The ZX Spectrum (pronounced /ˈzɛdˌɛks/ "Zed-Ex") is an 8-bit personal home computer released in the United Kingdom in 1982 by Sinclair Research Ltd.
The machine was launched as the ZX Spectrum by Sinclair to highlight the machine's colour display, compared with the black-and-white of its predecessor, the ZX81. The Spectrum was ultimately released as eight different models; together they sold in excess of 5 million units worldwide (not counting numerous clones).
The Spectrum was among the first mainstream audience home computers in the UK, similar in significance to the Commodore 64 in the USA. The introduction of the ZX Spectrum led to a boom in companies producing software and hardware for the machine, the effects of which are still seen; some credit it as the machine which launched the UK IT industry. Licensing deals and clones followed, and earned Clive Sinclair a knighthood for "services to British industry".