|Industry||Keyboard and keyswitch manufacturer|
|Headquarters||Fountain Valley, CA, USA|
Datanetics was an American keyboard and keyswitch manufacturer. Datanetics are best known for their DC-50 series tactile switches used by early Apple computers. It appears that "Datanetics Corp" was abbreviated to "DC" and "DNC" in their quality control stamps used on completed keyboards.
Founded in 1967, the original business plan was the manufacture of CRTs for the emerging terminal market. By December 1969 they decided to focus instead on keyboard manufacture, with diaphragm-based switch technology. In 1971, with rising sales, they were chosen by Monroe to build the keyboards for the Monroe 1200, the calculator company's first electronic printing calculator.
In 1972, with only two major customers (Monroe and Computer Design Corporation), Datanetics decided to broaden their customer base with a discrete keyswitch design. This became DC-50 series, fully introduced in 1973. DC-60 series, of low-profile, lower-cost switches designed specifically for high-end calculators, was also introduced in 1972. In the same year, the diaphragm switching technology was licensed to Futaba, which might have formed the origin of Futaba complicated linear with its sealed contact assembly.
Datanetics first shipped keyboards to Apple in 1976. Somewhere around 1978, Datanetics designer and general manager Michael Muller left to form The Keyboard Company, which later became the Apple Accessory Products Division, itself later bought by Alps Electric.