Milestones:SPARC RISC Architecture, 1987

Date Dedicated
Dedication #
Santa Clara, California, U.S.A.
IEEE Regions
IEEE sections
Santa Clara Valley
Achievement date range


SPARC RISC Architecture, 1987


Sun Microsystems introduced SPARC (Scalable Processor Architecture) RISC (Reduced Instruction-Set Computing) in 1987. Building upon UC Berkeley RISC and Sun compiler and operating system developments, SPARC architecture was highly adaptable to evolving semiconductor, software, and system technology and user needs. The architecture delivered the highest performance, scalable workstations and servers, for engineering, business, Internet, and cloud computing applications.

Street address(es) and GPS coordinates of the Milestone Plaque Sites

4040 Palm Drive, Santa Clara, CA 95054

Details of the physical location of the plaque

Installed on the ground floor of the Clock Tower Building on the Oracle campus. The building is publicly-accessible

How the intended plaque site is protected/secured

Oracle's campus is secured and is protected as a historical site.

Historical significance of the work

  • Is the platform for semiconductor IC design and development
  • Delivered a new level of performance that enabled a myriad of new applications
  • Cost effective technology made available to commercial uses in volume
  • Open architecture adapted by multiple companies allowing independent innovations
  • SPARC was standardized as IEEE Std. 1754
  • Backward compatiblity
  • Compiler, OS and SPARC architecture and systems evolved together to provide differentiated performance.
  • Pioneering the fabless semiconductor microprocessor manufacturing process

Features that set this work apart from similar achievements

  • Delivered performance
  • Optimizing for and delivering total system solutions (OS, Compiler, CPU, Systems)
  • Maniacal focus on SPARC systems - all wood behind one arrow

Significant references

Supporting materials


Media:1987 Computer system news 10MIPs.pdf

Media:1987 March 10 San Jose Mercury News - Unisys-Sun lic.pdf

Media:1987 Oct Wall Street Journal - Xerox-SPARC lic.pdf

Media:1988 - LSI mfg.pdf

Media:1991 SPARC Anant Robert Paper.pdf

Also see 8 references in IEEE publications in the above paper.

Dedication Ceremony

IEEE SPARC Architecture Plaque Dedication, February 2015

IEEE SPARC Architecture Plaque Dedication Highlights

IEEE Presents Prestigious SPARC Milestone Plaque in Front of SRO Crowd


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