News release HP-35 Scientific Calculator Awarded IEEE Milestone

News release HP-35 Scientific Calculator Awarded IEEE Milestone
News release
HP-35 Scientific Calculator Awarded IEEE Milestone
PALO ALTO, Calif., April 14, 2009 – HP today announced that IEEE, the world’s
largest technical professional association, has awarded HP the prestigious IEEE
Milestone in Electrical Engineering and Computing award for its HP-35 Scientific
Introduced in 1972, the HP-35 was the world’s first handheld-sized scientific
calculator, standing apart from its peers, which could only perform four basic
functions – addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.
Editorial contacts:
Pat Kinley, HP
+1 515 222 1323
Jessica Kerr
Porter Novelli for HP
+1 415 975 2213
HP Media Hotline
+1 866 266 7272
3000 Hanover Street
Palo Alto, CA 94304
The HP-35, named for its 35 keys, performed all the functions of the slide rule to
10-digit precision and could determine the decimal point or power-of-10
exponent through a full 200-decade range. This combination of features
ultimately made the slide rule, which had been used by generations of
engineers and scientists, obsolete.
The HP-35 was HP’s first product that contained both integrated circuits and
LEDs (light-emitting diodes). Both technologies had been developed in HP Labs,
the company’s central research arm.
The HP-35 was an innovative culmination of mechanical design, state-of-the-art
technology, algorithm development and application – all unique at the time of
its development.
“The HP-35 fundamentally changed the way engineers, mathematicians,
scientists and students worked, delivering unprecedented portable computing
power,” said Jason Zajac, vice president and general manager, Worldwide
Attach Group, HP. “The HP-35 was the company’s first consumer electronic
device, and from that bright beginning, HP has continued to innovate and
grow a technology portfolio that spans calculating solutions that dynamically
capture physical data and leading-edge touch technology that is changing
how people interact with technology.”
The HP-35 was developed when HP co-founder Bill Hewlett challenged HP
engineers to take their current desktop computer, the HP-9100, and create a
similarly capable device that fit in his shirt pocket. Even as initial market
research deemed the $395 product to be too expensive, HP recognized its
significance and the market need and plunged ahead. While HP expected to
sell 10,000 to break even, the demand for the HP-35 exceeded expectations
and more than 100,000 were sold during its first year on the market.
IEEE established the Electrical Engineering Milestones program in 1983 to honor
significant achievements in the history of electrical and electronics engineering.
To be awarded, technologies must have stood the test of time. Currently, there
are fewer than 100 IEEE milestones; among these are Benjamin Franklin’s work
with electricity and Volta’s invention of the electrical battery.
“The HP-35 helped accelerate the pace of technological change and
revolutionized the engineering profession by allowing almost-instantaneous,
extremely accurate scientific calculations anywhere and anytime,” said Lewis
Terman, 2008 IEEE president. “The HP-35 made it possible to conduct
complicated calculations wherever they were needed, with speed and
accuracy that well surpassed the slide rule. It played a key role in the lives and
projects of countless engineers and scientists.”
An IEEE Milestone plaque recording the award will be permanently displayed at
HP Labs in Palo Alto, Calif., the site where the HP-35 was originally developed.
Since the introduction of the HP-35, HP has ushered in a new era of computing
and redefined the way people learn, teach and use calculating technologies
and solutions for students, professionals and consumers of all stages of life. HP
continues its heritage of developing innovative calculating solutions for the
scientific, financial, education and general home and office markets.
Additional details about the HP Calculators and today’s news are available at The milestone event will also be broadcast
online at Ustream.TV. The broadcast will begin at 11:30 a.m. PT and can be
viewed at
Information about the complete line of HP graphing, scientific, financial and
home and office calculators is available at
About HP
HP, the world’s largest technology company, simplifies the technology
experience for consumers and businesses with a portfolio that spans printing,
personal computing, software, services and IT infrastructure. More information
about HP (NYSE: HPQ) is available at
Note to editors: More news from HP, including links to RSS feeds, is available at
© 2009 Hewlett-Packard Development Company, L.P. The information contained herein is subject to change without
notice. The only warranties for HP products and services are set forth in the express warranty statements
accompanying such products and services. Nothing herein should be construed as constituting an additional
warranty. HP shall not be liable for technical or editorial errors or omissions contained herein.
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