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Essential Guide to Semiconductors, The by Jim Turley

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What's a Processor Architecture?

Architecture is the slightly pretentious word engineers use to describe how a microprocessor is designed. For simple semiconductor chip like AND-gates or inverters, there aren't many different ways to make one work. A brick is a brick is a brick. However, when you get to more complex and elaborate chips like microprocessors, there are thousands of different ways to design one, and the differences have a big effect on the chip's performance, cost, and power usage. All bricks might be the same, but brick buildings can be firehouses, palaces, or skyscrapers. Hence, the microprocessor architecture describes these differences.

RISC and CISC Architecture

The two most common schools of processor architecture are called ...

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