Advanced RISC Computing

Definition of Advanced RISC Computing

Advanced RISC Computing (ARC) refers to a specification for running RISC-based computer systems, primarily focused on reducing complexity and increasing system performance. It was developed by a consortium of companies, including Digital Equipment Corporation, MIPS Computer Systems, and Silicon Graphics, in the early 1990s. The ARC standard aimed to create a uniform system architecture for RISC-based computers, enabling greater compatibility and ease of use across different platforms.


The phonetic pronunciation of “Advanced RISC Computing” is:Advanced: ədˈvanstRISC: rɪskComputing: kəmˈpyutɪŋ

Key Takeaways

  1. Advanced RISC Computing (ARC) is a specification standard that enables multiple operating systems to run on a single RISC-based hardware platform.
  2. It was developed as a joint venture between companies such as Microsoft, MIPS Computer Systems, and Digital Equipment Corporation in the early 90s.
  3. ARC provides guidelines for the design of both software and hardware components, which include boot firmware, peripheral addressing, and memory management.

Importance of Advanced RISC Computing

Advanced RISC Computing (ARC) is a critical technology term as it represents a milestone in computer hardware development, which enables faster, more efficient, and superior-performing systems.

By utilizing Reduced Instruction Set Computing (RISC) architecture, ARC streamlines and simplifies the processing of instructions by focusing on a smaller set of crucial commands that lead to higher performance.

This is crucial in modern technology because it allows computers to accomplish more complex tasks with greater speed, benefiting the development of many tech-driven industries, including computing, telecommunications, and aerospace.

Additionally, ARC’s contribution to technological innovation has laid the foundations for the growth of sophisticated and specialized processors, continuing to shape the evolution of computing performance and capabilities.


Advanced RISC Computing (ARC) is a technology initiative aimed at standardizing the design and operation of Reduced Instruction Set Computer (RISC) systems. The primary purpose of ARC is to streamline the development and deployment of RISC-based workstations and servers across various industries.

Through the adoption of ARC, manufacturers and software developers can create products with greater interoperability, ultimately making them more cost-effective and efficient for end-users. Furthermore, ARC promotes the unification of hardware and software under a single, uniform system architecture, reducing compatibility issues and simplifying the technical landscape.

One of the key applications of Advanced RISC Computing is in high-performance computing systems, where the reduced instruction set enables quicker processing and improved system efficiency. Due to the simplicity of the RISC architecture, an ARC-based system can execute multiple instructions at a faster pace, which is particularly useful for computationally intensive tasks, such as data analysis, simulations, and various real-time applications.

Another noteworthy advantage of ARC is its scalability, allowing businesses and research facilities to seamlessly integrate new hardware components and expand the capabilities of their RISC systems in line with growing requirements. Overall, Advanced RISC Computing promotes a unified, efficient, and robust computing ecosystem by addressing the crucial aspects of hardware and software compatibility, streamlined processing, and easy scalability.

Examples of Advanced RISC Computing

Advanced RISC Computing (ARC) is a system architecture that is based on Reduced Instruction Set Computing (RISC) technology. It was designed and developed in the late 1980s and early 1990s to create more efficient and scalable computer systems, which were useful in a wide range of applications. Here are three real-world examples of ARC technology:

MIPS Architecture:One of the most famous examples of Advanced RISC Computing is the MIPS architecture, which stands for Microprocessor without Interlocked Pipelined Stages. MIPS was developed by MIPS Technologies Inc. and has been widely used in various embedded systems, such as consumer electronics, networking devices, and digital signal processing applications. Some well-known devices that used MIPS processors include the Nintendo 64 game console, Cisco routers, and the Sony PlayStation

ARM Processors:ARM, which stands for Advanced RISC Machines, is another well-known example of ARC technology. ARM processors are widely used in mobile phones, tablets, and embedded devices like wearables, smart TVs, and gaming consoles. Examples of devices that use ARM processors include Apple iPhone and iPad, Samsung Galaxy smartphones, and the Raspberry Pi. The ARM architecture has become an industry standard for low-power and high-performance processors.

IBM Power Architecture:IBM’s Power Architecture is a RISC-based computer architecture that has been used in various enterprise computing systems, including workstations, servers, and supercomputers. One of the most notable implementations of the Power Architecture was IBM’s POWER series processors, which have been used in IBM UNIX workstations, the AS/400 line of business computers, and the company’s Power Systems lineup used in large-scale data centers. Additionally, PowerPC processors, a subset of the Power Architecture, have been used in Apple Macintosh computers, gaming consoles like Sony PlayStation 3, and other embedded systems.All these examples demonstrate how Advanced RISC Computing has significantly contributed to the development of high-performance, low-power, and cost-effective computing systems in various industries, enabling a wide range of technological advancements.

Advanced RISC Computing FAQ

What is Advanced RISC Computing?

Advanced RISC Computing (ARC) is a specification for a computer hardware and firmware architecture, primarily designed for systems based on RISC processors. ARC was created as a collaborative effort between several companies to standardize an open system architecture.

What does RISC stand for?

RISC stands for Reduced Instruction Set Computer, which is a type of computer architecture that uses a smaller set of simple and general instructions to perform operations. This design approach enables faster processing and efficient use of resources.

Who developed Advanced RISC Computing?

Advanced RISC Computing was developed by the Advanced Computing Environment (ACE) consortium, which included companies like MIPS Computer Systems, Microsoft, Digital Equipment Corporation, and Silicon Graphics. The goal was to create a standardized, open system architecture for RISC-based computer systems.

What are the key features of Advanced RISC Computing?

Some key features of Advanced RISC Computing include a modular system architecture, support for little-endian byte order, scalable performance, self-describing hardware components, extensible firmware interface, and a unified operating system binary interface.

What operating systems support Advanced RISC Computing?

Operating systems that support Advanced RISC Computing include Microsoft Windows NT, Digital Equipment Corporation’s OSF/1, and Silicon Graphics’ IRIX. However, the widespread adoption of x86 architecture has made ARC-based systems less common in recent years.

Related Technology Terms

  • RISC Architecture
  • Instruction Set
  • Load-Store Architecture
  • Pipelining
  • Branch Prediction

Sources for More Information

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