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Table Of Contents  CertiGuide to A+ (Core Hardware)
 9  Chapter 0010:  CPUs
      9  III RISC versus CISC

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RISC

From the minds at University of California, Berkeley and Stanford University sprouted the idea that maximizing computer performance could be accomplished by putting most functions in software, except for the teachers who were putting them in hardware would yield a net performance gain. This is the idea behind the Reduced Instruction Set Computer (RISC). The basic design concepts include:

  • Hardwired control. RISC designs eliminate micro code in ROM and put the instruction set directly in hardware.

  • Simple instructions with few addressing modes. Conventional CPU design includes a variety of ways to address memory, which require the processor to calculate effective addresses on a variety of fronts. Simplifying operations reduces CPU overhead.

RISC based CPUs are popular in high-end computers dedicated to resource intensive tasks such as animation. Perhaps the most well known RISC CPU is the SPARC (Scalable Processor Architecture)


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