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  1. Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Hong Kong
    Search Comp PM
    Hello,I'm trying to learn more about the depths of computer design, I'm talking about CPU design. Down to the very very low level of Computer Organization.

    I took a few EE (I did a CS degree so...) classes in college, but it was mostly Introduction and Logic gates (which I do understand). However it never went much further than that. Im not looking to build a Computer from scratch or anything, but what would be the most SIMPLE starting point for someone interested in this. I was thinking maybe a 4 bit adder? or something similar? I have done a bit of electronics work, so Soldering and such I know the basics (as well as components).

    Ideas/Suggestions for an Intro project? Or some documentation would be super helpful? a few people recommended this book: Elements of Computing Systems

    But I do not know how much "hands on" it would be. When I talk simple I'm talking about a simple adder using LEDS for the output or something similar.

    I'm super interested in this but don't know where to start. I have the third edition of Computer Organization and Design, but it doesn't have much hands on stuff.

    The depths of my knowledge is basically basic logic gates, I'll need to go back and refresh myself but I do understand adders and such (virtually) but I wouldn't know how to implement them on a breadboard (or any of the hardware parts of it).

    And maybe something similar to this:
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  2. The adder in the link you posted is pretty simple. Start by downloading the datasheet for the 74LS283 from somewhere like

    The datasheet explains all the pinouts and what the chip does. Sometimes they include an appnote showing a simple design using the part (this one doesn't).

    He also used some coded rotary switches:

    Or you could use DIP switches. They come in different sizes:

    To drive the LEDs he had to step the voltage/current down. He used DIP resistor packs for that (the brown chips, 8 resistors in a DIP package). But you could also use individual resistors.

    A step up might use numeric 7 segment LED displays instead of individual binary LEDs:

    Then it's just a matter of figuring out how to connect all the parts. You can get an idea of how that's done by looking at the pictures he posted.

    If you'd rather start a little higher up, Arduino is a good place to start. They are inexpensive, the programming tools are free, and there are lots of sample circuits and code available on the internet.
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  3. Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Search Comp PM
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