Artifact Details

Title

IBM 801 Microprocessor oral history panel

Catalog Number

102740048

Type

Text

Date

2014-10-27

Contributor

Carrubba, Frank, Panelist
Fairbairn, Douglas, Moderator
Freitas, Richard, Panelist
Garner, Robert, Moderator
Markstein, Peter, Panelist
Markstein, Vicky, Panelist
Oehler, Richard, Panelist

Publisher

Computer History Museum

Place of Publication

Mountain View, California

Extent

15 p.

Copyright Holder

Computer History Museum

Description

This oral history brought together 5 of the key engineers on the IBM 801 RISC (Reduced Instruction Set Computer) design team. This team was responsible for implementing the radical vision of their boss, John Cocke, to design a faster computer by making it simpler rather than more complex. Mr. Cocke was the primary originator of the idea to implement a computer with relatively few single-clock-cycle instructions rather than the myriad of complex instructions which the computers of the day needed to execute.

The work was done at IBM between 1974 and 1978. The work was done in IBM’s research division and was not targeted at a specific product at the time. Although their work did not result directly in a product, the architectural ideas spread to many IBM divisions and layed the ground work for many future IBM products including PowerPC, RS/6000, and others. Their work also had a tremendous influence on non-IBM companies such as SUN, Acorn (UK), MIPs, Intel, and others.

Each of the panel members also emphasized the teamwork and cooperation of the design team – both hardware and software – and their pleasure in working for John Cocke.

Category

Transcription

Subject

John Cocke; RISC; CISC; IBM; John Backus; Seymore R. Cray; 801; Jack Schwartz; Dave Patterson; PowerPC; RS/6000; Intel; Sun; MIPS; Acorn; ARM

Collection Title

Oral history collection

Credit

Computer History Museum

Lot Number

X7409.2015