The ARM processor has evolved from its humble beginnings in the early 1980s. Two British scientists working at Acorn Computers Ltd began with a development project and a desire to improve upon current technology. They needed something that was small and cheap, but able to produce powerful results and relatively easy to program. The first prototypes, ARM1 and ARM2, entered the development cycle. ARM1, in 1985 and in 1986, ARM2, the first real production model. The first sets of instructions were written in BASIC. “The ARM didn't see its use as the primary host processor in the system until the release of Archimedes in 1987, which ran at an astounding 8 MHz and had a vast amount of RAM—512K. …Archimedes was arguably the first widely available system that used [a] ... (RISC) processor” (Grehan, np). Archimedes was considered the first real ARM-based platform, and as most new technology, was not well received in the beginning. Software emulators developed software that allowed Archimedes to use some of the more popular PC-based programs at the time, since it originally came with little than a new processor and operating system. The design of the original ARM chips created a processor that supplied good performance in the low-end models of the newly designed personal computers. Next, the design was expanded and modified to move into the high-end computer and workstation models.
The ARM2 incorporated and showcased a 32-bit data bus. The bus transfers data and power between internal machine components, or between two different computers.