Tuesday, August 25, 2009


In the mid-1980s to early-1990s, a crop of new high-performance RISC (reduced instruction set computer) microprocessors appeared, influenced by discrete RISC-like CPU designs such as the IBM 801 and others. RISC microprocessors were initially used in special purpose machines and Unix workstations, but then gained wide acceptance in other roles.
The first commercial microprocessor design was released either by MIPS Technologies, the 32-bit R2000 (the R1000 was not released) or by Acorn computers, the 32-BIT ARM 2 in 1986[citation needed] . The R3000 made the design truly practical, and the R4000 introduced the world's first 64-bit design. Competing projects would result in the IBM POWER and Sun SPARC systems, respectively. Soon every major vendor was releasing a RISC design, including the AT&T CRISP, AMD 29000, Intel i860 and Intel i960, Motorola 88000, DEC Alpha and the HP-PA.
As of 2007, two 64-bit RISC architectures are still produced in volume for non-embedded applications: SPARC and Power Architecture. The RISC-like Itanium is produced in smaller quantities. The vast majority of 64-bit microprocessors are now x86-64 CISC designs from AMD and Intel.

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