Sharp PC-1401

Date of introduction:  1983 Display technology:  LCD dot matrix 
New price:  $279.00 (MSRP 1982) Display size:  16 characters
Size:  2.8" x 7.7" x 0.45"
 72 x 170 x 11 mm3
Weight:  4.2 ounces, 120 grams Serial No:  47028106
Batteries:  2*CR2032 Date of manufacture:  mth 07 year 1985
AC-Adapter:   Origin of manufacture:  Japan
Precision:  12 Integrated circuits:  CPU: SC61860S
 ROM: SC613256
 RAM: 2*HM6116
Memories:  4.2k RAM, 40k ROM    
Program steps:   Courtesy of:  Ken H. Meine

Sharp Corporation introduced in June 1980 with the PC-1210 (and its sibling PC-1211) the World's first Pocket Computer with BASIC programmability. It took only about three months and Matsushita defined with their Panasonic HHC a new category of Hand-held Computers or Portable Computers. Casio, having a long history of Programmable Pocket Calculators, entered the arena in November 1981 with their FX-702P, combining a scientific calculator with BASIC programmability in the new "landscape" form factor with wide LC-Displays and an alphanumeric keyboard.

With the three cornerstones of the emerging market defined, Sharp consequently split their portfolio into two different directions:

PC-1500 (1982): Portable Computer as a center of a
   Computer System with many peripherals
PC-1401 (1983): Hybrid of a Pocket Computer with BASIC
   Programmability and a Scientific Calculator

While Casio labeled the FX-702P only as a "Programmable Calculator", chose Sharp with their combination of a scientific calculator and BASIC programmability a different approach and sold the same product under different names. We know five different pairings:

PC-1401 EL-5500 II Scientific calculator, 4k Bytes RAM, 16 character display
PC-1402   Scientific calculator, 10k Bytes RAM, 16 character display
PC-1403   Scientific calculator, 8k Bytes RAM, 24 character display
PC-1403H EL-5500 III Scientific calculator, 32k Bytes RAM, 24 character display
PC-1421 EL-5510 Financial calculator, 4k Bytes RAM, 16 character display
PC-1430   Scientific calculator, 2k Bytes RAM, 16 character display
PC-1431 EL-5400 Scientific calculator, 4k Bytes RAM, 16 character display
PC-1450   Scientific calculator, RAM Card, 16 character display
PC-1460 EL-5520 Scientific calculator, RAM Card, 24 character display

The PC-1401 series of Pocket Computers features an 11-pin connector for peripherals on its left side:

Product Description MSRP (1983)
CE-126P Thermal Printer & Cassette Interface,
up to 24 characters per line

Dismantling a Sharp PC-1401 manufactured in July 1985 by Sharp Corporation in Japan reveals a efficient design centered around a Sharp SC61860 8-bit microcontroller.

The printed circuit board (PCB of the Sharp PC-1401 hosts a total five Integrated Circuits (ICs):

SC61860: 8-bit microcontroller with 8k Bytes ROM manufactured by Sharp in a CMOS process and using a 80-pin QFP (Quad Flat Pack) package
SC613256: 32k Bytes ROM manufactured by Sharp in a CMOS process and using a 54-pin or 44-pin QFP (Quad Flat Pack) package
2*HM6116 or HM6264: 2k Bytes manufactured by Hitachi in a CMOS process and using an 24-pin SOP (Small Outline Package) encapsulation
SC43536: Display driver with built in RAM (128*4 Bits), manufactured by Sharp in a CMOS process and using a 62-pin QFP (Quad Flat Pack) package

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If you have additions to the above article please email:

Joerg Woerner, January 23, 2021. No reprints without written permission.