Artifact Details


SPARC microprocessor oral history panel : session one : origin and evolution

Catalog Number






Agrawal, Anant, Panelist
Garner, Robert, Panelist
Gwennap, Linley, Moderator
House, David, Introductory speaker; attendee
Joy, Bill, Panelist
Kapoor, Uday, Introductory speaker; attendee
Patterson, David A., Panelist

Computer History Museum

Mountain View, California

67 p.

Copyright Holder

Computer History Museum


This panel discussion describes the origins and evolution of the SPARC processor at Sun. The panel consists of Anant Agrawal, Robert Garner, Bill Joy, and David Patterson. The moderator is Linley Gwennap. The discussion begins with the roots of Reduced Instruction Set Computers (RISC) and continues to tell why a small startup, Sun, decided to develop their own microprocessor called SPARC, Scalable Processor ARChitecture, with a RISC architecture. The panelists discuss both the technical and business challenges of this chosen path, through multiple generations of ever-increasing complexity chips. They discuss failures along with their successes and conclude with the impact of developing this new processor architecture on the industry and the ultimate success of the company.




semiconductor history; RISC; SPARC; IBM; 801; MIPS; Sun; ARM; HP; PARISC; 68000 microprocessor; Fujitsu; Cypress; UNIX; Bell Labs; Weitek; floating-point; gallium arsenide; SPARCStation; ASIC; MicroSPARC; UltraSPARC; SuperSPARC; ECL; CMOS; Microprocessor; UC Berkeley; Stanford; Henne; MAJC; Java; Silicon Graphics Inc. (SGI); picoJava; cray; RTPC; DEC; Intel; Cypress; x86; pipeline; John Cocke

Collection Title

Oral history collection

Lot Number