• Jan 1, 1957
    (b.) - ?


A British computer scientist, she is a Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS). She was born in Leeds, England, and was educated at the University of Cambridge where she studied Computer Science and Mathematics. She is known for designing, in 1978, the Acorn Micro-Computer, the first of a long line of computers sold by Acorn Computers Ltd. The ARM processor has transformed computing, especially in handheld devices such as smartphones, by enabling maximum processing speed and simplified task management with low power consumption. In 1981, she extended the Acorn Atom's BASIC programming language dialect into an improved version for the Acorn Proton, a microcomputer that enabled Acorn to win the contract with the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) for their ambitious computer education project, whereupon the Proton became the BBC Micro and its BASIC was developed into BBC BASIC. In 1983, she designed the instruction set for one of the first RISC processors, the Acorn RISC Machine (ARM), later to become one of the most successful IP-cores (i.e., a licensed CPU core) of the 1990s and 2000s. The ARM architectures are reduced instruction set computer (RISC) instruction set architectures (ISA), such as the currently marketed 64-bit ARMv8 and 32-bit ARMv7 and ARMv6 (and variants for microcontrollers). She also designed Acorn Replay, the video architecture for Acorn machines. This included the operating system extensions for video access as well as the codecs themselves, optimized to run high frame rate video on ARM CPUs from the ARM 2 onwards. She was a member of the board of the technology and games company Eidos plc, which bought and created Eidos Interactive, for the years following its flotation in 1990, and was a consultant to ARM Ltd when it was split off from Acorn in 1990. The company was split up into several independent operations in 1998, but since then, she has made a small number of public appearances to talk about her time there. She is now the Director of IC Design in Broadcom’s Cambridge, U.K. office. She was the Chief Architect of Broadcom's Firepath processor. Firepath has its history in Acorn Computers, which, after being renamed to Element 14, was bought by Broadcom in 2000. She was listed in 2011 in Maximum PC as number 8 in an article entitled The 15 Most Important Women in Tech History. She was awarded the Fellow Award by the Computer History Museum in California in 2012. In 2013 she was elected as a Fellow of the prestigious Royal Society.
  • Date of Birth:

    Jan 1, 1957
  • Noted For:

    Primary designer of the ARM microprocessor for Acorn Computers Ltd., which has transformed computing, especially in handheld devices such as smartphones
  • Category of Achievement:

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