Tech billionaire Elon Musk has led tributes to British computing pioneer Sir Clive Sinclair, who has died at the age of 81.

The inventor and entrepreneur passed away at his home in London on Thursday morning, according to reports.

Sir Clive was perhaps best known for bringing computers into people's homes with his ZX models.

Elon Musk, the Tesla and SpaceX chief, paid tribute to Sir Clive by commenting on Twitter on an article calling Sir Clive the father of the ZX Spectrum: “RIP, Sir Sinclair. I loved that computer.”

The Mirror reports that his daughter Belinda Sinclair, 57, was also quick to pay tribute to her dad.

She said: "He was a rather amazing person.

"Of course, he was so clever and he was always interested in everything.

"My daughter and her husband are engineers so he’d be chatting engineering with them."

Sir Clive also invented the pocket calculator and the infamous Sinclair C5 electric vehicle - a less successful creation.

The battery-powered tricycle was introduced in 1985 as a means of revolutionising transport, but it failed to prove popular - eventually sending Sinclair Vehicles into receivership.

In contrast, his ZX computers were huge hits, and provided inspiration for some of today's gaming industry bosses.

Many learnt their craft on the ZX80 or ZX81 - or its rival the Commodore 64 - when they were growing up.

A follow-up model, the ZX Spectrum 48K, was also a significant development in UK gaming.

The Sinclair C5 was launched in 1985 ( Image: Getty Images)
The Sinclair C5 was launched in 1985 ( Image: Getty Images)

Presenter Dominik Diamond, who formerly hosted Channel 4's GamesMaster, wrote a tribute to the technology great on Twitter.

He said: "All your UK videogame companies today were built on the shoulders of giants who made games for the ZX Spectrum.

"You cannot exaggerate Sir Clive Sinclair’s influence on the world.

"And if we’d all stopped laughing long enough to buy a C5 he’d probably have saved the environment."

Sir Clive - knighted in 1983 - was born in Richmond, London in 1940.

He left school at 17 and worked for four years as a technical journalist to raise funds to found Sinclair Radionics, according to reports.

And it was in the early 1970s that he invented the pocket calculator - a drastic reduction in size at the time.

"He wanted to make things small and cheap so people could access them," his daughter told the Guardian.

Sir Clive went on to sell his computer firm to electronics company Amstrad

In his personal life, the inventor was fascinated by poetry, running marathons and poker, with him featuring in the Late Night Poker TV series.

And, despite his line of work, he had in the past said he did not use the internet or computers and preferred the telephone - stating he did not like to have "technical or mechanical things around" as it distracted his mind from invention.

Sir Clive is survived by Belinda, his sons, Crispin and Bartholomew, aged 55 and 52 respectively, five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.