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CBE honour for Acorn founder

Professor Andy Hopper, who helped develop the BBC Micro and the ARM RISC platform, has been awarded the CBE
Written by Graeme Wearden, Contributor

A UK computing pioneer who played a key role in the creation of Acorn Computers has been included in the New Year Honours List.

Andy Hopper, professor of computer technology at Cambridge University, has been made a Commander of the British Empire for services to the computer industry.

Acorn Computers, which was founded in Cambridge in 1978, played a crucial role in the development of the UK computer industry. It produced several microcomputers — including the BBC Micro, which has been credited with kick-starting demand for computers in Britain's homes and schools.

Professor Hopper received his PhD in the late 1970s for his work on high-speed communications networks. He then joined Hermann Hauser and Chris Curry, who were attempting to develop a microcomputer. Hermann Hauser was awarded the CBE back in 2002

Acorn's first machine was launched in 1979, but the company's real breakthrough came with the BBC Micro, which was launched in collaboration with a BBC TV series called The Computer Programme. Over a million BBC Micros were eventually sold.

Subsequently, Acorn developed its own RISC processor. This technology was subsequently spun off into ARM Holdings, which dominates the mobile processor market today.

Acorn eventually collapsed and was broken up in 2000.

Other technology figures recognised in this year's Honours List include Larry Hirst, general manager for IBM UK, and Jane Cavanagh, chief executive of computer gaming company SCi.

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