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Reduced Instruction Set Computer (RISC) and Explicitly Parallel Instruction Computing (EPIC) are 64-bit processor technologies that provide high performance platforms for server operations. Both are based on the concept of a smaller number of fixed length instructions providing higher performance. The EPIC technology, used in the Intel Itanium processor, adds parallel instruction processing, much of which is dictated by compiler optimizations rather than hardware.
While the overall percentage of servers using RISC/EPIC processors continues to shrink, the market for processors offering higher performance than current x86-based platforms continues to exist. These systems also provide greater margins and more customer lock-in than the commodity servers.