A few posts henceforth are dedicate to an example processor named MU0. The name comes from the Manchester University. MU0 is indeed an abstract design, never actually implemented but designed for study purpose at the university level. The study of MU0 design is really a good entry point for learning the processor designing.
Getting into the technical things, MU0 is a 16-bit processor. This means that its ALU is capable on performing operations on 16-bit wide operands. And obviously, the accumulator register is a 16-bit register. Further, the instructions are also 16-bit, with a 12-bit address space. So, (2^12 * 16)-bit i.e. 8 kilobyte or 4 kilo-word [here word is 16-bit] memory can be accessed.
The MU0 instructions are fixed-format, fixed-length instruction with 1-operand address. That is, one of the operand and the destination of ALU operations is always implicit, which is accumulator register.
The MU0 implements total eight instructions in its instruction set. These instructions can be used to run some not-so-complex but useful programs.
All these facts make the design of MU0 processor simple to study.
Let's start with the instruction set of MU0 in next post.
more on Manchester University computers here.
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Any processor has an 'architecture' and an 'organization' of its own. Further it has its own set of instructions it can execute (known as 'Instruction Set'), there is some decode logic to interpret each unique instruction, an 'ALU' that actually carries out arithmetic and logical operations on data, and 'registers' to hold the processed and to-be processed data. This is not all a processor has, but the minimum it needs.
The image gives a rough idea about a processor. The dotted line is boundary of processor and other connected stuff is its periphery.
Technically, a processor is a complex assembly of digital circuitry used to process data. And this belongs to any processor in the world. Although any processor would handle and operate-on data, there are many different types and kinds of processors. This is because the data being processor is of various forms and may require to be processed in certain manner.
Depending on the environment in which a processor is used, there are following types of processors:
Articles and stuff addressing the design issues of a digital processor . . .
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