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by Dinesh Thakur

CISC (Complex Instruction Set Computer) : It was developed by Intel. CISC is a type of design for the computers. CISC based computer will have shorter programs which are made up of symbolic machine language.

 A Complex Instruction Set Computer (CISC) supplies a large number of complex instructions at the assembly language level. During the early years, memory was slow and expensive and the programming was done in assembly language. Since memory was slow and instructions could by retrieved up to 10 times faster from a local ROM than from main memory, programmers tried to put as many instructions as possible in a microcode. 

RISC (Reduced Instruction Set Computer) : RISC is a type of microprocessor that has a relatively limited number of instructions. It is designed to perform a smaller number of types of computer instructions so that it can operate at a higher speed (perform more million instructions per second, or millions of instructions per second). Earlier, computers used only 20% of the instructions. Making the other 80% unnecessary. One advantage of reduced instruction set computers is that they can execute their instructions very fast because the instructions are so simple.

RISC chips require fewer transistors, which makes them cheaper to design and produce. In a RISC machine, the instruction set contains simple, basic instructions, from which more complex instructions can be composed. Each instruction is of the same length, so that it may be fetched in a single operation. Most instructions complete in one machine cycle, which allows the processor to handle several instructions at the same time. This pipelining is a key technique used to speed up RISC machines.

 Advantages :

i) Speed : Since a simplified instruction set allows for a pipelined, superscalar design RISC processors often achieve 2 to 4 times the performance of CISC processor using comparable semiconductor technology and the same clock rates.

ii) Simpler Hardware : Because the instruction set of a RISC processor is so simple, it uses up much less chip space; extra functions, such as memory management units or floating point arithmetic units, can also be placed on the same chip. Smaller chips allow a semiconductor manufacturer to place more parts on a single silicon wafer, which can lower the per-chip cost dramatically.

iii) Shorter Design Cycle : Since RISC processors are simpler than corresponding CISC processors, they can be designed more quickly, and can take advantage of other technological developments sooner than corresponding CISC designs, leading to greater leaps in performance between generations.