complex instruction set computer (CISC /ˈsɪsk/) is a computer where single instructions can execute several low-level operations (such as a load from memory, an arithmetic operation, and a memory store) and/or are capable of multi-step operations or addressing modes within single instructions. The term was retroactively coined in contrast to reduced instruction set computer (RISC).[1][2]

Examples of CISC instruction set architectures are System/360 through z/ArchitecturePDP-11VAXMotorola 68k, and x86.

RISC: from cell phones to supercomputers[edit]

RISC architectures are now used across a wide range of platforms, from cellular telephones and tablet computers to some of the world’s fastest supercomputers such as the K computer, the fastest on the TOP500 list in 2011.[2][3]

By the beginning of the 21st century, the majority of low end and mobile systems relied on RISC architectures.[27]Examples include:

High end RISC and supercomputing[edit]


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