Atendendo a algumas respostas apreciativas e inúmeras ignorativas, aqui está......

11 março 2011

RISC x CISC

Geeks of a certain age will remember the great RISC x CISC wars. Back in 1990 I, like everyone else, was convinced that reduced instruction set computers would win and complex instruction set chips such as 486 and Pentium were toast. For example, NeXTStep ran on Intel and Motorola oldstyle CISC chips, and on HP and Sparc wave-of-the-future RISC ones. I was wrong.

All chipmakers except for Intel changed their microprocessor architectures to RISC, but Intel still won, thanks to economies of scale and good engineering incorporating RISC ideas. HPPA, PowerPC, and Sparc are gone or irrelevant. Even Apple was brought back to CISC by the low power and multicore designs coming out of Intel's Haifa shop. The only surviving CISC architecture of any importance is x86, but that is precisely what my computer has inside, and yours.

Unless of course you are reading this in an iPad or iPhone. Then your mobile device runs iOS, a direct descendant of NeXTStep, and has a RISC processor with the ARM architecture (chances that someone would read a blog on other mobile devices are so slim that it's not worth checking what kind of processor they use. ARM RISC also, probably, or lookalike). And where are the technological advances and the profits, in desktop computers or mobiles?

It seems that RISC won after all. As did NeXT. Just took longer than expected.
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