IMAGE OF THE FUTURE
The Archimedes 540 is built for performance.
No matter how demanding your applications are for
memory and speed the Archimedes 540 will give you the
professional edge. The combination of fast, fully
addressable and expandable RAM, with the excellent
onfooard video display capabilities makes the
Archimedes 540 the ideal machine for desktop
publishing, complex spreadsheets and CADCAM _
as well as image analysis and multi-media I
training. Even the most processor-intensive and %
memory demanding applications can be run in a ^
central processor (ARM-3) operates faster '
than a 25MHz 486 processor, t 4K of cache
memory built into the processor chip provides
further performance gains by reducing the need to
fetch instructions and data from the
The machine is supplied with 4 Mbytes of high
performance RAM as standard and plug-in
upgrades to 8, 12 and 16 Mbytes are available.
This allows the professional user to run several
memory intensive applications simultaneously
without compromising speed or efficiency.
The internal 100 Mbyte SCSI hard disc gives fast
access and rapid data transfer. You can
maintain a vast bank of data and
keep a whole library of software
tOsing the benchmarks as described in BYTE (March ’90)
The Archimedes 540 leads the Archimedes range
of high-performance computer systems.
Each machine in the range is based around the
Acorn RISC Operating System - RISC OS -
which gives you the most straightforward way
of controlling computing tasks. Directing your
Archimedes system with the windows, icon,
mouse and pointer interface is easy to learn
because it is intuitive, and exceptionally
The Archimedes 540 maximises the potential
of the RISC OS multi-tasking system, enabling
you to run more than one application at a time
and to transfer data quickly between
Archimedes computers are helping to break new frontiers in research.
In healthcare, image analysis is speeding up monitoring for spinal deformities and improving the chances
of identifying abnormalities in their early stages. The power of the Archimedes system is also proving
invaluable in the analysis of visual pigments in patients with retinal disorders, enabling researchers to
compensate for the difficulties caused by constant eye movements by producing average images.
The Archimedes system is currently being used in X-ray astronomy, an area of research
that will benefit immediately from the introduction of the new TCP/IP suite, as huge
amounts of data need to be transferred onto mini and mainframe computers.
Archimedes computers are also redefining expectations from multi-media
training, providing the ideal environment for the development of cost-effective
computer-based training and desktop simulation.
With the huge range of add-ons and
peripherals available, you can customise your
Archimedes 540 to meet your specific
requirements. In addition to the plug-in RAM
options, expansion cards are available to
configure your ideal system. Expansion options
■ I/O Expansion Card for specialised
communication and control functions, such as
scientific instrumentation, or non-keyboard
■ ROM Expansion Card for specialised
■ The Floating Point Accelerator (FPA),
being developed as a fifth member of Acorn’s
RISC chipset, will offer increased speed for
highly intensive mathematical computations.
This new floating point solution will be
available in 1991.
■ MIDI Expansion Card providing standard
control interface for electronic musical
■ High performance video output with
genlock for video overlays
■ High resolution frame stores
■ Direct laser printer cards
which give high quality
and high speed print
capability for DTP.
■ Real time colour digitisers for
\ video image capture
. IEEE 488
■ STE Bus
In one example, simulations of helicopter operations incorporate.real-time colour animation to simulate
real equipment and processes. This is combined with built-in digital audio for high fidelity reproduction
of sound effects which simulate verbal procedures.
Of course, you can also run the full range of software packages designed for the Archimedes family. There
is already a wealth of software available, from word processors to databases, from 3D modelling to
In addition, the PC emulator software transforms your machine into a PC at a click of the mouse.
MS-DOS can be loaded from your hard disc, giving you access to the wide range of standard business
software developed for IBM compatible machines. You can store your MS-DOS applications on the hard
disc for fast access, along with your files and data, or alternatively on standard IBM format floppy discs.
The power of the new ARM-3 processor gives the speed of an AT class PC machinef for MS-DOS
fPC Labs Benchmark Suite version 5
The Archimedes 540 embraces a whole spectrum
of industry standards.
With the Ethernet expansion card, you can
link your Archimedes 540 to the rest of your
computer system using industry standard
networking technology. The optional TCP/IP
Protocol Suite software enables you to connect
your Archimedes 540 straight into a UNIX
environment. This enables you to add the
power and flexibility of the Archimedes 540 to
your LAN, integrating with other TCP/IP'
based systems in a window on the RISC OS
desktop. For local departmental connectivity
of work groups any Archimedes computer can
act as a gateway between Econet, Acorn’s low
cost proprietary network, and Ethernet
jlMlwt tftpkMt tw
The Archimedes 540 video circuitry can
support a range of colour monitors, including
multiscan monitor options, VGA or
SuperVGA monitors and very high resolution
monochrome monitors. You can upgrade or
change your monitor with no requirement to
add graphics expansion boards. This gives you
the benefits of a supercrisp, rock steady display
and enables you to select the most appropriate
monitor from the most economical to the
The built'in SCSI interface supports direct
access to up to six external peripherals such as
large capacity disk drives, tape streamers, CD
ROMS, optical drives, DAT drives and
' A54i' ' '
CPU (32 bit RISC architecture)
Main memory (Dynamic RAM)
Embedded Cache (4Kbytes)
'''' ROM .
Floating point Co-processor
Internal hard disc
(formatted, 1:1 interleave)
Floppy disc (formatted)
Keyboard (103 ^enhanced PC’ layout)
/ yes:;;'|||'. '
■^yes; '. ■'
Serial and parallel (Centronics 8-bit compatible) standard
3.5mm jack for stereo sound
■yes^V V ■
Free expansion slots
Analogue RGB (640x 256) up to 256 colours
Multi-scan (640x512) up to 256 colours
■ yes ^
VGA (640x480), with 16 colours
VGA (640x480), with 256 colours
SVGA (800x600), with 16 colours
High-resolution (1152 x 900) monochrome
All Archimedes machines are supplied with the
Stored in ROM:
m RISC Operating System (RISC OS)
■ Desktop manager and pointer system
« Advanced disc filing system (ADFS)
m Advanced network filing system (ANFS)
« BBC Basic V
» Character sets: ISO 8859, Latin 1-4, Greek
« Font manager
«Interactive Help system
Installed on the internal hard disc:
• Draw, Edit and Paint applications
« Configure, Fonts, Help
■ Printer drivers for Dot matrix. Postscripts,
Inkjet and LaserJet
■ 6502 Emulator, Alarm clock, Calculator,
■ Electronic mail utilities
m BASIC editor
tHi^^resolution monochrome monitors and. a range ofmidti-scan and VGA/SVGA (Archimedes 540 only) are available from third party stippliers,
* Acorn Dealer or third party upgrade options
Acorn expansion options include:
■ Ethernet expansion card
■ Econet module (internal)
»I/O expansion card
* MIDI expansion card
■ ROM expansion card
■ Additional SCSI expansion card
« Floating point accelerator (available in 1991)
m Installation Guide, RISC OS User Guide,
BBC BASIC Guide.
» Optional Programmer’s Reference Manual
Many other options, such as the IEEE 488
interface, video digitisers, sound samplers and
external floppy and hard disc units, are
available from third party suppliers.
Every effort has been made to ensure that the
information in this brochure is true and
correct at the time of going to press. However,
the products described in this brochure are
subject to continuous development and
improvement and Acorn Computers Limited
reserves the right to change the specifications
at any time. Acorn Computers Limited cannot
accept liability for any loss or damage arising
from the use of any information or particulars
in this leaflet.
All benchmarks were performed by
Acorn Computers Ltd at Cambridge.
ACORN, ARCHIMEDES and ARM are
trademarks of Acorn Computers Limited.
POSTSCRIPT is a trademark of Adobe
IBM is a trademark of International Business
CENTRONICS is a trademark of Centronics
Data Computer Corporation
ETHERNET is a trademark of Xerox
LaserJet is a trademark of Hewlett Packard.
LASER JET is a trademark of Hewlett
MS'LXDS is a trademark of Microsoft
UNIX is a trademark of AT&T.
For further information please contact:
Acorn Computers Limited
Fulboum Road, Cherry Hinton
Cambridge CBl 4JN, England
Telephone (0223) 245200
Telex 817875 ACORN G
Viewdata (0223) 243842
APP 301 FIRST EDITION AUGUST 1990
Copyright ® Acorn Computers Limited 1990
Design: Geoff Hobbs Design.