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[ The PC Guide | Systems and Components Reference Guide | The Processor | Processor Architecture and Operation | Internal Processor Interfaces and Operation | Performance Enhancing Architectural Features ]

Out-of-Order Execution

Processors that use multiple execution units can in theory complete the processing of instructions in the wrong order; instruction 2 can be executed before instruction 1 has completed. This flexibility improves performance since it allows execution with less "waiting" time. However, care must be taken to make sure that the results of execution are "reassembled" into the correct order to ensure that the program runs correctly. This is normally done by the retirement unit on translating processors.

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