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I am trying to determine when the NEC V series CPUs became available. So far I have:

1982 µPD8088
1984 V20
???? V40
???? V41

1981 µPD8086
1984 V30
1988 V33
???? V50
???? V51
???? V53

1986 V60
1987 V70
1989 V80

Can anyone fill in the unknown ones?

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  • 1
    Announced, sampled, or widely released?
    – Jon Custer
    May 15, 2023 at 13:22
  • 4
    @JonCuster, OP says 'became available' so in production and for sale. I imagine they're looking for when they'd be going into computers/equipment.
    – TonyM
    May 15, 2023 at 14:56
  • 2
    Yes, when they are generally available to buy and started entering products.
    – user
    May 15, 2023 at 15:29
  • 1
    For sampling, the producer has started to make and package some chips, and will supply them to interested manufacturers so they can start design and test of potential products. Those manufacturers get first dibs on ordering product before ordinary folks can get their hands on them. Finally one could find them in ads at the back of Byte magazine.
    – Jon Custer
    May 15, 2023 at 16:57
  • 1
    Kinda tricky for anything but the basic V20 and V30, as all other variants are System-on-a-Chip designes, which naturally were only bought by system manufacturers, so if at all one can go by date of sale for devices like the Olivetti Quaderno (original one) for V51 or PC1 for V40
    – Raffzahn
    May 16, 2023 at 15:48

1 Answer 1

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Making this a Community Wiki. If you have more information, please edit this answer instead of adding your own.

I got some info by going through December Byte issues, so that will start things off. Others can fill in from whatever info they can find. I chose Byte since their coverage was quite broad, and the December issue to narrow things down to a given year. However, it is US-centric, and the NEC chips never penetrated deeply into the US market. However, mentions were slimmer than I would have thought, particularly with respect to ads from standard parts suppliers (at the time) such as Jameco - at best I found mentions of the various V20 and V30 versions, nothing past (even as late as Jameco's Feb-Apr 1994 catalog, all that are listed are the V20 and V30s). I suppose Computer Shopper would be another good option, but I have not had the time to get to those.

Data so far, collected from Byte, Wikipedia and other sources:

  • V25 μPD70320 (or μPD70322 with custom ROM)

    • The 12/1990 Byte issue has the NEC V25 (8MHz) in the What's New column as part of the Voice Connexion 'Micro IntroVoice' "modular speech-processing system".
  • V30HL μPD70116H - an optimized V30 core with non Intel pinout

  • V33 μPD70136

  • V40 μPD70208

    • Olivetti Prodest PC1 in stores in Italy in Summer 1988 (IIRC August)
    • Mentioned in June 1988 issue of UK Personal Computer World
    • Mentioned in the 12/1989 Byte issue, in a "EarthStation I" diskless PC, and a "Quark/PC+" from "megatel".
  • V50 μPD70216

    • NEC Laptop PC98LT of October 1986
    • Byte 12/1989 issues also brings a mention of the NEC V50 in a ROM based machine from Kila Systems in Boulder, CO.
  • V50HL μPD70216H

  • V51 μPD70280

  • V53 μPD70236

    • The 12/1991 Byte issue has a machine from Kila Systems using the NEC V53.

I strongly suspect that a search on Asian or European magazines may well yield more and better data.

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