Entrance to the Centre (Pic: Centre for Computing History)

Celebrating 25 years of ARM in Cambridge

Centre for Computing History logo

Don’t let the tinsel and turkey at this time of year distract you from a fascinating exhibition which is on at the Centre for Computing History until 20th December!

The Cambridge, England-based museum is currently celebrating ARM @ 25 which is all about a remarkable British success story which has direct links to the home computer revolution of the 1980s-90s.  Their latest exhibition – 25 years of ARM in 25 Objects – features the most significant collection of ARM memorabilia and artefacts ever to be shown in the UK.

Key exhibits include: Steve Furber’s hand-drawn layout for the ARM 1, 1983, as well as Apple’s Newton MessagePad, 1993.  The Newton became something of a joke – even making it on an episode of The Simpsons – because of its erratic handwriting recognition. The vision may have been bigger than the technology at that time, but it paved the way for later developments such as the iPad. One of the first generation personal digital assistants, the Newton was powered by the ARM610 chip.

Also on show is the new BBC Micro:bit – In the 1980s, the BBC Micro introduced many children to computing for the first time. The BBC Micro:bit – a pocket-sized computer powered by an ARM Cortex-MO – aims to build on that legacy for the digital age. This year, the BBC Micro:bit is being given away free to every UK child in Year 7, to inspire a new generation to get creative and start programming.  Also on display are a champagne bottle cluster and a giant ARM microprocessor!

Pioneering processors

The original ARM processors were pioneered by Acorn for their groundbreaking RISC-powered Archimedes and RISC PC computers. Today, their more powerful and immensely popular descendant processors are rapidly taking over the world!

In the late 1980s Apple Computer and VLSI Technology started working with Acorn on newer versions of the ARM core. In 1990, Acorn spun off the design team into a new company named Advanced RISC Machines Ltd., which became ARM Ltd when its parent company, ARM Holdings plc, floated on the London Stock Exchange and NASDAQ in 1998.

From a barn to billions

The new ARM company was set up with 12 founding engineers working out of an old barn in Swaffham Bulbeck. Twenty-five years later, it is the world’s leading semiconductor IP company, with over 75 billion ARM-based chips shipped, and nearly 4,000 staff working in over 30 offices round the world.

ARM’s technology is at the heart of our connected world today: most smartphones, tablets, cars and TVs plus millions of medical, wearable and other smart connected devices are powered by ARM technology. It’s estimated that over 60% of the world’s population touch an ARM-powered device every day.

This exhibition tells the story of Silicon Fen’s most successful start-up, and how its continuous journey of innovation has changed our world …

There is no need to book this event.

Normal museum admission charges will apply.

The Centre for Computing History is located in Rene Court, Coldhams Road, Cambridge, CB1 3EW.  Tel : +44 (0) 1223 214446.

For details about visiting the Centre for Computing History, see: http://www.computinghistory.org.uk/pages/28568/Visiting/

For more about ARM, see: https://www.arm.com/


Images courtesy the Centre for Computing History.