6.2. Processor Characteristics

Processors can be implemented in several different ways. Many current Unix systems, including those of Hewlett-Packard, use processors that are classified as RISC (Reduced Instruction Set Computing) processors. RISC processors tend to have simple, fixed-length instructions that are executed in as few cycles as possible. Hewlett-Packard's RISC processors all are based on the Precision Architecture and are classified as PA-RISC chips. Another common processor classification is CISC, which stands for Complex Instruction Set Computing. The Intel® x86 family of processors are all considered CISC, although recent versions behave very much like RISC processors internally. CISC processors execute variable-sized instructions ...

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