On February 13, a standing room only crowd approaching 200 attendees at Oracle’s Santa Clara Auditorium watched as the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) presented the prestigious Milestone plaque recognizing the technological achievements of the SPARC RISC Architecture for innovation and excellence. After being introduced by Uday Kapoor, Director of Hardware Development for Oracle and IEEE member, John Fowler, Oracle’s Executive Vice President Systems, thanked IEEE for recognizing SPARC “as an accomplishment which belongs on the same list as the CD player and the light bulb.”
IEEE 2015 President, Howard Michel presented the award and talked about the significance of the SPARC architecture and its impact on the future, “Built upon the work of UC Berkeley in creating the RISC microprocessor, the SPARC architecture proved readily adaptable in meeting evolving needs. They demonstrated how engineers, scientists and technologists have contributed to our global community, helping to build today’s advanced world.”
Professor David Patterson, who led the early design and implementation of what eventually became known as the SPARC architecture, reminisced from the stage about its magical beginnings, “There was just a buzz in the room, everyone was talking and at that remarkable moment in time it was clear that a dozen Berkeley graduate students could build a better microprocessor than Intel could build.”
Co-founder and CEO of Sun Microsystems which successfully commercialized the SPARC architecture, Scott McNealy, could not attend in person but his prerecorded statement reminded the audience that by leveraging the SPARC processor, Sun became the fastest tech company (at the time) to grow from $0 to $1B.
Andy Bechtolsheim, Sun co-founder (left), and John Fowler, Executive Vice President Systems at Oracle standing next to the IEEE Milestone plaque recognizing the SPARC RISC architecture for excellence and innovation.
While most of the dedication ceremony focused on past accomplishments, John Fowler made it clear that the SPARC architecture is still a leading technology which continues to advance and improve, "Fast forward to now and M7 (Oracle newest SPARC processor) is in volume production: 20 nanometer technology, 700 (square) millimeters."
Immediately following the dedication ceremony, the IEEE Milestone plaque was unveiled in the Clock Tower on the Oracle campus where it now resides. Most of the attendees waited patiently in a long line to view the plaque up close and get pictures of themselves standing next to it.
View the video of ceremony:
Full ceremony: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RkoZtOtwnQ0
To learn about the most recent SPARC processor breakthrough, please visit Oracle Innovation Spotlight.