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Nippon Calculating Machine Co. Busicom 162 Desktop Calculator

Nippon Calculating Machine Co. Busicom 162
Image Courtesy Peter Broughton of Broughton's of Bristol (UK Busicom Distributor in the 1960's)

Interestingly, though manufactured in Japan, the Busicom 162 utilizes small-scale DTL Integrated Circuit logic manufactured by American integrated circuit manufacturer Signetics. The use of Signetics integrated circuits in a Japanese-made calculator is unusual, and occurred in this case because the calculator was designed under contract to Nippon Calculating Machine Co.(NCM) by Computer Design Corporation in the United States (Santa Monica, California).

NCM provided overall desired specifications and performance documentation and Computer Design Corporation desgined the calculator, providing complete details for NCM to use to produce the calculator.

Issues relating to Japan's limits on import of US-made integrated circuits were skirted by the fact that NCM had arranged an OEM agreement with National Cash Register in the US, which allowed NCM to be able to import the US-made integrated circuits in order to fulfill its contractual oblications under the OEM agreement with NCR.

NCR marketed this calculator as the NCR Model 18-3 in North America.

Along an automatic square root function, the Busicom 162/NCR 18-3 provides two independent accumulating memory registers, fixed decimal point for addition/subtraction with floating decimal for results of multiplication and division, 16-digit capacity, a backspace feature for error correction, true credit balance, and selective round-off features. The calculator uses a 256-bit magnetic core memory array for working register storage. See the Old Calculator Museum exhibit on the NCR Model 18-2 for information on a variant (leaving out the square root function) of the 162 also marketed by NCR.
NCM/Busicom 162 Specifications

Manufacturer: Nippon Calculating Machine Co., Ltd.
Designed by: Computer Design Corporation, Santa Monica, CA
Model Number: 162
OEM Customer: National Cash Register, Dayton, OH
NCR Model Number: 18-3
Manufactured In: Japan
Date of Introduction: August, 1968
Display Technology: Nixie Tube, 16 Digits
Logic Technology: Small-Scale IC logic (Signetics DTL) mixed with discrete diode/transistor circuitry
256-bit (16x16) Magnetic Core Memory array for working register storage
Digits of Capacity: 16
Decimal Modes: Thumbwheel-selectable fixed for addition/subtraction, floating for multiplication,
division and square root.
Math Functions: Four Function plus Square Root
Memories: Two accumulator-style memory registers w/automatic summation mode
Performance: Addition/Subtraction: 20ms; Multiplication/Division/Square Root: 430ms max. (Mfg. Claims)
Size: 13 1/8" wide, 13 1/8" deep, 5 5/8" high
Weight: 15.4 pounds

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