First ARM processor powered up

26th April 1985
First ARM processor powered up

After developing the BBC Micro, Acorn recognised that future computers would need more powerful processors. In 1983 Acorn set up the Advanced Research and Development division to develop their own RISC processor, and the result was the ARM1.

Steve Furber recalls the day Arm received the first silicon prototypes:

At 1pm on April 26th 1985, the first ARM microprocessors arrived back from the manufacturer - VTI (VLSI Technology, Inc). They were put straight into the development system which was fired up with a tweak or two and, at 3 pm, the screen displayed:

Hello World, I am ARM

The ARM1 processor was developed in just 18 months. Steve Furber defined the architecture while Sophie Wilson developed the instruction set. The processor uesd VLSI's 3μm lithography process and contained just 24,800 transistors.

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