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Milestone-Proposal:SPARC RISC Architecture Introduction, 1987

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|a3=1987-present
 
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|a1=SPARC RISC Architecture, 1987
 
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|plaque citation=Sun Microsystems introduced SPARC (Scalable Processor Architecture) RISC (Reduced Instruction Set Computing) in 1987. Using UC Berkeley RISC and Sun compiler and operating system developments, SPARC architecture is highly adaptable to evolving semiconductor, software, and system technology and user needs. The architecture delivers the highest performance, scalable workstations and servers, for engineering, business, Internet, and cloud computing applications.
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|plaque citation=Sun Microsystems introduced SPARC (Scalable Processor Architecture) RISC (Reduced Instruction-Set Computing) in 1987. Building upon UC Berkeley RISC and Sun compiler and operating system developments, SPARC architecture was highly adaptable to evolving semiconductor, software, and system technology and user needs. The architecture delivered the highest performance, scalable workstations and servers, for engineering, business, Internet, and cloud computing applications.
 
|a2b=Santa Clara Valley Section
 
|a2b=Santa Clara Valley Section
 
|IEEE units paying={{IEEE Organizational Unit Paying
 
|IEEE units paying={{IEEE Organizational Unit Paying

Latest revision as of 18:48, 12 March 2014

Docket #:2013-06

This proposal has been submitted for review.


Is the achievement you are proposing more than 25 years old? Yes

Is the achievement you are proposing within IEEE’s fields of interest? (e.g. “the theory and practice of electrical, electronics, communications and computer engineering, as well as computer science, the allied branches of engineering and the related arts and sciences” – from the IEEE Constitution) Yes

Did the achievement provide a meaningful benefit for humanity? Yes

Was it of at least regional importance? Yes

Has an IEEE Organizational Unit agreed to pay for the milestone plaque(s)? Yes

Has an IEEE Organizational Unit agreed to arrange the dedication ceremony? Yes

Has the IEEE Section in which the milestone is located agreed to take responsibility for the plaque after it is dedicated? Yes

Has the owner of the site agreed to have it designated as an Electrical Engineering Milestone? Yes


Year or range of years in which the achievement occurred:

1987-present

Title of the proposed milestone:

SPARC RISC Architecture, 1987

Plaque citation summarizing the achievement and its significance:

Sun Microsystems introduced SPARC (Scalable Processor Architecture) RISC (Reduced Instruction-Set Computing) in 1987. Building upon UC Berkeley RISC and Sun compiler and operating system developments, SPARC architecture was highly adaptable to evolving semiconductor, software, and system technology and user needs. The architecture delivered the highest performance, scalable workstations and servers, for engineering, business, Internet, and cloud computing applications.

In what IEEE section(s) does it reside?

Santa Clara Valley Section

IEEE Organizational Unit(s) which have agreed to sponsor the Milestone:

IEEE Organizational Unit(s) paying for milestone plaque(s):

Unit: Santa Clara Valley Section
Senior Officer Name: Senior officer name masked to public

IEEE Organizational Unit(s) arranging the dedication ceremony:

Unit: Santa Clara Valley Section
Senior Officer Name: Senior officer name masked to public

IEEE section(s) monitoring the plaque(s):

IEEE Section: Santa Clara Valley Section
IEEE Section Chair name: Section chair name masked to public

Milestone proposer(s):

Proposer name: Proposer's name masked to public
Proposer email: Proposer's email masked to public

Proposer name: Proposer's name masked to public
Proposer email: Proposer's email masked to public

Please note: your email address and contact information will be masked on the website for privacy reasons. Only IEEE History Center Staff will be able to view the email address.

Street address(es) and GPS coordinates of the intended milestone plaque site(s):

4040 Palm Drive, Santa Clara, CA 95054

Describe briefly the intended site(s) of the milestone plaque(s). The intended site(s) must have a direct connection with the achievement (e.g. where developed, invented, tested, demonstrated, installed, or operated, etc.). A museum where a device or example of the technology is displayed, or the university where the inventor studied, are not, in themselves, sufficient connection for a milestone plaque.

Please give the address(es) of the plaque site(s) (GPS coordinates if you have them). Also please give the details of the mounting, i.e. on the outside of the building, in the ground floor entrance hall, on a plinth on the grounds, etc. If visitors to the plaque site will need to go through security, or make an appointment, please give the contact information visitors will need.

Oracle Campus, 4040 Palm Drive, Santa Clara, CA 95054

Are the original buildings extant?

No

Details of the plaque mounting:

Mounted on a wall in a publicly-accessible building on the Oracle Campus

How is the site protected/secured, and in what ways is it accessible to the public?

Oracle's campus is secured and is protected as a historical site.

Who is the present owner of the site(s)?

Oracle Corporation

A letter in English, or with English translation, from the site owner(s) giving permission to place IEEE milestone plaque on the property:

File:Oracle email approval letter SPARC.doc

A letter or email from the appropriate Section Chair supporting the Milestone application:

File:2- Minutes-SCVSection-13-02-06-R2.pdf

What is the historical significance of the work (its technological, scientific, or social importance)?

  • Is the platform for semiconductor IC design and development
  • Delivered a new level of performance that enabled a myriad of new applications
  • Cost effective technology made available to commercial uses in volume
  • Open architecture adapted by multiple companies allowing independent innovations
  • SPARC was standardized as IEEE Std. 1754
  • Backward compatiblity
  • Compiler, OS and SPARC architecture and systems evolved together to provide differentiated performance.
  • Pioneering the fabless semiconductor microprocessor manufacturing process

What obstacles (technical, political, geographic) needed to be overcome?

  • Initial funding constraints
  • Finding semiconductor partners to fab the CPUs
  • Concurrent development of CPU, OS, Compiler
  • Porting of software to new SPARC architecture
  • Dislodging of the incumbent 68000 architecture

What features set this work apart from similar achievements?

  • Delivered performance
  • Optimizing for and delivering total system solutions (OS, Compiler, CPU, Systems)
  • Maniacal focus on SPARC systems - all wood behind one arrow
  • >>> MIPS, POWER, PA-RISC

References to establish the dates, location, and importance of the achievement: Minimum of five (5), but as many as needed to support the milestone, such as patents, contemporary newspaper articles, journal articles, or citations to pages in scholarly books. At least one of the references must be from a scholarly book or journal article.

Supporting materials (supported formats: GIF, JPEG, PNG, PDF, DOC): All supporting materials must be in English, or if not in English, accompanied by an English translation. You must supply the texts or excerpts themselves, not just the references. For documents that are copyright-encumbered, or which you do not have rights to post, email the documents themselves to ieee-history@ieee.org. Please see the Milestone Program Guidelines for more information.

Media:SPARC_Timeline.pdf

Media:1987 Computer system news 10MIPs.pdf

Media:1987 March 10 San Jose Mercury News - Unisys-Sun lic.pdf

Media:1987 Oct Wall Street Journal - Xerox-SPARC lic.pdf

Media:1988 - LSI mfg.pdf

Media:1991 SPARC Anant Robert Paper.pdf

Also see 8 references in IEEE publications in the above paper.



<a href="SPARCpatents.pdf" class="internal" _fck_mw_filename="SPARCpatents.pdf" _fck_mw_type="media" title="SPARCpatents.pdf">SPARCpatents.pdf</a>