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Computer Architecture

Microprocessor Registers
To a large extent the operation of a microprocessor involves loading, transferring, and manipulating the contents of registers. In this article you learn about the functions, and purposes of the register set of the Intel 8086 microprocessor. More ...

Integrated Circuit Design Flow
The process of integrated circuit design can be divided into stages: system design, logic design, circuit design, layout design, fabrication and testing. More ...

Capacitors in AC Circuits
In an AC circuit capacitors exhibit a property similar to resistance called reactance and cause a phase shift between votage and current. The vector sum of resistance and reactance in an AC circuit is called impedance. More ...

Processor Interrupts
An interrupt is a signal to the processor indicating an event has occurred that needs immediate attention. When an interrupt occurs, the processors normal path of execution is interrupted in order to run a routine to service the interrupt requester. More ...

Microcontrollers
A microcontroller is an IC that contains a microprocessor as well as RAM, ROM and general I/O ports. Engineers design microcontrollers into specific-purpose devices such as microwave ovens, cars, washing machines, refridgerators, and even space probes. More ...

The Fetch, Decode, Execute Cycle
The Fetch, Decode, Execute cycle is paramount to the functioning of a microprocessor. In this article I'll describe the Fetch, Decode, Execute cycle simplified to its bare-bones in a highly simplified fictitious microprocessor. More ...

Intel's Sandy Bridge Micro-Architecture
"Sandy Bridge" is Intel's code name for a new cpu core microarchitecture. It introduces a few new or improved features. The memory controller, the PCI Express controller, and video circuitry are all located within the processor die and the new ring architecture uses a Last Level Cache between the CPU and graphics cores. More ...

Introduction to Boolean Algebra
Boolean algebra is a system of mathematics in which the values of the variables can take on only one of two values, either 0 or 1. Similar to regular algebra, Boolean algebra can be used to simplify a mathematical expression. Since computer logic is also a system in which the values of the inputs and outputs can take on only one of two values, Boolean algebra can be used to simplify logic circuits. More ...

The Computer's Chipset
A computers memory and peripheral ports connect through two highly integrated chips called simply the chipset. The chipset consists of a northbridge chip and a southbridge chip. More ...

Basic Arithmetic Logic Unit (ALU) Circuitry
One of the primary functions performed by a computer is mathematics. This article describes some of the logic circuits used to create the Arithmetic Logic Unit (ALU) of a microprocessor. More ...

The Use of SOI (Silicone on Insulator) Wafers in MEMS (Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems) Production
The main advantage of Silicone on Insulator (SOI) technology is that they enable the manufacture of smaller devices. The manufacturing process optimizes the efficiency of transistors and allows chips to be packed close together, resulting in a greater yield per wafer. More ...

Virtual Memory and Memory Paging
In the early days of computers, memory chips were small capacity, scarce, and expensive. Because of this a memory management scheme called paging was invented. More ...