European Inventor Award 2013 - Sophie Wilson (Lifetime Achievement)
Prior to the invention of the ARM chip, computer processors required a large number of complex instructions to complete tasks. Not only did this make task management difficult, it also required a whopping 135,000 transistors per processor, causing computer chips to suck up large amounts of energy.
Wilson drew on an idea called Reduced Instruction Set Computing, or RISC, which was being developed by IBM at the time. She completely rewrote the operating instruction set for her new chip, reducing the number and complexity of instructions needed to make it work. This simplification also allowed her to reduce the number of transistors on each chip to about 25,000, dramatically slashing energy consumption. SHOTLISTLINK