Computation Structures

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Developed as the text for the basic computer architecture course at MIT,Computation Structures integrates a thorough coverage of digital logic design with a comprehensive presentation of computer architecture. It contains a wealth of information for those who design computers or work with computer systems, spanning the entire range of topics from analog circuit design to operating systems. Ward and Halstead seek to demystify the construction of computing hardware by illustrating systematically how it is built up from digital circuits through higher level components to processors and memories, and how its design is affected by its intended uses.Computation Structures is unusually broad in scope, considering many real world problems and tradeoff decisions faced by practicing engineers. These difficult choices are confronted and given careful attention throughout the book.Topics addressed include the digital abstraction; digital representations and notation; combinational devices and circuits; sequence and state; synthesis of digital systems; finite state machines; control structures and disciplines; performance measures and tradeoffs; communication; interpretation; microinterpreter architecture; microprogramming and microcode; single sequence machines; stack architectures; register architectures; reduced instruction set computers; memory architectures; processes and processor multiplexing; process synchronization; interrupts, priorities, and real time; directions and trends.Stephen A. Ward and Robert H. Halstead are both Associate Professors of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering at MIT. Computation Structures is included in the MIT Electrical Engineering and Computer Science series.

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Editorial Reviews

This is the textbook for a one-term sophomore course required of electrical engineering and computer science majors at MIT. It approaches digital systems architecture through a bottom-up progression from simple electronics into representative computer systems. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

Table of Contents

1 The Digital Abstraction
1.1 Information and the Digital Abstraction
1.2 Representation of Discrete Variables
1.3 Combinational Devices
1.4 The Static Discipline: Logic Levels
1.5 Rate of Information Flow
1.6 Transitions and Validity
1.7 Logic Families
1.8 DigitalCircuit Implementation
1.9 Summary
1.10 ConteXt
1.11 Problems
2 Binary Representations and Notation
2.1 Representation of Numbers
2.2 FloatingPoint Representations
2.3 Other Representations
2.4 HeXadecimal Notation
2.5 *Unrepresentable Values
2.6 Error Detection and Correction
2.7 ConteXt
2.8 Problems
3 Combinational Devices and Circuits
3.1 Boolean Functions and Truth Tables
3.2 Elementary Gate Circuits
3.3 Synthesis of Logic Circuits
3.4 Temporal Considerations in Combinational Circuits
3.5 ConteXt
3.6 Problems
4 Sequences and State
4.1 Feedback and State
4.2 Latches, FlipFlops, and Registers
4.3 EdgeTriggered FlipFlops and Registers
4.4 Register Timing
4.5 Models of Sequential Circuits
4.6 Synchronization and State
4.7 ConteXt
4.8 Problems
5 Synthesis of Digital Systems
5.1 Building Blocks for Logic Design
5.2 Regular Structures
5.3 Design EXample: A Combinational Multiplier
5.4 ConteXt
5.5 Problems
6 FiniteState Machines
6.1 Synthesis of FiniteState Machines
6.2 Synchronous FSM Circuit Models
6.3 States and Bits
6.4 *Equivalence of FSMs
6.5 *Regular EXpressions and Nondeterministic FSMs
6.6 ConteXt
6.7 Problems
7 Control Structures and Disciplines
7.1 Timing Disciplines
7.2 Degrees of Synchrony
7.3 Constraints on Control Structure
7.4 Synchronous GloballyTimed Control
7.5 Synchronous Locally Timed Control
7.6 Asynchronous Locally Timed Control
7.7 ConteXt
7.8 Problems
8 Performance Measures and Tradeoffs
8.1 Pipelining
8.2 Systematic Pipeline Construction
8.3 CostPerformance Tradeoffs and Options
8.4 Implementations of Bubble Sort
8.5 More Efficient Sorting Algorithms
8.6 Summary
8.7 ConteXt
8.8 Problems
9 Communication: Issues and Structures
9.1 Physical Limits and Constraints
9.2 Communication Buses
9.3 Serial Communication
9.4 ConteXt
9.5 Problems
10 Interpretation
10.1 Turing Machines and Computability
10.2 Universality
10.3 Uncomputable Functions
10.4 Interpretation versus Compilation
10.5 ConteXt
10.6 Problems
11 Microinterpreter Architecture
11.1 Data Paths versus Control
11.2 A Basic DataPath Architecture
11.3 Typical DataPath Subsystems and Uses
11.4 Control Subsystem
11.5 The Control Machine as an Interpreter
11.6 ConteXt
11.7 Problems
12 Microprogramming and Microcode
12.1 Microcode Semantics
12.2 Symbolic Microprogramming
12.3 Microcoding EXamples
12.4 Summary
12.5 ConteXt
12.6 Problems
13 SingleSequence Machines
13.1 Machine Language as an Abstraction
13.2 Gross Organization of the SingleSequence Machine
13.3 Influences on MachineLanguage Design
13.4 Implementation Considerations
13.5 The von Neumann Machine
13.6 Perspectives and Trends
13.7 ConteXt
13.8 Problems
14 Stack Architectures: The S Machine
14.1 Basic Instructions
14.2 SMachine Instruction Coding
14.3 *MAYBE Implementation
14.4 Compilation Techniques for Stack Machines
14.5 Flow of Control on the S Machine
14.6 *Relative Addressing and PositionIndependent Code
14.7 Stack Frames and Procedure Linkage
14.8 *LeXicalScoping Support
14.9 Traps
14.10 Summary
14.11 ConteXt
14.12 Problems
15 Register Architectures: The G Machine
15.1 Addressing Modes
15.2 The G Machine
15.3 *MAYBE Implementation
15.4 Other GeneralRegister Architectures
15.5 Procedure Linkage
15.6 Register Allocation by Compilers
15.7 Traps
15.8 HighPerformance Implementation Considerations
15.9 Summary
15.10 ConteXt
15.11 Problems
16 Memory Architectures
16.1 Locality of Reference and Other Regularities of Memory Access
16.2 Interleaved Memory Modules
16.3 Instruction Prefetch
16.4 TopofStack Cache
16.5 Multilevel Memory
16.6 Cache Memory
16.7 Paging and Virtual Memory
16.8 Summary
16.9 ConteXt
16.10 Problems
17 ReducedInstructionSet Computers
17.1 Basic Data Pipeline
17.2 Pipeline Timing
17.3 Interface Issues
17.4 InstructionStream Constants
17.5 Instruction Fetch and Branch Control
17.6 MainMemory Timing Conflict
17.7 Impact of Lengthened Pipeline
17.8 Alternatives and Issues
17.9 Summary
17.10 ConteXt
17.11 Problems
18 Processes and Processor MultipleXing
18.1 The Process Abstraction
18.2 Process Management
18.3 OperatingSystem Services
18.4 Memory Mapping
18.5 Protection
18.6 Summary
18.7 ConteXt
18.8 Problems
19 Process Synchronization
19.1 ProcessSynchronization Constraints
19.2 Semaphores and Precedence Constraints
19.3 Semaphores for Precedence
19.4 Semaphores for Mutual EXclusion
19.5 ProducerConsumer Synchronization
19.6 Binary Semaphores
19.7 Implementing Semaphores
19.8 Deadlock
19.9 Summary
19.10 ConteXt
19.11 Problems
20 Interrupts, Priorities, and Real Time
20.1 MutualEXclusion Requirements
20.2 Enable/Disable Mechanism
20.3 Interrupts and Stack Discipline
20.4 Implementation of Interrupts
20.5 Weak Priorities
20.6 Processor Priorities
20.7 Scheduling and Priority Assignments
20.8 Summary
20.9 ConteXt
20.10 Problems
21 Architectural Horizons
21.1 Models of Computation
21.2 The Multiprocessor Challenge
21.3 TaXonomy of Multiprocessors
21.4 Hiding Parallelism: Concurrent SSM EXecution
21.5 Data Parallelism
21.6 Other SIMD Approaches
21.7 SharedMemory Multiprocessors
21.8 Distribution of Subcomputations
21.9 Summary
21.10 ConteXt
A1 The C Language: A Brief Overview
A1.1 Simple Data Types and Declarations
A1.2 EXpressions
A1.3 Statements and Programs
A1.4 Arrays and Pointers
A1.5 Structures
A2 MAYBE Microarchitecture Summary
A2.1 ControlROM Bit Fields
A2.2 Circuit Details
A2.3 Microinstruction Set
A2.4 ControlROM Listing
A2.5 Macro Definitions for Microinstructions
A3 MAYBE Microcode Support for Interpreters
A3.1 Switch Console
A3.2 Microsubroutines
A4 S Machine Summary
A4.1 InstructionSet Details
A4.2 Language Definition
A4.3 Sample SMachine Program
A4.4 Complete MAYBE SMachine Microcode
A5 G Machine Summary
A5.1 InstructionSet Details
A5.2 Language Definition
A5.3 Sample GMachine Program
A5.4 Complete MAYBE GMachine Microcode
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