IEEE Milestone: SPARC RISC Architecture


Milestone: SPARC RISC Architecture, 1987

Dedication Date: February 13, 2015

Historical significance:

  • 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 compatibility
  • Compiler, OS, and SPARC architecture and systems evolved together to provide differentiated performance
  • Pioneering the fabless semiconductor microprocessor manufacturing process.



“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. ”

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