Sophie Wilson

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Sophie Wilson

Sophie Mary Wilson CBE (* 1957 in Leeds as Roger Wilson) is a British computer scientist and computer architect. She is best known for her involvement in the development of the BBC Micro and ARM - RISC processor at Acorn in the 1980s. Wilson studied computer science from 1975 at Cambridge University . While still a student, she developed a machine for automatic cattle feeding in 1977 (for a company in Harrogate) and in 1978 an 8-bit microprocessor (Acorn System-1), which was aimed at the home market and was produced by Acorn from 1979 onwards.

She then worked at Acorn (founded by her teacher in Cambridge, the Austrian Hermann Hauser ), where she and Steve Furber designed the prototype for the BBC microcomputer in less than a week, a very successful computer project in Great Britain as part of a BBC television series . She also wrote the operating system and the basic interpreter of the BBC-Micro. The calculator has been sold over a million times and has been used in many schools in the UK.

With Furber, she then designed the ARM 32-bit RISC processor (1985), which was also an enormous success. The instruction set was designed by her. It was not only used as a co-processor in the BBC Micro in 1986, but also in the Archimedes home computer from Acorn (1987) and in the PDA Newton from Apple (1993). Microprocessors based on this architecture can be found today in numerous consumer electronics devices and in mobile telephones.

She also designed the video architecture (including codecs and expansion of the video operating system) for Acorn computers, Acorn Replay. In the 1990s, she remained a consultant for ARM Ltd., which split from Acorn, and worked for Eidos Interactive , a video game maker, founded in 1990 . She later worked for Broadcom , where she was the chief architect of the Firepath processor.

She lives near Cambridge (Lode, Cambridgeshire).

In 2012, like her former colleague Steve Furber, she became a Fellow of the Computer History Museum . In 2013 she became a member of the Royal Society .

She is transgender (originally Roger Wilson). She made a cameo (as a pub host) on the BBC TV movie Micro Men , which first aired in 2009, is the story of early British home computers .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. According to her own statement in an interview, this was already the basic project from which her Acorn microcomputer started
  2. Initially called proton. Before that there was already a home computer from Acorn, the Acorn Atom, which served as the basis. It had been on the market since 1980 and used the 6502 processor (1 MHz). Wilson first expanded its basic version (Atom Basic).
  3. ARM for Acorn Risc Machine
  4. ^ New Fellows 2013 of the Royal Society (; Retrieved May 7, 2013