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Definition: NEC

(NEC Corporation, Tokyo, www.nec.com, www.necus.com) An electronics conglomerate known in the U.S. for its monitors. In Japan, it had the lion's share of the PC market until the late 1990s (see PC 98).

NEC was founded in Tokyo in 1899 as Nippon Electric Company, Ltd. and was the first Japanese company to joint venture with a foreign enterprise, which was Western Electric Company, then part of AT&T. NEC has been involved with electrical, communications, electronics and computer products worldwide. In 1983, it was renamed NEC Corporation.

In 1985, as part of NEC Technologies (NECT), the North American subsidiary that specialized in peripherals, NEC introduced its MultiSync line, the first multifrequency monitors, which became very popular. In 1996, the CromaClear line combined the aperture grille and shadow mask into a new CRT technology for improved resolution. In 2000, a joint venture was formed with Mitsubishi to market LCD and CRT monitors. In 2005, this NEC-Mitsubishi business unit was renamed NEC Display Solutions (www.necdisplay.com).

In 2002, NEC restructured many of its disparate parts into NEC Solutions, which concentrated on communications. The semiconductor and system LSI business was separated into a new company, NEC Electronics Corporation (www.necel.com). In 2006, operations of NEC solutions were further combined, and NEC Corporation of America was formed. For more information, visit www.necam.com. See Packard Bell NEC.