Acorn was a British computer company, which particularly produced computer and setting OI boxes liked in the 1980er and 1990er years in Great Britain. Among them Micro and the Acorn Archimedes were under others the BBC.
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to 25. July 1961 created Clive Sinclair the company specialized in draft and production of electronic devices Sinclair Radionics. After financial difficulties by failure thatpractice-unfit Black Watch - Sinclair asked wrist-watch and the conversion of the pocket calculator market of LEDs on LCDs in August 1976 national the Enterprise board (NEB) for financial assistance. The NEB granted this, required as return however a portionof 43% at Sinclair Radionics. Sinclair, which only reluctantly gave control of its company from the hand, encouraged its coworker Chris Curry to create Sinclair Radionics too abandoned and together the company Science OF Cambridge (SoC). SoC began in June 1978 with thatSales of a microcomputer kit, which Curry wanted to develop further, however at Sinclair failed. A friend Currys, Hermann of houses, lecturer in physics at the University of Cambridge, pointed himself however to an attendance with SoC during the development of the MK14 interested in this product.
) from their common interest
in microcomputers Curry and houses created firm history [work on] out to 5. December 1978 Cambridge Processor unit Ltd. (CCU). Already after short time CCU von Ace Coin equipment received the order, a CONTROLLER for their play automats toodevelop. Initially the ACE CONTROLLER was based on a sports club/MP microprocessor, however soon to 6502 was changed over.
of means their income out „Design and Build “- CCU the development of a 6502-basierten of microcomputer, which in January 1979 as the first product of the Acorn computer Ltd. the market, financed consultationreached. This trade name of the CCU should separate the two different business fields.Acorn (too German „acorn “) appeared to the possible „growth “of the expandable laid out microcomputer appropriately and was located besides in directories before the competitor „Apple “.
CCU as well as Andy hopper based about at the same time Orbis Ltd., in order to commercialize Cambridge ring network. Hopper, which had already worked during its graduation on it, was adjusted soon thereafter as a managing director of the CCU and represented their interests in the computer laboratory of the University of Cambridge. Hopper portions of Orbis were exchanged against CCU portions.With the growth of the mark Acorn the role of the CCU changed gradually, so that CCU finally represented only a holding company and now a Acorn the developing company. After a diversity of opinion with Sinclair Curry left officially Science OF Cambridge, pulled however only after some timeto the employees of Acorn.
The late Acorn system 1 Acorn mentioned microcomputer was sketched by Sophie Wilson. It was mainly to engineers and laboratory employees aligned, however by its low priceof £ 80 also attractively for computer enthusiasts. The machine consisted of two boards, from which one an LED - announcement, a key field and cartridges - interface (the circuits left of the key field) had, while the other one contained the remainder of the computer (inclusive the processor).Almost all processor signals were accessible over a Eurocard - socket.
The system 2 facilitated optional installations by the installation of the processor map system of the 1 in a 19-Zoll Eurocard housing. A typical system 2 became with a keyboard CONTROLLER including external keyboard, a character indication and on cartridge a stored Operating system with integrated BASIC - interpreters delivered.
The system 3 added additionally a support for floppy disk drives, while the system 4 possessed a larger housing with a second drive assembly. For the system 5 the 6502 by a newer version clocked on 2 MHz one replaced.
the Acorn atom
with Science OF Cambridge began in May 1979 the development of the ZX80. This was probably the cause for Curry, the atom likewise aiming at the consumer market - project to initiate. Curry and nod Toop developed the machinein Currys house in the eastEnglish Fens. At this time Acorn was officially registered and Curry to a full time employee.
The intention of penetrating into the consumer market is to be attributed mainly Curry, which were other parliamentary groups within Acorn, including engineers, gladly, keep out from this marketto be able. They regarded the manufacturing of a home computer as dubious. In order to regard the costs as small as possible as low as possible and thus the attack region atom as its critics, Curry the industrial designer all Boothroyd asked for the draft of a housing, which at the same time as external keyboard forthe microcomputers to serve knew. The components system of a 3 were placed within this keyboard, which resulted in a system typical for the inexpensive home computers of the early 1980er years. That atom proved as comparatively successful project.
In order to support the software development, CCU on the Market installedHill prop. guessing acre local AREA network and integrated support for this Econet into the atom. Demonstrated during introduction on the market in March 1980 on a computer fair eight interlaced atom, which could already offer functions like common file use and complete remote control.
the BBCMicro and that electron
after that atom successfully in the market had been established, began Acorn with the draft of a successor. The market offered new 16-Bit - to processors, but should these be used? After long discussion suggested houses a compromise: a further use 6502with clearly improved expandabilities. Acorns technical staff, that had rejected by the majority the atom, saw this proton as possibility of making it correct this time „“.
One of the suggestions for the development proton was the tube (too German: „Tube “), prop. guessing acres an interface, which integrate a second processorcould. An inexpensive, 6502-Maschine with complex and expensive processors, conceived for the mass-market, could be extended by this compromise. The tube permitted a paging of computations on the second processor, while the 6502 the input and output of data took over. In later years those playedTube an important role with the development of Acorns own processor.
Into the early 1980er years invented the training further department of the BBC a training program for the use of computers. The idea developed to a large extent as consequence of the documentation The Mighty Micro, in the Dr. Christopher Evans the British national Physical Laboratory a revolution of the microcomputers predicted. The documentation proved as very influential, even in the British parliament the raised questions was discussed. As result both OF Industry (DoI) were interested the department and the BBC Enterprises for the program. The lattera machine wanted to offer engineering for the further training and knows BBC on to specify such.
On pressure of the DoI to select a computer manufactured in Great Britain the BBC decided in the long run for the NewBrain of the Newbury Laboratories. This choice actually demonstrates on thoseindependent BBC exercised pressure: Newbury belonged to one to the possession national of the Enterprise board (NEB), closely with the DoI cooperating national office. Ironically the NewBrain originally came from Sinclair Radionics, where exactly this decision Sinclairs had led against Science OF of Cambridge MK14 to the parting Currys, whichagain the NEB arranged to shift the project to Newbury.
from 1980 to 1982 the British department OF Education and Science ( ) began the Microelectronics Education of programs, which to concepts and teaching materials should introduce to microprocessors. From 1982 to 1986 donatedthe DoI local education authorities third means, so that these could equip their schools with microcomputers here proved the BBC Micro as one of the most popular computers. Parallel for this promoted that teacher training and development of further computer materials, like software and projects to the applied EDP.
Although Newbury thatNewBrain continuously developed further, was soon foreseeable that this would be sufficiently fast available neither for the training programs nor for the advertisement of the BBC. The BBC programs set for autumn 1981 were shifted on the spring 1982. Curry and Sinclair received BBC from the plans andown suggestions submitted. After a demonstration proton, which took place during an inspection Acorns before representatives of the BBC, was awarded now Acorn the contract, at the beginning of of 1982 with the production proton as BBC of the Micro began. In April 1984 Acorn became for this the Awardfor Technology of the British queen lent. This honor particularly applied for the progressive Design BBC of the Micro and honoured Acorn for „the development of a microcomputer with many innovative characteristics “.
In April 1982 Sinclair introduced the ZX Spectrum . Curry invented the Electron as counterpart for this,which was in various regard reduced BBC a Micro and cost under £200. The Electron used logic array (ULA) for a majority of its functionality a Uncommitted sketched by Acorn. From problems with the production of the ULA however a bottleneck resulted, so that the Electron, althoughin August 1983 introduced, to the Christmas business 1983 to sufficient number of items was missing. Acorn decided to solve this problem for the financial year 1984 and negotiated its production contracts again out.
the Acorn computer Group AG (1983-85)
by the spectacular sales BBCMicro increased Acorns of profits of obtained 3,000 in the year 1979 to 8.6 million Pound of Sterling in July 1983. In September 1983 the CCU portions were liquidated and registered Acorn as Acorn computer Group AG on the Londoner Unlisted Securities Market. Acorn of computer Ltd. was nowthe department for microcomputers. With a minimum asking price of 120 pence developed the AG with a stock exchange evaluation of approximately 135 million Pound for Sterling. The CCU founders of houses and Curry became by their portions on paper millionaires: Hausers 53.25 million portions meant 64 million Pound, duringCurry with 43 million portions still 51 of million Pound possessed.
new RISC architecture
since the atom was already considered with Acorn a break of 6502. An important example of these considerations represents the 16-Bit Acorn Communicator , which the 65816 of the company Western Design center used.
To 12. August 1981 was introduced the IBM-PC, which aimed to that in an execution similarly BBC Micro also at the market of the computer enthusiasts, whose actual core range was however the division. The successor PC, the XT (E X tended Technology) followed in the spring 1983. The success of these machines and the multiplicity of Z80 - based CP/M - computer in the division demonstrated that a be worth-worth market existed here. The meaning of the price rather subordinated within this range and the profit margins high thereby placed an additional incentive for manufacturers, so that Acorn decided the development of a office-suited computer. An appropriate program was brought into being and used the Main board BBC of the Micro, which tube and secondary processors, with those CP/M, MS-DOS - and Unix (Xenix) - based workstations to be created should.
For the draftthis Acorn Business computer (ABC) tube minutes for different processors had to be implemented, so that these by the BBC Micro platform could be used. Acorn in the course of the yearly 1983 determined that the market did not offer a suitable successor 6502. So could for example with Motorola 68000many instructions by interrupts not to be interrupted, which led too often very long latencies with the reaction to interrupts. Thus was unsuitable the 68000 for tube minutes. The development of the ABC model, later than Cambridge workstation sold, based on that 32016 of national Semiconductor, demonstrated SophieWilson and Steve Furber the meaning of the memory range. It was shown that with 8 MHz more clocked 32016 clearly slower than 4 MHz 6502 was. By Apple the Lisa was however clear the Acorn developers that they would have to create a graphic user surface, which itselfwith 6502 arranged extremely difficult. Acorn needed a new architecture.
All processors tested by Acorn left to be desired, so that an self-development became necessary. Acorns of engineers encountered publications of the Berkeley RISC - project, which showed them one: if a group of students an efficient32-Bit-Prozessor to create could succeed, should also to Acorn this. An attendance of the Western Design center in Phoenix convinced Furber and Wilson that they needed neither extensive resources nor most modern research and development plants for it.
Sophie Wilson developed first the command sentence of the new processor, by her an emulationthe processor in BBC BASIC wrote, which ran on BBC a Micro with second 6502. This convinced the Acorn developers that they were on the correct way, even if they would need only additional resources. Wilson finally received from houses permission for the productionprototypes.
The Acorn RISC Machine - project began officially in October 1983. VLSI Technology, which had produced already before Rome and special chip for Acorn, were selected as partners for the manufacturing of the processors. VLSI produced the first POOR to 26. April 1985. This ARM1 was used first as secondary processor in BBC the Micro. With this processor the simulation work for the draft of secondary chips (video CONTROLLERs, I/O CONTROLLER and memory CONTROLLER) could be continued. Besides it accelerated the CAD - software, with which on the draft of the ARM2 one worked.
Wilson wrote in the following (period)an interpreter for BBC basic in POOR assembler. You permitted the knowledge won with Design of the command sentence to write the code unusually compactly what made the arm BBC basic a good test for each arm emulator.
The arm project surrounding secrecy was so large that OlivettiNegotiations around a partnership 1985 only after their conclusion of it experienced. 1992 were distinguished again Acorn with the Award for Technology of the queen, this time for the ARM.
financial one concerns
Acorns turning point was 1984; the company went straight to the time to thosePublic, when the home computer market broke down. In this year Atari was sold, Apple was almost insolvent, and Acorn solved evenly that problem, which had pursued her from the outset: missing production capacities.
To the fact it had led the ULAs which is missing during introduction on the market of the Electron that in the Christmas business 1983 only30.000 of the inquiries available owing to successful Werbekampagne 300,000 to be fulfilled could. The apparent need of Electrons proved meanwhile as illusory: Many parents bought their children Commodore C64 or ZX Spectrum, instead of waiting on the Electron. As the suppliers Ferranti the production problem solvedand if 1984 had the agreed upon quantities of ULAs supplied, the need had so far broken in that Acorn had to store the Electron now in large numbers of items. The contract permitted however no fast Nachverhandlung of the capacities, so that Acorn toward end of the yearly 1984 over 250.000 unsoldElectrons ordered.
Acorn besides into the development of new products had invested a majority of its liquid funds: the BBC master, the arm project and finally the ABC turning out as flop. Further costs resulted from a planned expansion into the USA, which the national acknowledgmentBBC the Micro required. For this all extensions of the Micro on emissions had to be tested and their radiation to be reduced; a long and besides expensive process, which cost Acorn about 20 million US Dollar. Hardly one the NTSC - Micros modified BBC were sold. They nevertheless dipped however into1984er film Supergirl: The Movie in a school up.
in the possession of Olivetti (1985-1998)
the difficult financial situation was near-carried in February 1985 to the executive committee, after a credit giver Acorns had demanded a liquidation. After short negotiations Curry and houses signed to20. February an agreement with Olivetti, after which the Italian company for 12 million Pound of Sterling received a portion of 49,3% of Acorn. The money was used particularly for the repayment of the 11 million Pound of losses of the preceding half-year. Acorns stock exchange evaluation fell 165 millionunder the maximum value of 190 million Pound. In September 1985 Olivetti Acorn finally transferred with a participation of 79%.
1986 with large success on the market one brought to the BBC master of the BBC master. To 1989 about 200,000 systems becameat a price of in each case £499 sells, whereby the buyers were predominant schools and universities. Acorn brought a number out of improved versions, for example the master of 512 with 512 KiB main storage and internal 80186 - a processor for MS-DOS compatibility, or the master turbo, a 65C02as secondary processor used.
The first commercial employment of arm architecture was within ARM development system, by tube a merged secondary processor for the BBC master, with which programs for the new system could be written. This system cost for instance £4.000 and contained beside the arm processoralso three secondary chips, 4 MIB main storage and development tools for an improved version of the BBC basic.
A second arm-based product was the Acorn Archimedes, center 1987 a published Desktop computer. The Archimedes enjoyed in Great Britain, Ireland and Australasien of large popularity and was clearly more progressive thanmost competition offers of this time. To Acorns misfortune induced itself the market however toward IBM PC. Acorn nevertheless continued the production of improved models, among them also a laptop (the A4), and introduced 1994 the Risc PC , its top model 200 MHz+ StrongARM - processor offered. These computers were sold predominantly within the education range, at specialists and enthusiasts.
Acorns partner VLSI had the order to find new areas of application of the arm processor and its secondary chips. Hausers company Active Book developed small, portable equipment, for thatArm processor developer a static version of the processor, which ARM2aS sketched.
Apple developed meanwhile a perfectly new platform, the PDA Newton. The processor necessary for this equipment had different requirements at current consumption, costs and achievement to fulfill and besides completely statically operate, so that the clock tooeach time to be suspended could. From all applicants only the Acorn RISC Machine approximated the goal, knows however even still lack up. Thus the ARM did not have for example an integrated store management up, whose function was taken over by the MEMC Sekundärchip. Acorn had also notnecessary resources to develop an integrated administration for the ARM.
Apple and Acorn decided to cooperate for the advancement in shape of their own company. The majority of the research and development department the ARM CCU formed the basis the ARM Limited, those in November1990 were created. The Acorn Group and Apple computer possessed in each case portions of 43%, with VLSI as an investor and first licensee.
setting OI boxes
in the year 1994 the Acorn on-line Media was created, in order to use a prognosticated boom of video on and (VOD). Hereit concerned a form of the interactive television, with which users could select and regard video contents via network. In September 1994 Acorn put on-line Media on, Anglia Television, Cambridge Cable and Advanced Telecommunication Modules Ltd. (ATML) a field test for VOD services in Cambridge.For this ATML created a wide AT - net, which connected the TV-enterprises with the subscribers and services such as Homeshopping, advanced training, software Downloads and the World Wide Web offered.
The network became with a combination from coaxial - and optical waveguide cables realized; the Switches necessary for segmenting the netinto switchgear cabinets of the existing Cambridge Cable net were inserted. The Olivetti Research Laboratory developed the used technology. A video server of the British Mainframe - manufacturer internationally computer Limited made the services available. At Switches came from ATML, a further from houses and hopper created company. The attempt began alsoa range of 2 Mbit/s, which was raised gradually on 5 MBit/s.
Subscribers used the Acorn on-line Media set Top box. The attempt consisted during the first half yearly of 10 VOD terminals, which in the second stage on 100 dwellings, 8 schools and 150 further terminals inTest laboratories one expanded. Further organizations took part gradually, among them the NetWest - bank, the BBC, the post office Office Limited, Tesco and the local education authorities.
BBC Education examined radio on and programs in primary schools and created a new education service, Education on-line one, that for example training software and transmissionsthe open University offered. The Netherhall - hauptschule was made available an inexpensive video server, so that this could function during the attempt as Provider. The Anglia Polytechnic University fulfilled later a similar role.
Against the prognoses the VOD boom however never materialisierte itself.
in October 1995 radiated the BBC2 during the transmission The Money of programs an interview Oracle Corporation - of the founder Larry Ellison , which prognosticated an increasing meaning of network computers (numerical control). Here it concerns inexpensive terminals, which do not have a non removable disk, but theirSoftware to large parts from a server load.
Malcolm Bird, which recognized managing directors of the Acorn on-line Media, that Ellisons numerical control was essentially a Acorn setting OI box. After some discussions between Oracle and Olivetti as well as houses and Acorn Bird with the newest box became after SanFrancisco turned off. Oracle had negotiated already seriously with manufacturers such as Sun and Apple around the realization of the numerical control, rumors within the industry meant that Oracle worked on the reference draft. After Birds attendance with Oracle and a following inspection Acorns by Ellison became neverthelessthe agreement met to leave to Acorn the definition of the numerical control reference draft.
Ellison expected to be able to announce to the numerical controls in February 1996. Sophie Wilson led the numerical control project and finished to in the middle of November a draft of the numerical control specification. Until January 1996 were the formal details of the contract betweenAcorn and Oracle prepared and the PCB sketched and for production approved. In February 1996 for this Acorn network Computing was created, which drove the Acorn out network computer starting from August 1996.
The numerical control should a new market segment create, in the Acorn network Computing a central roleas direct salesman or a licensee was zugedacht. For this new „final user was created “- the operating system Galileo and together with digitally Semiconductor and ARM the new StrongARM Chipsatz SA1500/SA1501. Galileo guaranteed processes quality OF service, the individual components such as processor or memory functioned thus independently of the behavior of other processesand reliably. The SA1500 offered higher clock rates than other existing StrongARM processors and besides one for medium rendition optimized Koprozessor: the Attached Media Processor or AMP. The SA1500 served as primary platform for Galileo.
To paging of the divisions for setting OI box and network computer as separate companies shiftedAcorn its PC production into an independent subsidiary, the Acorn RISC Technologies (KIND).
the decay (1998-2000)
with the being missing of the prognosticated VOD boom and the associated failure of the setting OI boxes broke Acorns last hope to be promoted to a central manufacturer of the computer industry. Also thatNetwork computer was less successful than hoped for: The price of normal PCs constantly fell, while the available ranges of the final customers rose only slowly. The numerical control was so attractive into the late 1990er years hardly, since sufficiently fast connections were expensively and RSR.
Olivetti sold between 1996and 1998 parts of the Acorn Group for altogether about 54 million Pound of Sterling. Acorn was restrukturiert, subsidiaries were again integrated. Acorn RISC Technologies took over the workstation range to end of 1998. At this time Acorn stopped the production of Desktop computers finally in favor of the setting OI boxes. The developmentthe last computer, Acorn Phoebe or RISC PC 2 mentioned, was adjusted briefly before series start. The saliently yellow housings of the Phoebe were manufactured however in larger numbers of items and sold inexpensive.
Arm position however improved. After stock exchange course in the year 1998 it became under as corporationthe name ARM of getting thing again registered. The portions were acted at the Londoner stock exchange and were noted on the national Nasdaq market. Morgan Stanley Dean Witter functioned as co-ordinator and Konsortialsführer for the emission, as also as sponsor and a broker for the quotation to the LondonerStock exchange.
In January 1999 the Acorn Group changed the name of Acorn of computer Limited to element 14 Limited. Acorn tried in this way to be converted similarly ARM to a developer of mental property on the market of digital signal processing (DSP). By the high share value of arm24-prozentige portion, which Acorn at ARM had, possessed a larger present value than the entire Acorn Group. Shareholders exerted pressure on Acorn to sell and change into a distribution of profits its arm portion. In view of the vulnerable position of its partner ARM considered proceeding even against Acorn. ThoseAcorn of computer Group became at the 1. June 1999 bought up by Morgan Stanley Dean Witter Investments Limited. This transaction led also to a retreat of the Acorn Group of the stock exchange and a disbursement of the arm portion on the Acorn shareholders.
Morgan Stanley sold the department of setting OI boxes and therebyalso control of RISC OS for £200.000 at Pace. To 26. July 1999 bought a management team element stated by Stan Boland to 14 for 1.5 million Pound of Sterling of MSDW. This price corresponded to the liquidation value. Element 14 secured for Sterling in the following 8.25 million Pound(about 13 million US dollar) by means of Erstfinanzierung by Bessemer venture of partner, Atlas venture and Hausers Amadeus Capital of partner. The firm center was in Cambridge, a development plant in the British Bristol.Alcatels DSL - Developer purposefully abgeworben, under it designers more similarly front-end and digital ICs, software forDSL modem, as well as specialist within the range of the asymmetrical DSL and VDSL. Besides they acquired an engineer center in the Belgian Mechelen. Element 14 developed further DSP products, to it in November 2000 for 366 million Pound of Sterling (594 million US Dollar) by Broadcom was bought up.
For thatPhoebe developed operating system RISC OS 4 („Ursula “) by RISCOS Limited the users Risc PC was made available. The company the licensed operating system and develops and supports this further. However refugee, 26-bittige RISC OS 4 and the 32-bittige exists by for the Microdigital the omegaRISC OS 5 for the Castle Iyonix still competition on this market. This competition caused a law case around the license powers of the companies involved, which placed the further existence of the RISC OS platform briefly infrage in the year 2004.
future (2000) “hid”
that muchcurrentsaving RISC Processor ARM (in former times Acorn Risc Machine, now Advanced Risc Machine) is with verscheidenen hardware manufacturers much likes. Thus and develops the British processor manufacturer ARM licences further new variants: ARM2, Strong ARM, Cortex-A8,…
At present (2005/2006) Smartphones become etc. in numerous Handymodellen, navigation systems. Arm variants assigned: PsionSeries 5, Treo 600
the minimum current consumption is the guarantor for long surviving of this processor family. Thus the new Cortex-A8 uses only 300 milli Watts of achievement with 600 MHz/2000 MIPS.
- Acorn network computer
- BBC BASIC
Web on the left of
- www.8bit-museum.de - largest German virtual computer museum
- The AcornAtom pre history
- RISC OS and Acorn of pages
- About Acorn of computer and ARM processors
- Review BBC of the Micro, December 1981 personnel computer World
- „ARM's Way “ (LISA influence, Berkeley RISC, Fabrication DATE), April 1988, Electronics Weekly
- „From atom ton of ARC - Theups and downs OF the development OF Acorn “, from the expenditures of October, November and December 1988 the Acorn user.
- „ARM' s Race ton of Embedded World Domination “ (Motorola 68000 which considered as A replacement tons of 6502), Paul DeMone, 2000
- „Sophie Wilson's most admired CCU “from Sophie Wilson
- flotation OF Acorn on Unlisted Securities Market, Electronics Time, 6 October 1983
- „RISC OS rights rumble becomes was OF words “ The register, 17. June 2004
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