RISC v CISC: An Age Old Debate #ARM @medium

Medium discusses a debate from the 1980s: are complex instruction sets superior over reduced instruction set processors?

RISC chips are huge today, but it is fun to recall the *huge* debate in deep academic tech circles over the arrival of RISC chips. In the early 1980s the Intel 8086 began to dominate with the PC. Chips were mostly modeled on the the basic microprocessor model. What was next?

Because most commercial programming happened in assembly language, a basic evolution of instruction sets was to move “high level operations” to the silicon. These “Complex Instruction Set Chips” or CISC was the dominant force as governed by Moore’s Law. Then came Intel 80286.

Some in Academia, particularly up 101 a bit at Berkeley & Stanford. There they began to question putting all this complexity in Si. That required a lot of complex engineering and really complicated compilers. What if compilers could make faster code with simpler instructions?

This became known as “Reduced Instruction Set Computing” or RISC. It was quite counter-intuitive and def ran up against Intel. The raging debate was RISC v CISC.

Articles in Byte, a preeminent magazine at the time, discussed the issue.

RISC v. CISC continued literally for decades. RISC turned into ARM and the whole world of billions of embedded chips. The economics and customization enabled by the business model worked well for devices that could not carry royalties. Then came phones! Then the iPod!

Read the details in the insightful article here.


Join Adafruit on Mastodon

Adafruit is on Mastodon, join in! adafruit.com/mastodon

Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.

Have an amazing project to share? The Electronics Show and Tell is every Wednesday at 7pm ET! To join, head over to YouTube and check out the show’s live chat – we’ll post the link there.

Join us every Wednesday night at 8pm ET for Ask an Engineer!

Join over 36,000+ makers on Adafruit’s Discord channels and be part of the community! http://adafru.it/discord

CircuitPython – The easiest way to program microcontrollers – CircuitPython.org


Maker Business — Chip inventories rise as demand falls

Wearables — Go insane with a membrane (button or keypad)

Electronics — Shift away from basic arithmetic

Python for Microcontrollers — Python on Microcontrollers Newsletter: CircuitPython 8.0 RC 1 Out, Board Guides, and Much More! #CircuitPython #Python @ThePSF @micropython @Raspberry_Pi

Adafruit IoT Monthly — Cat Doorbell, Deep Algae Bloom Detector, and more!

Microsoft MakeCode — MakeCode Thank You!

EYE on NPI — Maxim’s Himalaya uSLIC Step-Down Power Module #EyeOnNPI @maximintegrated @digikey

New Products – Adafruit Industries – Makers, hackers, artists, designers and engineers! — New Products 02/01/23 Featuring Adafruit Floppy FeatherWing with 34-Pin IDC Connector!

Get the only spam-free daily newsletter about wearables, running a "maker business", electronic tips and more! Subscribe at AdafruitDaily.com !



No Comments

No comments yet.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.