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Basic idea. The stack, or last-in first-out store, has become more familiar recently because many microprocessors have incorporated a stack in some form. In some microprocessors, the stack can only contain return addresses for subroutines; in others there are provisions for holding temporary data in the stack. The stack derives its name from the idea that items are placed on the "top," thus "pushing down" those items already on the stack. Items are removed from the top, "popping up" those items remaining on the stack.