Data Terminals

Division name: Data Terminals

Founded: 1975
Address: 19400 Homestead Road, Cupertino California.
Data Terminals Division at Building 42 in Cupertino


The terminal development and manufacturing activities of the Data Systems Division were spun off in August of 1975 to form the Terminal Products Division. The first general manager of TPD was Jim Arthur. TPD took responsibility for the 2640 and 2644 terminals developed by DSD. Before introducing its first home made terminal (the 2640A) in 1974, HP had resold printing terminals from the Teletype Corporation and CRT terminals from the Computer Terminal Corporation and from the Beehive Medical Electronics Company. The 2640A was introduced in December of 1974. DTD shipped the 2000th unit in September of 1975. DTD booked $17M in revenue in 1976.

In March of 1977, Data Terminals Division moved into the newly completed 172,000 square foot building (building 43) next door at 19400 Homestead Road (from a shared building at 11000 Wolfe Road). In mid-1978, DTD moved part of its manufacturing division to HP's Sunnyvale plant. By 1978, half of the terminals made by HP were being sold onto non-HP systems.

In August of 1978, HP took an option to buy an 1100-acre site in Roseville California for future expansion of the Data Systems Division. In December of 1978, HP took a six month option to purchase an additional 500-acre site in Roseville. The Roseville Terminals and Roseville Networks Divisions would eventually be located on this site. In October of 1978, DTD introduced the first of the classic ET Head terminals, the 2621A.

DTD grew 100% in 1979. In 1980, HP had higher dollar sales from terminals than from either 1000 computer systems or 3000 computer systems.

In March of 1980, the manufacturing part of the Data Terminals Division relocated from Cupertino to Roseville. By June of 1980, the rest of the division had relocated to HP's Sunnyvale plant (Arques Ave).

DTD also started manufacturing in Aquadilla, Puerto Rico in early 1980. The Puerto Rico operation was managed initially by Larry Mitchell as one of six US ex-pats that arrived in January 1980 to start the HPPR operation, with Lee Wiese as Manufacturing Manager, Harry Heflin as Engineering Manager and Bruce Greenan as Finance Manager. The HPPR plant was an old womens hosiery manufacturing facility, abandoned over one weekend by the previous owner. The Puerto Rico government took over the building and cleaned it out. When the team first arrived at the plant, there was a telephone, a cardboard box for a desk and a folding metal chair, that was all! Within 6 months the plant was in production, building the HP2621A terminal with close to 200 employees.

HPPR shipped its first 2621A terminal in April of that year. The Puerto Rican operation shipped its 1000th 2621A in August of 1980. Ray Cookinghan took over from Larry Mitchell in August/September of 1982. By the end of 1983, HP employed 400 people in Puerto Rico. In March of 1985, the Fort Collins Division transferred manufacturing of memory modules for 200 Series computers to the Puerto Rico Division.

In July of 1981, Cyril Yansouni was named general manager of the Data Terminal Division. DTD introduced the low-cost 2382A terminal in August of 1981. DTD booked $190M in revenue in 1981. The business levelled off and peaked at $205M in 1983

In January of 1982, a new group was created to overlook all divisions involved in the development and manufacture of terminals (Data Terminals Division, Grenoble Division and the manufacturing operations in Roseville and Puerto Rico). The Computer Terminals Group was headed up by Yansouni. In 1982, DTD introduced the most ambitious product it would ever attempt, the 2700. The 2700 was really a high-end color graphics workstation (with two built in floppy drives). It proved too expensive to gain any traction in the market.

In November of 1982, part of the Data Terminals Division was combined with the General Systems Division at the Sunnyvale facility to form the Personal Office Computer Division. Bob Puette was the general manager of the new division. The new division became part of the Computer Terminals Group. This organization had already produced the first HP business desktop computers (the HP-125 and HP-120 CP/M computers).

In November of 1982, the terminal operations in Roseville became the Roseville Terminals Division with Larry Mitchell as general manager. The terminals business peaked for HP in 1983. After that year, PCs were increasingly used as terminals connected to central systems. Also in 1983, HP's system disc drive business overtook terminals as the largest peripherals business in the company.

In January of 1985, HP shipped its 500,000th display terminal. By 1990, terminals had declined to a $100 million per year business for HP, less than half the 1983 level.

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