Sciences, Chukyo University. While he stayed on campus, Yamada endeavored to guide junior researchers.

He died on April 23, 2013.

(Wada Eiiti)
(As of June 8, 2006)