BOOK_CONTENT
From Digital Circuit Design with an Introduction to CPLDs and FPGAs

Overview

This chapter begins with an introduction to the basic components of a digital computer. It continues with a discussion of the basic microprocessor operations, and concludes with the description of more advanced arithmetic and logic operations.

10.1 Computers Defined

There are two classes of computers, analog, and digital. Analog computers are automatic computing devices that operate with electronic signals exhibiting continuous variations of physical quantities such as electrical voltages and currents, mechanical shaft rotations or displacements, and are used primarily to solve the differential equations that describe these time-varying signals. Results are normally displayed on oscilloscopes, spectrum analyzers, and pen recorders. A basic component in analog computers is a very versatile electronic device known as operational amplifier [*] or op amp for short.

Digital computers are automatic computing devices that operate with electronic signals exhibiting discrete variations, and are used for a variety of tasks such as word processing, arithmetic and logic operations, database construction, e-mail, etc. Digital computer operation is based on the binary numbering system which, as we learned in Chapter 1, employs two numbers only, zero (0) and one (1). Our subsequent discussion will be on digital computers. Two important characteristics of any digital computer are the ability to store information, and the speed of operation.

Digital computers are classified either as general purpose (stored program) or special purpose (dedicated) computer. A general purpose computer is one in which the sequence of instructions (program) is read into the computer via the input...

Copyright Orchard Publications 2005 under license agreement with Books24x7

Products & Services
Tablet Computers
Tablet computers are notebook computers with a liquid crystal display (LCD) on which the user can write using a special-purpose pen, or stylus.
Arithmetic Logic Units (ALU)
Arithmetic logic units (ALU) perform arithmetic and logic operations on binary data inputs. In some processors, the ALU is divided into two units: an arithmetic unit (AU) and a logic unit (LU).
Logic Analyzers
Logic analyzers are used to characterize and debug hardware, design and test firmware and software, and perform synthesis integration.
Fieldbus Communications Computer Boards
Fieldbus communications computer boards are used to control of sensors and actuators in industrial applications, such as data acquisition and control.
Oscilloscopes
Oscilloscopes translate an electronic signal into a pattern or waveform on a screen. As it is traced across the screen, the waveform creates a signature of the signal's characteristics.

Topics of Interest

Overview This chapter is an introduction to Field Programmable Devices (FPDs) also referred to as Programmable Logic Devices (PLDs). It begins with the description and applications of Programmable...

This chapter begins with an introduction to the basic components of a digital computer. It continues with a discussion of the basic microprocessor operations, and concludes with the description of...

Computer Arithmetic Algorithms, Second Edition Explaining the principles of algorithms used in arithmetic operations on digital computers, this book covers basic as well as complex operations and...

MICROCOMPUTER TASKS A microcomputer-based engine control system has much greater flexibility than the early systems which were partly analog. A suitably configured microcomputer can potentially...

One of the first things we have to know is that electronics can be broadly classified into two groups, viz. analog electronics and digital electronics. Analog electronics deals with things that are...