Saturday, November 13, 2010

CCD Romantic Story

Electronics Weekly: David Manners wrote a sentimental story about Kazuo Iwama, Sony's president in 1976-1982.

In 1973 as a deputy president he ordered Sony to start developing CCD for a consumer video camera.

The development was much more difficult than anyone had imagined. The project dragged on, and on. At every board meeting Iwama was asked: "When are you going to get a return on the investment in CCD?" His invariable response was: "Maybe not while I'm alive."

In 1985 Sony produced the first camcorder using a CCD and it was a huge success.

Iwama had died in 1982. In Iwama's granite tombstone there is embedded a CCD.

Sony CCD history is digested here.


  1. maybe today, Mr. Iwama has been fired many times by the board.

  2. Anyone can provide a photo of this CCD embedded tombstone of Mr. Iwama?

  3. Nice.

    I'm going to try that line out the next time my wife asks me when I'm going to get my invention ideas actually tried out.

    Fortunately, she has a good sense of humor.

  4. One souvenir of my years working in imaging is a fancy bound book produced by SONY of all of its papers from the first decade or so of their work. It was clearly an indication of the special place they held CCD technology.

    (How many people know that TI believed so strongly that CCD's technology would mature in the 1970's that they invested in a strategic project to launch a digital camera? My sense was that there were also managers there asking the same question with the same emotion as Mr. Iwama.)


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