Koninklijke Philips Electronics NV
Koninklijke Philips Electronics NV (Royal Philips Electronics Inc),
commonly known as Philips, is a Dutch multinational electronics company.
At present, Philips predominantly concentrates the lifestyle and
In the past Philips was also known for its wide range of electronic
parts, measuring equipment and inventions,
such as the Compact Cassette (1962) and the Compact Disc or CD (1982).
For many years Philips also had a strong presence
in professional markets, such as professional television
studios, the telecom business and the international Defense Industry.
Philips equipment on this website
For many years, Philips subsidary Hollandse Signaalapparaten, often
abbreviated to Holland Signaal, Signaal or HSA, produced high-end
defense electronics, such as advanced radar systems and telecommunications
systems. In 1990, HSA was sold to Thomson
Another Philips branch that produced hi-end equipment for the Dutch Department
of Defense (DoD) and for NATO, was
Philips Usfa BV.
With its head office in
Eindhoven (Netherlands), this secretive company produced cipher machines,
batteries, proximity fuses, night vision equipment, cryogenic equipment, etc.
In 1989, Philips Usfa became part of Hollandse Signaalapparaten (HSA),
which was later sold to Thomson
The Crypto-division was then split-off.
➤ More about Philips Usfa
From 1958 onwards, Philips subsidary
Philips Usfa NV, produced a wide range of
professional cryptographic solutions. In the late 1980s, Philips Usfa became a
subsidary of HSA, but when HSA was later sold to Thomson,
the crypto department went on as the independant business unit
until it was dissolved in 2003 due to lack of revenue.
➤ More about Philips Crypto
Nederlandsche Seintoestellen Fabriek
NSF was established in 1918 as a joint venture of Marconi UK (40%),
Philips (40%) and Radio Holland (20%), for the production of professional
radio transmitters for the Dutch Navy, the Air Force and the Dutch Colonies.
The company later also manufactured radio sets for domestic use.
In 1925, Philips took over NSF completely, and after WWII the factory
was converted into Philips Telecommunicatie Industrie (PTI, see below).
➤ More about NSF
Philips Telecommunicatie Industrie
Philips Telecommunications Industry (PTI) was a special branch of Philips
in The Netherlands, where telephone and radio communications equipment was
developed. The branch had facilities in Hilversum, Huizen and Hoorn
(Netherlands) and for a while even in Alkmaar and Amersfoort.
PTI produced commercial telephone exchanges (switches) but also equipment
for the Department of Defense (DoD), such as parts of the
of the Dutch Army. After a reorganisation in 1989, PTI became part
of HSA, which was finally sold to Thomson (now: Thales)
➤ More about ZODIAC
ASML was founded in 1984 as a joint venture between Advanced Semiconductor
Materials International (ASMI) and the division of Philips that was
responsible for photolithographic integrated circuit production equipment.
In 1988, the company became independent, with Philips only owning a minority
of shares. ASML is currently the largest supplier of photolithography systems
in the world (2021) .
Other Philips Subsidaries
At the height of its activities, Philips had one or more branches in every
major city in The Netherlands and even abroad. During 1990s and 2000s, many
branches were sold to other companies, cut-off (e.g. as part of a
management buy-out) or closed down due to lack of revenue.
The complete list of Philips subsidaries it long and beyond the scope
of this website. For further information, please refer to the
list of Philips subsidaries
on Wikipedia (in Dutch) .
Here are some of the foreign defense-related companies that Philips once owned:
- MBLE, Belgium
- TRT, France
- Magnavox Corporation, USA
- Philips Electronic Industrier, Sweden
- Radarleit, Germany
- Philips Kommunikations Industrie AG, Germany (a.k.a. TeKaDe)
- MEL Mullard Equipment Ltd., UK
- MEL Defence Ltd., Canada
Over the years, the Philips logo, or corporate brand, hasn't changed much.
The original shield is shown at the top of this page and appeared for
more than 100 years on all Philips products. Sometimes the brand-name was
used separately (i.e. separated out of the shield). In March 2008 it was
decided that, as part of and Identity Update,
the shield would no longer be used.
At the same time, the outline of the brand-name was slightly modernized
to the logo shown here. It is only marginally different from the original
text. Although the original shield was abandoned,
it remained a popular token of the
company and kept appearing from time to time. In 2013 the shield was
re-introduced. Although it is modernized, the original
elements have remained:
The 12-digit Numbering Code (12NC) was introduced at
Philips in 1963, and was used to identify complete products as well as
documentation and bare components, up to the finest detail.
It was created to reflect the matrix business model that Philips used at
the time, and is quite versatile.
4322 085 00971
The code consists of 12 digits of which the first two define a product
group, whilst the following two digits define the coding centre. The
remaining 8 digits are used to specify the product within the group.
12NC codes are still used today (2021) by Philips and many of its
(former) subsidaries, such as ASML and Thales.
Below is a non-exhaustive
list of product groups and coding centres, compiled from various internet
sources, such as , complemented by our own observations.
Digits 1 and 2 define the product group, in Philips terminology known as
Hoofd-Industrie Group (Main Industry Group) or HIG. In many cases
electronic components, like resistors and capacitors, had a 12NC number
that started with 4822.
At present, the following group codes are known:
31Consumer electronics 1
40Professional electronics 3
48Electronic components 2
53Service parts 2
92Lighting (Lumileds, Signify)
Originally known as: radio, grammophone and television.
Not an industry group, but directly under the core organisation.
Still used by ASML today (2021).
Digits 3 and 4 define the centre that was responsible for issuing the code.
The coding centre is in many cases (but not always) equivalent to the product's
country of origin, or the country in which it was developed.
The list started off as an alphabetic index of countries (with some
anomalies), whilst later coding centres were added in order of appearance.
56HSA (Thomson, Thales) 1
69Car Radio 2
70Central product range 3
90Far East 4
This code is still used by Thales today (2021).
Unknown coding group, but seen on various car radios .
Central product range from Eindhoven (Netherlands). Still in use today (2007).
Previously also used for Singapore (39) and Hong Kong (40) as well.
The following 12NC prefixes are still used today by companies other than Philips:
Any links shown in red are currently unavailable.
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© Crypto Museum. Created: Monday 17 May 2010. Last changed: Saturday, 04 June 2022 - 08:07 CET.