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Computer Architectures - Combinatorial and Sequential Circuits - The First computer

 

Contents of Micro Memory

Let us now study the contents of the micro memory. The micro memory is 15 bits wide, one bit for each MOP. We shall organize the micro memory so that address 0 always contains the beginning of a micro program to fetch the instruction code at the address in the main memory stored in PC. Thus, when we start the instruction fetch micro program, we must make sure that PC points to the next instruction to execute.

Instruction fetch and decode

As it turns out, fetching an instruction only requires a single clock cycle. We need to communicate the contents of PC to the address bus using MOP number 5, we need to read from memory using MOP number 3. The contents of the main memory at that address will be translated by the instruction decoder into the address in the micro memory where the micro program for the instruction starts. We need to store that address in micro PC using MOP number 2. Finally, by convention, we increment PC so that when a specific micro program needs to load instruction arguments, PC already points to the right place. If the instruction has no arguments, then PC will simply point to the next instruction. We shall make sure we use this convention consistently. We now have the entire micro program for loading and decoding an instruction:

000000: 011010100000000 (fetch)

As you can see, MOPs number 2, 3, 5, and 7 have the value 1, and all others have the value 0.

 

Micro program for instruction NOP

We are now ready to atttack the micro programs for the individual instructions. The first instruction we shall define is NOP (no operation), which does absolutely nothing. Such an instruction is sometimes useful for alignment purposes, or for temporary patches to programs. We shall use instruction code 0 for the NOP instruction. The micro program for NOP will start at the first available address of the micro memory, which is 1, since we already used address 0 for instruction loading and decoding. The contents of the instruction decoder at address 0 will thus be:

00000: 000001 (NOP)

The micro program for NOP does nothing, so all we have to do is make sure that after its execution, the contenst of micro PC is 0, so that the next instruction is loaded. Every micro program for instructions will be terminated by setting MOP number 1 to 1 for exactly this reason. With the micro program for NOP, where is the contents so far of the micro memory

000000: 011010100000000 (fetch)
000001: 100000000000000 (NOP)

Micro program for instruction LDIMM

The next instruction we shall write is called LDIMM (for load immediate). This instruction takes one argument, so that the entire instruction is two bytes long. The first byte is the opcode as usual, and the second byte (the argument) is a value to be loaded into R0. Such and instruction is useful for loading contstants (i.e. values that are known at compile time) into registers.

The opcode for LDIMM will be 1 (the first free opcode), and the start of the micro program for LDIMM will be on address 2 in the micro memory (the first available address). Our instruction decoder now looks like this:

00000: 000001 (NOP)
00001: 000010 (LDIMM)

To implement the LDIMM instruction we shall need to address the main memory using the contents of PC. PC already contains the address of the argument, since the instruction fetch program incremented PC after fetching and decoding the instruction code. For that purpose, we use MOP number 5. We also need to read from main memory using MOP number 3 and store the value read into R0 using MOP number 11. By convention, we also increment PC so that it points to the instruction code of the next instruction. All of this can be done in one clock cycle, so in the next clock cycle, we need to fetch the next instruction. To make that happen, we set MOP number 1 to 1. We now have the following contents of the micro memory:

000000: 011010100000000 (fetch)
000001: 100000000000000 (NOP)
000010: 101010100010000 (LDIMM)

Micro program for instruction LD

Loading constants known at compile time is useful, but we also need to load the contents of variables whose values are now known at compile time. Such variables correspond to cells of main memory whose addresses are known at compile time. Thus, we need a load instruction where the argument indicates an address in main memory, and that loads the contents of that address into R0.

The first available instruction code is 2 and the first available address in micro memory is 3, so we now have the following contents of the instruction decoder:

00000: 000001 (NOP)
00001: 000010 (LDIMM)
00010: 000011 (LD)

The plan for implementing LD is as follows: First use the contents of PC to address memory (MOPs 5 and 3), and load the contents into the address register (using MOP number 9). Simultaneously, increment PC (MOP 7). Then, in the next cycle, use the address register to address memory (MOPs 10 and 3)) and load the contents into R0 (MOP 11). As you can see, this instruction requires two cycles, simply because two different addresses and contents of main memory need to be used, and that we have only one address bus and one data bus. By convention, we increment PC as soon as possible (after the first cycle). Here is the contents of micro memory so far:

000000: 011010100000000 (fetch)
000001: 100000000000000 (NOP)
000010: 101010100010000 (LDIMM)
000011: 001010101000000 (LD)
000011: 101000000110000 (LD)

Micro program for instruction ST

Just as we need to load the contents of variables, we also need to store new values into such variables. We therefore need an instruction capable of taking the contents of a register (here R1) and storing it into an address given as an argument to the instruction. This instruction is ST (for store).

As usual we pick the first available opcode and address in micro memory giving the following contents of the instruction decoder so far:

00000: 000001 (NOP)
00001: 000010 (LDIMM)
00010: 000011 (LD)
00011: 000101 (ST)

To implement the ST instruction, we have to be a bit more careful that we have been so far. The reason is that the memory is not synchronous. We must make sure that the values on the data bus and address bus are stable before we attempt to write into memory. The only way we can make sure this is the case is to separate them into different clock cycles. We also have to make sure the memory gets the write signal (MOP 4) before the enable signal (MOP 3). Otherwise, there is a risk that that the memory is read for a brief moment, which gives conflicting values on the data bus with possible circuit destruction as a result.

This is thus the plan for the ST instruction: in the first cycle, load the argument of the instruction (indicating the address to store into) into the address register, just as with the LD instruction. In the next cycle, use MOPs 8 and 10 to get the data bus and address bus stable. In the next cycle, add the write signal (MOP 4). In the next cycle, add the enable signal (MOP 3). Then in the next signal, remove the enable signal, but keep all the others (otherwise, again we may have the same problems). In the next and final cycle, remove the write signal, but keep the others. Here is the complete contents of micro memory so far:

000000: 011010100000000 (fetch)
000001: 100000000000000 (NOP)
000010: 101010100010000 (LDIMM)
000011: 001010101000000 (LD)
000100: 101000000110000 (LD)
000101: 001010101000000 (ST)
000110: 000000010100000 (ST)
000111: 000100010100000 (ST)
001000: 001100010100000 (ST)
001001: 000100010100000 (ST)
001010: 100000010100000 (ST)

Micro program for ALU instructions

00000: 000001 (NOP)
00001: 000010 (LDIMM)
00010: 000011 (LD)
00011: 000101 (ST)
00100: 001011 (COPY)
00101: 001100 (SHL)
00110: 001101 (SHR)
00111: 001110 (ADD)
01000: 001111 (SUB)
01001: 010000 (AND)
01010: 010001 (OR)
01011: 010010 (NOT)

The implementation of each of thes instruction consists simply of emitting the right values of MOPs 13, 14, and 15, and of emitting MOP number 12 to make sure the resulting value is stored in R1. Here is the contents of the micro memory so far:

000000: 011010100000000 (fetch)
000001: 100000000000000 (NOP)
000010: 101010100010000 (LDIMM)
000011: 001010101000000 (LD)
000100: 101000000110000 (LD)
000101: 001010101000000 (ST)
000110: 000000010100000 (ST)
000111: 000100010100000 (ST)
001000: 001100010100000 (ST)
001001: 000100010100000 (ST)
001010: 100000010100000 (ST)
001011: 100000000001000 (COPY)
001100: 100000000001001 (SHL)
001101: 100000000001010 (SHR)
001110: 100000000001011 (ADD)
001111: 100000000001100 (SUB)
010000: 100000000001101 (AND)
010001: 100000000001110 (OR)
010010: 100000000001111 (NOT)

Micro program for JAL instruction

With the instructions we have defined so far, we can not alter the execution of the program. We can only have so-called straight-line program. To alter the flow of control, we need a jump instruction. We shall call this instruction JAL (jump always). It is what is known as an unconditional jump, and indeed our architecture so far does not support conditional jump instructions.

As usual, we pick the first available opcode and address in micro memory, giving the following contents of the instruction decoder so far:

00000: 000001 (NOP)
00001: 000010 (LDIMM)
00010: 000011 (LD)
00011: 000101 (ST)
00100: 001011 (COPY)
00101: 001100 (SHL)
00110: 001101 (SHR)
00111: 001110 (ADD)
01000: 001111 (SUB)
01001: 010000 (AND)
01010: 010001 (OR)
01011: 010010 (NOT)
01100: 010011 (JAL)

The JAL instruction has one argument, the address to jump to. The plan for implementing the JAL instruction is as follows: In the first cycle, load the argument into the address register as will LD and ST. In the next cycle, use MOPs 10 and 6 to store this value into PC. While it is not strictly necessary to increment PC in the first cycle since it is going to be altered anyway in the second cycle, we do it anyway for consistency. Here is the contents of micro memory so far:

000000: 011010100000000 (fetch)
000001: 100000000000000 (NOP)
000010: 101010100010000 (LDIMM)
000011: 001010101000000 (LD)
000100: 101000000110000 (LD)
000101: 001010101000000 (ST)
000110: 000000010100000 (ST)
000111: 000100010100000 (ST)
001000: 001100010100000 (ST)
001001: 000100010100000 (ST)
001010: 100000010100000 (ST)
001011: 100000000001000 (COPY)
001100: 100000000001001 (SHL)
001101: 100000000001010 (SHR)
001110: 100000000001011 (ADD)
001111: 100000000001100 (SUB)
010000: 100000000001101 (AND)
010001: 100000000001110 (OR)
010010: 100000000001111 (NOT)
010011: 001010101000000 (JAL)
010100: 100001000100000 (JAL)

 


 

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