Beyond RISC - The Post-RISC Architecture

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The principles of the RISC architecture guided the design of the previous generation of processors. These principles have accelerated the performance gains of these processors over their predecessors. The current generation of CPUs is poised to continue this rapid acceleration of performance. In this paper we assert that the performance gains of the current generation are due to changes that are decidedly not RISC. We call this current generation of processors Post-RISC and, we describe the characteristics of Post-RISC processors. In addition, we survey six processors of the current generation that highlight the principles of Post-RISC.


Technical Report MSUCPS: TR96-11