arithmetic-logic unit that uses a minimal instruction set, emphasizing the instructions used most often and optimizing them for the fastest possible execution. Software for RISC processors must handle more operations than traditional CISC [C
omputer] processors, but RISC processors have advantages in applications that benefit from faster instruction execution, such as engineering and graphics workstations and parallel-processing
systems. They are also less costly to design, test, and manufacture. In the mid-1990s RISC processors began to be used in personal computers
instead of the CISC processors that had been used since the introduction of the microprocessor
See D. Tabak, RISC Systems (1990); M. Slater, A Guide to RISC Microprocessors (1992).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
See more Encyclopedia articles on: Computers and Computing