(e) Explain the characteristics of RISC? Also, explain the RISC pipelining.

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Characteristics of RISC (Reduced Instruction Set Computing):

1. Simple Instructions: RISC architectures have a reduced set of simple and basic instructions. Each instruction performs a specific operation, making them easy to decode and execute.

2. Fixed-Length Instructions: RISC instructions are of fixed length, typically 32 bits. This simplifies the instruction decoding process and allows for a more regular and predictable instruction format.

3. Single-Cycle Execution: Most RISC instructions can be executed in a single clock cycle. This results in faster execution times for individual instructions.

4. Hardwired Control: RISC architectures often use hardwired control units, where each instruction is directly mapped to a set of control signals. This reduces the complexity of the control unit.

5. Register Usage: RISC architectures heavily rely on registers for operand storage. Instructions frequently involve register-to-register operations, minimizing memory access.

6. Load/Store Architecture: Memory operations are limited to load and store instructions, which transfer data between registers and memory. Arithmetic and logic operations are performed on data in registers.

7. Pipelining: RISC architectures are designed to take advantage of pipelining, breaking down instruction execution into stages (instruction fetch, decode, execute, etc.) to achieve parallelism and improve overall throughput.

8. Compiler-Friendly: RISC architectures are optimized for efficient compilation. The simplicity of instructions allows compilers to generate efficient code sequences.

9. High Clock Frequency: Due to the simplified and regular instruction set, RISC processors can achieve higher clock frequencies, contributing to faster overall performance.

RISC Pipelining:

RISC processors often implement pipelining to enhance instruction throughput. Pipelining involves breaking down the execution of an instruction into multiple stages, with each stage performed by a separate pipeline stage. The stages include instruction fetch, instruction decode, execute, memory access, and write-back.

The RISC pipelining process typically follows these stages:

1. Instruction Fetch (IF): Fetch the instruction from memory.

2. Instruction Decode (ID): Decode the instruction and determine the required operations.

3. Execute (EX): Perform the arithmetic or logic operation specified by the instruction.

4. Memory Access (MEM): For load and store instructions, access memory to retrieve or store data.

5. Write-Back (WB): Write the result back to the register file.

Each stage of the pipeline works concurrently, allowing the processor to start executing the next instruction before completing the execution of the previous one. This overlap of instruction execution stages improves throughput and overall performance.

However, pipeline hazards such as data hazards (dependency between instructions) and control hazards (branch instructions) must be managed to avoid stalls and maintain correct execution. Techniques like forwarding and branch prediction are employed to address these challenges in RISC pipelining. 

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