On 16 November 1989, home-grown technology company Creative Technology launched a sound card for personal computers (PCs) known as Sound Blaster at Comdex ’89, a leading international computer trade show held annually in Las Vegas. The company occupied a booth in the pavilion set up by the Singapore Trade Development Board and, over the five days of the trade show, sold 600 units of the sound card – one order every four minutes.
Sound Blaster was a computer chip board for IBM compatible PCs that enabled users to play and record speech and music. The product was considered a breakthrough at that time because it made music widely available through consumer PCs. It was an improvement over an earlier low-cost version called the Creative Music System (CMS), or Game Blaster, that was introduced in 1987. The sound card became a bestseller and more than 100 million units were sold over the next 10 years.
Backed by strong sales of its flagship product, Creative Technology established itself as the de facto audio standard for IBM compatible PCs during the 1990s. It was also the first Singapore company to be listed on the US NASDAQ stock exchange on 10 August 1992. To date, more than 400 million Sound Blaster products have been sold worldwide.
1. Sim, W. H. (2003). Chaotic thoughts from the old millennium (pp. 111–112, 229). Singapore: Cruxible. Call no.: RSING 338.761006092 SIM.
2. Ong, L. (1989, December 1). Local computer manufacturer makes headway in US. The Straits Times, p. 45. Retrieved September from NewspaperSG.
3. Loh, L. (2010, March 22). 5 Singapore tech inventions that rocked our world. Retrieved September 16, 2013, from CNN website: http://travel.cnn.com/singapore/shop/5-best-tech-inventions-singapore-rocked-our-world-423291
4. Sim, 2003, p. 110.
5. Sim, 2003, p. 229.
6. Sim, 2003, pp. 111–112.
7. Sim, 2003, p. 112.
8. Creative Technology Ltd. (2013). Sound Blaster. Retrieved September 16, 2013, from Creative website: http://sg.creative.com/p/sound-blaster
The information in this article is valid as at 2014 and correct as far as we are able to ascertain from our sources. It is not intended to be an exhaustive or complete history of the subject. Please contact the Library for further reading materials on the topic.