Acorn was a British computer company, most famous for the BBC Microcomputer and the ARM processor.

The commerical Acorn range began with the Electron, moved to the Proton (BBC A and B,) then the Atom, and a series of successors to the BBC B, notably the Master 128, Master Compact, Master ET and Master 512. All used a 6502 (or 65C02) as their primary processor, although many had the capacity for a secondary processor as well via the "Tube."

Acorn then designed their own RISC processor in-house for use in their next generation computer, the Archimedes. This processor was called the ARM, for Acorn RISC Microprocessor. This processor went on to have success way beyond Acorn.

The commerical Archimedes range consisted of the A305, A310, A440, A3000, A540, A5000, A4, A4000, A3010, A3020, and finally the Risc PC 600, 700, A7000 and SA (based on the DEC StrongARM.) Phoebe was the codename of the next generation after the RiscPC, but when Acorn's workstations division was disbanded in favour of developing set-top boxes running NC OS, third party designs like the RiscStations, Mico, Omega, Iyonix and A9Home became the next families, although the name Archimedes (and indeed Acorn) was long gone by that time.

The nominal successor to Acorn's workstation division is Castle Technology, who hold the rights to RISC OS, the Archimedes OS, and also produce the most powerful RISC OS desktop computer to date, the Iyonix, based on one of Intel's developments to the StrongARM line, a SOC part called the IOP321.

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Last updated: Wednesday 20th September 2006