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RISC CPUs were an idea
of the 1980's because hardware was getting less expensive,
while coding was becoming increasingly more costly.
CISC was a term created to mean Complex Instruction
Set Computing, giving a name to the existing processor designs that
were not RISC. Today, your authors prefer CISC to mean Conventional
Instruction Set Computing.
RISC Verses CISC
The argument between CISC and RISC has reached religious fervor.
CISC = BAD. RISC =GOOD. Don't fall into this trap. It is an outdated thought. The RISC philosophy made a great deal of sense at the time up its inception, in the 80's. At that time, 1MB of RAM carried a cost of about $5,000.00. In 2001, current cost for 1MB of RAM is about $0.50. When RAM was that expensive, copying the micro code, from a ROM to a much faster RAM was too expensive. Today, this is a common technique used to increase the speed of a CISC based computer. The process of copying a ROMs micro code to RAM is known as shadowing. Shadowing greatly improves performance of any CISC based CPU.
Before beginning a deeper review
of the popular CPUs, one more thought is in order in the RISC/CSIC
debate. Today's CPUs, from any manufacturer is actually a hybrid
of the RISC/CSIC philosophy.
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CertiGuide to A+ (Core Hardware) (http://www.CertiGuide.com/aplush/) on CertiGuide.com
Version 1.0 - Version Date: December 6, 2004
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