What is IPC?

Instruction Per Cycle (IPC), commonly known as Instruction Per Clock is the average number of machine-level instructions that a Central Processing Unit (CPU) can execute for each clock cycle. It is one of many factors that affect the overall performance of a CPU core. The number of instructions executed per clock may vary for a given processor depending on factors, including but not limited to, the complexity of the instruction set,  memory hierarchy, processor architecture, and the interactions between the software and the processor.

The number of Instructions Per Second (IPS) is an approximate indicator of the likely performance of a processor. A given level of IPS can be achieved with a high IPC and low clock speed, or from a low IPC and high clock speed. However, a high IPC with a high frequency shall give the best performance.

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