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Clive Sinclair is a British inventor whose interests range over amplifiers, radios, calculators, pocket TV’s and electric vehicles.
Educated at St George's College, Weybridge
Early 1960s: Assistant editor at Instrument Practice
Products included hi-fi amplifiers, tuners, loudspeakers.
1972 Launched small, pocket electronic calculator with much reduced power consumption compared with other calculators based on the Texas Instruments integrated circuit.
1973 Launched the "smallest electronic calculator" in the USA. Planned to launch a small television and a digital watch. The company had 70 employees.
Late 1970s: The National Enterprise Board took control of Sinclair Radionics
1979 Sinclair set up Sinclair Research to pursue development of the microcomputer, a flat tube television display, a novel electric motor and a new electronic instrument.
1980 He launched the ZX80 personal microcomputer which sold for £100; it did not include a display unit and used a separate cassette recorder to store programs.
1981 Established a new publishing house in Cambridge, Sinclair Browne, and a literary prize . Chairman of the British branch of Mensa.
1982 Set up a third research centre in Exeter to develop an electric vehicle and a fourth one (at the time said to be located in Winchester) to develop semiconductor technology
1982 July: Sinclair got Government backing for his personal computers to be used in schools.
1983 Sold 10 percent of Sinclair Research to raise funds for further development of the electric car
1985 His first electric vehicle was the Sinclair C5, one of the products for which he most famous. At the time, this vehicle was claimed to be ‘a revolution in personal transport’.
1985 Planned to set up a wafer-scale integration plant to make micro-chips, which would be an investment in manufacturing, something he had avoided since entering the computer business but the idea was short-lived because of financial problems at Sinclair Research. Later a venture called Anamartic was announced
1985 Having suffered substantial losses because of over-stocking, Sinclair Research was offered a bail-out by Robert Maxwell's Hollis plc; Sinclair would step aside to become life president. But this deal failed and instead a deal with retailers Dixons was announced. At the same time, Hoover issued a writ in relation to unpaid invoices for building the first 14000 C5s and production came to a stop.
1986 Established a new company Cambridge Computer to make a portable computer
1989 The Anamartic venture in wafer-scale integration announced it was ready to start deliveries of chips but the business was affected by the drop in price of RAM and after another 2 years the company seems to have disappeared.
1992 Developed a small-wheeled battery-assisted bicycle, Zike
2021 Died September 16