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Difference Between RISC and CISC

What is the difference between RICS and CISC Computing?

Difference Between RICS & CISC

RICS stands for Reduced Instruction Set Computing and CISC stands for Complex Instruction Set Computing.


A reduced instruction set computer or RISC is one whose instruction set architecture (ISA) has a set of attributes that allows it to have lower cycles per instruction (CPI) than a complex instruction set computer (CISC). Various suggestions have been made regarding a precise definition of RISC, but the general concept is that of a computer that has a small set of simple and general instructions, rather than a large set of complex and specialised instructions. Another common RISC trait is their load/store architecture, where memory is only accessed through specific instructions, rather than as a part of most instructions.

Complex instruction set computing or CISC is a processor design, where single instructions can execute several low-level operations (such as a load from memory, an arithmetic operation, and a memory store) or are capable of multi-step operations or addressing modes within single instructions. The term was retroactively coined in contrast to reduced instruction set computer (RISC) and has therefore become something of an umbrella term for everything that is not RISC, from large and complex mainframe computers to simplistic micro controllers where memory load and store operations are not separated from arithmetic instructions.

The main difference between RICS and CISC Computing architecture is in the number of computing cycles each of their instructions take. With CISC, each instruction may utilise a much greater number of cycles before completion than in RISC.

Difference Between RISC and CISC
Comparison of RISC & CISC

CISC
RISC
Emphasis on hardware
Emphasis on software
Includes multi-clock
Single-clock
complex instructions
reduced instruction only
Memory-to-memory: “LOAD” and “STORE” incorporated in instructions
Register to register: “LOAD” and “STORE” are independent instructions
high cycles per second, Small code sizes
Low cycles per second, large code sizes
Transistors used for storing complex instructions
Spends more transistors on memory registers

Difference between RISC and CISC in brief 

CISC - larger, more feature-rich instruction set (more operations, addressing modes, etc.).  slower clock speeds.  fewer general purpose registers.  Examples: x86 variants
RISC - smaller, simpler instruction set.  faster clock speeds.  more general purpose registers.
Examples: MIPS, Itanium, PowerPC, Examples of RISC Processors: Atmel AVR, PIC, ARM.

RISC architectures are now used across a wide range of platforms, from cellular telephones and tablet computers to some of the world's fastest supercomputers such as the K computer, the fastest on the TOP500 list in 2011.

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