Minimal instruction set computer

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Minimal Instruction Set Computer (MISC) is a processor architecture with a very small number of basic operations and corresponding opcodes. Such instruction sets are commonly stack based rather than register based to reduce the size of operand specifiers. Such a stack machine architecture is inherently simpler since all instructions operate on the top-most stack entries. A result of this is a smaller instruction set, a smaller and faster instruction decode unit, and overall faster operation of individual instructions. The disadvantage is that instructions tend to have more sequential dependencies, reducing instruction-level parallelism. MISC architectures have much in common with the Forth programming language and the Java Virtual Machine.

Probably the most commercially successful MISC was the INMOS transputer.

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