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Common Elements in Modern Computer Design
However, there is an enormous amount of variation even within this general design.
== Popular Architecture Families ==
Throughout this page and the [[:Category:Computer Architecture|Computer Architecture Category]] on this wiki, several architecture families are mentioned, including:
* x86 - The Intel/AMD architecture which debuted with the Intel 8086 processor (16-bit), gained desktop and server dominance as the 386/486/x86 32-bit architecture, and was extended by AMD to the 64-bit x86_64 architecture. Intel and AMD vigorously compete with x86_64 CPUs, which continue as the preeminent server architecture and most popular desktop architecture.
* ARM - An architecture which started with the Acorn computer company, became the dominant mobile and embedded architecture in its 32-bit incarnations, and was extended to 64-bit in version 8 ([[ARMv8]]) with the [[AArch64]] mode. 64-bit ARM processors are dominant in smartphone applications and starting to be compete in server and high-performance computing systems.
* PowerPC - An architecture which has been used in a wide range of applications, from Apple desktop systems to Sony PlayStation CELL processors, and which is now used primarily in IBM midrange and mainframe systems.
* MIPS - An architecture which was used in Sillicon Graphics workstations but has found its primary audience in network infrastructure such as backbone routers and firewall systems.
As well as some architectures which are no longer current:
* 6502 - An 8-bit architecture which helped spawned the home computing/personal computing era.
* Sparc - A RISC architecture developed by Sun Microsystems which powered the high-end workstation and server market for many years.
== Basic CPU Features ==
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