Milestone-Proposal:First RISC Microprocessor

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Docket #:

This Proposal has been approved, and is now a Milestone

To the proposer’s knowledge, is this achievement subject to litigation?

Is the achievement you are proposing more than 25 years old? Yes

Is the achievement you are proposing within IEEE’s designated fields as defined by IEEE Bylaw I-104.11, namely: Engineering, Computer Sciences and Information Technology, Physical Sciences, Biological and Medical Sciences, Mathematics, Technical Communications, Education, Management, and Law and Policy. Yes

Did the achievement provide a meaningful benefit for humanity? Yes

Was it of at least regional importance? Yes

Has an IEEE Organizational Unit agreed to pay for the milestone plaque(s)? Yes

Has an IEEE Organizational Unit agreed to arrange the dedication ceremony? Yes

Has the IEEE Section in which the milestone is located agreed to take responsibility for the plaque after it is dedicated? Yes

Has the owner of the site agreed to have it designated as an IEEE Milestone? Yes

Year or range of years in which the achievement occurred:


Title of the proposed milestone:

First RISC Microprocessor

Plaque citation summarizing the achievement and its significance:

UC Berkeley students designed and implemented the first VLSI reduced instruction set computer in 1981. The simplified instructions of RISC-I reduced the hardware for instruction decode and control, which enabled a flat 32-bit address space, a large set of registers, and pipelined execution. A good match to C programs and the Unix operating system, RISC-I influenced instruction sets widely used today, including those for game consoles, smartphones and tablets.

In what IEEE section(s) does it reside?

Oakland East Bay Section

IEEE Organizational Unit(s) which have agreed to sponsor the Milestone:

IEEE Organizational Unit(s) paying for milestone plaque(s):

Unit: Oakland-East Bay Section
Senior Officer Name: Kate Jenkins

IEEE Organizational Unit(s) arranging the dedication ceremony:

Unit: Oakland-East Bay Section
Senior Officer Name: Kate Jenkins

IEEE section(s) monitoring the plaque(s):

IEEE Section: Oakland-East Bay Section
IEEE Section Chair name: Kate Jenkins

Milestone proposer(s):

Proposer name: David A. Hodges
Proposer email: Proposer's email masked to public

Please note: your email address and contact information will be masked on the website for privacy reasons. Only IEEE History Center Staff will be able to view the email address.

Street address(es) and GPS coordinates of the intended milestone plaque site(s):

NW corner of Hearst Ave. and LeRoy Ave., Berkeley CA 94720 37*52'32.67" N 122*15'31.44" W elev. 414 ft.

Describe briefly the intended site(s) of the milestone plaque(s). The intended site(s) must have a direct connection with the achievement (e.g. where developed, invented, tested, demonstrated, installed, or operated, etc.). A museum where a device or example of the technology is displayed, or the university where the inventor studied, are not, in themselves, sufficient connection for a milestone plaque.

Please give the address(es) of the plaque site(s) (GPS coordinates if you have them). Also please give the details of the mounting, i.e. on the outside of the building, in the ground floor entrance hall, on a plinth on the grounds, etc. If visitors to the plaque site will need to go through security, or make an appointment, please give the contact information visitors will need. Soda Hall has been the permanent the home for Computer Science at Berkeley since it was completed in 1996. The 1980-82 work for "First RISC Microprocessor" was conducted in several other buildings, before there was a designated building for Computer Science.

Are the original buildings extant?

Some of them, but it's clear that Soda Hall is the best place for this Milestone.

Details of the plaque mounting:

Mounting will be indoors on a wall in the public lobby/reception area just outside the main Auditorium in Soda Hall.

How is the site protected/secured, and in what ways is it accessible to the public?

Soda Hall is open to the public 8-6 5 days per week, excepting holidays. Building security is provided by the University of California Police.

Who is the present owner of the site(s)?

Regents of the University of California

What is the historical significance of the work (its technological, scientific, or social importance)?

What obstacles (technical, political, geographic) needed to be overcome?

What features set this work apart from similar achievements?

Supporting texts and citations to establish the dates, location, and importance of the achievement: Minimum of five (5), but as many as needed to support the milestone, such as patents, contemporary newspaper articles, journal articles, or chapters in scholarly books. 'Scholarly' is defined as peer-reviewed, with references, and published. You must supply the texts or excerpts themselves, not just the references. At least one of the references must be from a scholarly book or journal article. All supporting materials must be in English, or accompanied by an English translation.

Supporting materials (supported formats: GIF, JPEG, PNG, PDF, DOC): All supporting materials must be in English, or if not in English, accompanied by an English translation. You must supply the texts or excerpts themselves, not just the references. For documents that are copyright-encumbered, or which you do not have rights to post, email the documents themselves to Please see the Milestone Program Guidelines for more information.

Please email a jpeg or PDF a letter in English, or with English translation, from the site owner(s) giving permission to place IEEE milestone plaque on the property, and a letter (or forwarded email) from the appropriate Section Chair supporting the Milestone application to with the subject line "Attention: Milestone Administrator." Note that there are multiple texts of the letter depending on whether an IEEE organizational unit other than the section will be paying for the plaque(s).