A branch from CMUCL. "Broadly speaking, SBCL is distinguished from CMU CL by a greater emphasis on maintainability. SBCL does not use an interpreter by default; all expressions are compiled to native code unless the user switches the interpreter on. The SBCL compiler generates fast native code according to a previous version of The Computer Language Benchmarks Game.
The name "Steel Bank Common Lisp" is a reference to Carnegie Mellon University Common Lisp from which SBCL forked: Andrew Carnegie made his fortune in the steel industry and Andrew Mellon was a successful banker.