Toshiba Corporation, a major Japanese manufacturer of computers and electronic devices for consumers and industry. The headquarters is in Tokyo.
The company was founded in 1939 as Tokyo Shibaura Electric Company, Ltd. (Japanese: Tōkyō Shibaura Denki KK), Shibaura Engineering Works, Ltd. and in the merger of Tokyo Electric Company, Ltd. It received its current name in 1978.
The original Shibaura company, formed in 1875, grew out of the factory of inventor Tanaka Hisashige, with an initial concentration on manufacturing ocean-going marine engines. It was taken over by Mitsui's business combiner (zaibatsu) and began making heavy, high-horsepower steam engines. He began making machine tools in the mid-1890s. The Tokyo Electric Light Company began producing bamboo filament electric lamps in 1890 with funding from Mitsui. The combined corporation was separated from Mitsui after World War II with the dissolution of the zaibatsu, but it rejoined the Mitsui Group in 1973.
Both predecessor companies also had close ties to the General Electric Company of the United States. General Electric (GE) first became interested in Tokyo Electric in 1907 in exchange for GE's help in upgrading the company's technology, which led to the mass production of Mazda electric lamps in Japan. In 1909, GE entered into a similar agreement with Shibaura. Such an association represented the first significant introduction of Western technology into Japan and was a great success. GE is still one of Toshiba's largest shareholders.
Toshiba - cooperation
Toshiba, in collaboration with Sony Corporation and another American firm, International Business Machines Corporation (IBM), designed the Cell Broadband Engine. Developed over four years starting in 2001, this advanced computer chip has many applications, from IBM supercomputers to Toshiba high-definition (HD) televisions to the Sony Playstation 3 electronic gaming system. In 2008, Toshiba introduced a line of laptops, or notebooks, based on the Cell processor.
Toshiba manufactures a wide variety of consumer and business products. In addition to HD televisions and laptops, the company makes DVD players, digital video recorders (DVRs), printers, copiers, lighting products, medical imaging equipment, surveillance systems, and liquid crystal display (LCD) devices. It also manufactures semiconductors, as well as equipment for the production of electricity, industrial motors and industrial electronics. It has several subsidiaries in other countries.