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Although this books culminates in the fundamentals of how to design a computer, including the central processing unit (CPU), the control unit of the CPU, the RAM, the computer's machine and assembly language, and its operating system, incredibly no knowledge beyond basic arithmetic is required.
It takes the reader from the electron level, through how to use state diagrams to systematically design computer components, and all the way to the design of the core operating system (kernel).
Topics include conversion between binary, octal, decimal, hexadecimal number systems, how transistors and semiconductors work, detailed presentation of Boolean algebra and Karnaugh maps, design of logic circuits: decoders, multiplexers, adders, flipflops (RS, JK, T, & D), memory cells, memory design, and bus design. Also covered are clock synchronization, computer architecture, and use of state diagrams.
The design of the CPU and the control unit are actually covered in its sister publication: Essentials of Computer Science II, which also covers the design of the CPU's assembly language, data structures, and the computer's core operating system. Both these books stick to fundamental concepts that don't change as clock speeds increase, and RAMs get bigger.
Chapter 1 FUNDAMENTAL COMPUTER CONCEPTS
1.1 Layers of a Computer System
1.2 Basic Terms and Definitions
1.3 Units of Storage
1.4 Computer Languages
Chapter 2 NUMBER REPRESENTATION
2.1 Number Bases and Notation
2.2 Conversion from Base 10 to Other Bases
2.2.1 To Base 2
2.2.2 To Base 8
2.2.3 To Base 16
2.3 Conversion from Other Bases to Base 10
2.4 Conversion Among Bases 2, 8, and 16
2.4.1 Conversion from Base 2 to Base 8 and Base 16
2.4.2 Conversion from Base 8 and Base 16 to Base 2
2.4.3 Conversion from Base 8 to Base 16
2.5 Mathematical Operations Using Binary Numbers
2.5.1 Addition Using Binary Numbers
2.5.2 Subtraction Using Binary Numbers
2.5.3 Multiplication Using Binary Numbers
2.5.4 Division of Binary Numbers
Chapter 3 BOOLEAN ALGEBRA
3.1 Basic Operations
3.2 Basic Laws of Boolean Algebra
3.3 Logic Gates
3.4 Truth Tables
3.5 Karnaugh Maps
3.6 Circuit Minimization
Chapter 4 SWITCHING CIRCUITS
4.1 Semiconductor Theory
4.2 Combination Circuits
4.2.1 Combinational Circuit Analysis
4.2.2 Combinational Circuit Design
4.3 Sequential Circuit Analysis
4.3.1 FlipFlops
4.3.2 Excitation Equations
4.4 Sequential Circuit Design
4.4.1 State Diagrams
4.4.2 State Tables
4.4.3 Synchronous Sequential Circuit
4.4.4 Register
Chapter 5 COMPUTER ARCHITECTURE
5.1 Basic Terms
5.2 Random Access Memory
5.3 FullAdder
5.4 FullSubtractor
5.5 Data Transfer
5.6 Summary of Computer Architecture
Excerpt
There are many types of computers, from laptops, which use batteries and require only a minimum amount of power, to supercomputers, which are capable of billions of calculations a second and use so much power that their processors have to be continuously cooled in a bath of special fluids.
However, there are certain concepts that all computers have in common. Those concepts are defined and discussed in this book, and in Essentials of Computer Science II.
