Melody IC SVM7910
The world's first melody IC, taking full advantage of technology used in quartz watches
Debuting in 1978, the SVM 7910 electronic sound-generating device was the world's first melody IC, and took advantage of CMOS IC technology derived from quartz watch -related research. The first finished product equipped with this device was the Seiko Electronic Melodia, a quartz alarm clock released by Seikosha* in July 1978. An revolutionary product, the Electronic Melodia could produce three types of electronic sounds - a melody, chimes, and a buzzer - each selected by simply pressing a button.
Epson** acquired the patent and utility model rights for the electronic sound-generating device and for numerous other ideas. In 1988, these activities culminated in the device winning the Asahi Shimbun*** Prize in the year's Japan Commendation for Invention. Also, in April 1983, the SVM7960 melody IC was launched in the SVM79 series. This new product lineup was even richer in functionality, resulting in the ability to express a wider range of sound. Following its release, it came to be used in a variety of applications, including alarm clocks, amusement machines, on-hold music on telephones, and greeting cards.
* Now Seiko Clock Inc., a subsidiary of Seiko Corporation
**Then known as Suwa Seikosha Co., Ltd.
***A leading Japanese newspaper