It seems like everyone in the industry wants to compare ARM (and other variants of RISC processors) to x86 (and other variants of CISC processors). For example, analysts ask, can Intel muscle it's way into the mobile market? Can ARM sneak in the back door of the tablet, laptop, or even desktop markets? Who is faster, more powerful, cheaper, uses less power, less space, and generates less heat?
These are not easy questions to answer and the major players spread misinformation by the shovel full. So let's take a step back and look at what makes each technology tick.RISC (reduced instruction set computing) technology has been around since before the acronym was even invented.
It goes back as early as the 1960s (it could be argued that the CDC 6600, one of the first supercomputers designed by Seymour Cray in 1964, was a RISC machine).
The term 'reduced instruction set' is a bit misleading since modern RISC processors can have just as many instructions as CISC (complex instruction set computing) processors. The primary difference is that in a RISC processor all instructions are formatted exactly the same way and all take exactly the same time to execute – usually one cycle per instruction.