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I can't seem to figure this out from the related wikipedia pages:

Von Neumann architecture

MIPS architecture

Harvard architecture

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5 Answers 5

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See Wikipedia's Modified Harvard Architecture page on Harvard or von Neumann?:

Three characteristics of Harvard architecture machines may be used to distinguish them from von Neumann machines:

  • Instruction and data memories occupy different address spaces. [...]

  • Instruction and data memories have separate hardware pathways to the central processing unit (CPU). [...]

  • Instruction and data memories are implemented in different ways. [...]

The last point is because of the original Harvard machine (stored instructions on paper tape, data in electromechanical counters), but is applicable to modern pure-Harvard chips like the PIC microcontroller, which use non-volatile memory to store instructions but volatile memory for RAM.

Now, given those distinguishing characteristics, how would you categorize the MIPS?

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Modern processors are based on the Von Neumann architecture, including x86, x64, and MIPS. As far as I know, the Harvard architecture is not used in mainstream CPUs.

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later x86 chips and x64 are Von Neumann/Harvard hybrids; the Harvard influence is seen in the L1 cache design (separate data/instruction caches) and other features. see and… – quack quixote Dec 11 '09 at 18:37

It's a Von Neuman architecture because of no separation between data and code memory. The intel 8051 is a Harvard and there is a separate memory for data and code and to fodepush ^ this IS mainstream.

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as I study before MIPS structure in computer architecture , MIPs based on Von Neumann

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The main difference between Harvard and Von-Neuman architecture is that of the memory. Harvard contains two separate memory: Program Memory(contains instruction set etc.) and Data Memory(containing data, operands etc.) whereas Von Neuman has only one memory(containing both Program memory and Data memory into one).

Now, as Mips has two separate memories: Program Memory, which is used for fetching the instruction from it and data memory/main memory which is used at Memory stage to store/load data. Therefore MIPS is more close to Harvard Architecture.

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