Instructions per second

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The instructions per second ( IPS for short , from English instructions per second ), usually specified as millions of instructions per second ( MIPS , from English million instructions per second or mega instructions per second ), is a unit of measurement for the computing power of computers , in particular the performance of the CPU (see also computer benchmark ). The unit indicates how many machine instructions (instructions) a microprocessor can execute per second . 1 MIPS means it can execute a million machine instructions per second.

Processors achieve high IPS values ​​primarily with very simple commands for integer or logic calculations. For many calculations, however, the computing power with floating point numbers is decisive, for which there is a similar unit of measurement, " FLOPS " ( Floating Point Operations Per Second - floating point commands per second ).


Since machine languages ​​of processor types of different architecture (such as x86 and PowerPC ) often have very different instruction sets, a comparison of pure MIPS numbers is usually only of limited significance. If one takes similar functions as a reference, the differences are much larger than shown by the MIPS values. For example, the "integer multiplication of two registers" of an Intel 8080 or Zilog Z80 is an 8 bit × 8 bit = 16 bit operation, but with modern processors it is a 64 bit × 64 bit = 128 bit calculation that is carried out on an Intel 8080 Would take 10,000 bars.

For some areas of application, in which mainly integers, texts, data transport or administrative tasks arise, IPS information can mean a rough estimate of the performance of a system for these purposes; Examples are web, file and database servers, routers, device controls, smartphones.

Sample values

MIPS development timeline
CPU MIPS Clock frequency year
Intel 8080 0.4 2 MHz 1974
Z80 0.625 2.5 MHz 1974
Motorola 68000 1 8 MHz 1979
Motorola 68020 4th 20 MHz 1984
ARM2 4th 8 MHz 1986
Motorola 68030 11 33 MHz 1987
ARM3 12 25 MHz 1989
Motorola 68040 44 40 MHz 1990
Intel 486DX 54 66 MHz 1992
DEC Alpha 21064 EV4 300 150 MHz 1992
Motorola 68060 88 66 MHz 1994
ARM 7500FE 35.9 40 MHz 1996
Atmel AVR 10 10 MHz 1996
PowerPC G3 671 366 MHz 1997
Zilog eZ80 80 50 MHz 1998
ARM10 400 300 MHz 1999
Pentium 3 1,354 500 MHz 1999
Athlon FX-57 8,400 2.8 GHz 2005
Athlon FX60 18,938 2.6 GHz 2006
Xeon Harpertown 93,608 3 GHz 2007
ARM Cortex-A15 35,000 2.5 GHz 2010
AMD Phenom II X6 1100T 78,440 3.3 GHz 2010
AMD FX-8150 108,890 3.6 GHz 2011
Intel Core i7 2600K 128,300 3.4 GHz 2011
Intel Core i7 5960X 336,000 3.5 GHz 2014


The performance , expressed in instructions per second, is given by

where is the clock cycle length and the average number of cycles it takes for the computer to execute an instruction.

Multiples of the unit of measure

As with other units of measurement, the multiples of an IPS are also described with the usual decimal prefixes (see also prefixes for units of measurement ) .

Today, however, the “MIPS” (for mega-IPS = 10 6 IPS) is still common, as it virtually bridges the gap between the weakest and the strongest computing power in the consumer area. However, the multiples GIPS (for Giga-IPS = 10 9 IPS) and TIPS (for Tera-IPS = 10 12 IPS) are also increasingly being used. The latter, however, is more likely to be the case with high-performance computers .

A measure for the performance of a microprocessor that is no longer used is the “KIPS” (for Kilo-IPS = 10 3 IPS). The name KIPS is also used as a joke name for microprocessor designs developed by students during their training.


A MIPS value determined according to the Dhrystone benchmark.


Due to the difficult comparability of IPS values above architecture boundaries is MIPS sporadically jokeful as " M isleading I nformation to P romote S ales" ( Misleading Information for sales promotion ) or as " M eaningless I ndication / I nformation about P rocessor S peed “( meaningless information / information on the speed of a microprocessor ).

See also

Individual evidence

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