Saturday, December 30, 2006

British technology pioneer Andrew Hopper becomes a CBE in the New Year Honours list

UK home computer pioneer honoured
British technology pioneer Andrew Hopper becomes a CBE in the New Year Honours list.

Professor Hopper has been made a Commander of the British Empire for services to the computer industry.

Now the head of the University of Cambridge computer lab, Prof Hopper is best known for his part in founding iconic British technlogy firm Acorn.

The personal computer maker was widely influential and developed technologies that are in wide use today.

Born in 1953 and educated at the University of Wales, Swansea and Cambridge, Prof Hopper won his PhD by doing early work on high-speed computer networks.

In 1978 along with Hermann Hauser, Prof Hopper founded Acorn Computers that went on to make machines which proved very popular in the UK.

It was behind the Acorn Electron and Archimedes machines and also built the fondly remembered BBC Micro. The machines found wide usage in the 1980s and early 1990s. Acorn was broken up in 2000.

One of the most influential subsidiaries that grew out of Acorn was Advanced RISC Machines which is now known as ARM. The chip designs of this firm are found in enormous numbers of portable gadgets - particularly mobile phones.

Prof Hopper has also done pioneering work on many high-speed wireless networking technologies and most recently founded a company called Ubisense that aims to develop sensor networks.

He is known to be a keen amateur pilot, owns a six-seater Cessna and has a runway in the grounds of his home in Cambridgeshire.