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Zachary
2005-Jan-19, 10:14 PM
I'm currently doing an AS level in electronics, but imo the hardware part of the course is a little on the slim side (it's mostly programming), and since this place is full of geeks ;) I was wondering if anybody knew of any books on processor design, I already know the basics behind how computer processors work but my ultimate goal is to build a 4 bit processor (2 bit if that's too complex) out of 4000 series CMOS chips (because I won't have to worry about blowing them up with a 9V supply, unlike TTL ;) ). So, could anybody reccomend any books that would help me to achieve that? (the internet, for once, doesn't offer up much)

Cheers,
Zachary

CTM VT 2K
2005-Jan-20, 08:51 AM
My College text on Digital and Computer Design by Morris Mano (can't recall the exact text title) takes you from the fundamentals of Binary Logic and arithmatic through the design and construction of a 4-bit processor. Admitedly in class we only built the ALU, but you can build the whole processor.

I wouldn't recommend going below 4-bit. 4-bit is complex enough to understand how really complex larger systems can be, but 2-bit is too simple to be worth the endeavor.

It's a shame that the HW portion of your course is software heavy - but there's not a clear line anymore between hardware and software (There is, but there isn't - FPGA are more and more common).

For specifically Hardware design, the Digital Design book by Armstrong and Gray (both of whom I studied under) is good, but it's a 4-year Capstone Class text, so it's advanced for the Associates. Computer Organization and Architecture is a really good book that covers everything from basic HW all the way up through distrubuted network computing. I really recommend it.

EDIT for Typo

enginelessjohn
2005-Jan-20, 09:50 AM
Hi Zachary,

Nothing like doing things the easy way... :) 4000 series? Make sure you understand anti static precautions. For the sake of a regulator (7805 and a pair of capacitors) I'd recommend using, 74HC series if you can as it's fairly slow, easy to use and available for pennies from Maplin. As well as TTL compatible..... The faster the logic the more open to noise problems you are, and the larger the voltage swing the worse these will be. You can adress this with bypass capacitors, but at AS level you want to keep things as simple as possible.

Take a look at the Texas Instruments or Fairchild Semiconductor websites and enter the part numbers you are after for datasheets.

That said I'm an RF engineer rather than a digital one, so my take on digital electronics is to try and minimise it's effect on what I'm doing..... :)

Rather than trawl through lots of expensive and possibly useless textbooks, as your profile says you are in London, why not try and get into one of the university libraries? Your teacher may have a contact.

If you are serious about a career in electronics, one book that is worth it's weight in gold (and it's a really big book!) is "The Art of Electronics" by Horowitz and Hill. They even have a website (http://www.artofelectronics.com/) which has samples of the text, and a taste of the general style of the work. I'd particularly recommend the page on unusual uses.....

I'll take a quick look through some of my old books tonight to see if there is anything and post again tomorrow.

Cheers
John

{edited to straighten out logic families and to add sources}

ktesibios
2005-Jan-21, 06:41 PM
Another handy way to get data on specific chips is to go to a distributor's Web site (try Mouser Electronics (http://www.mouser.com) or Digi-Key (http://www.digikey.com)) and use the part number search function. The results pages, besides price and availability, usually include links to manufacturer's data sheets if they're available online.

Semiconductor manufacturers also publish data books on their various product lines, usually at quite reasonable prices. You can find a lot of these at Digi-Key. It would be a good idea to start building up a collection of data books and applications handbooks on common digital and analog IC families and discrete semiconductors- they'll come in handy down the road.

A simple rule of thumb for the serious electronics geek: you can never have too many books, tools or test equipment.

Oh, and don't buy into the popular notion that the word "electronics" has been redefined to mean "nothing but computer geekery". One of my coworkers finished an AS program recently. His final class project was to design and build a high-quality mic preamp. I helped him out with the noise calculations while he was doing the design and with working out some problems in his power supply design. He wound up with credit and a rather nice mic pre.

My job regularly exercises my knowledge of tube circuitry, believe it or not.

Analog electronics isn't dead- it just smells funny. :wink:

enginelessjohn
2005-Jan-24, 09:43 AM
Had a little look in my stash of books, and The Art of Electronics has a section on bare bones microprocessors. There is also a student manual, which I have a copy of somewhere, which also contains a bunch of stuff on digital electronics.

As I mentioned earlier, I'm an RF engineer, so I completely agree with


Oh, and don't buy into the popular notion that the word "electronics" has been redefined to mean "nothing but computer geekery".

So far I have worked on satellite receiver front ends, marine HF receivers and transmitters (up to 10kW!!!), half a dozen or so mobile phones (Got a Sony Ericsson T200? One of mine) and currently I work for a GPS antenna company. In 10 years as an engineer I've done serious digital design exactly twice, neither of which involved a computer beyond the design stage. Digital electronics is popular in universities as it is easy to teach but it is only one small bit of the picture. Which is why the Art of Electronics is good, as not only is it full of op amps, it contains the innards of ICs as analogue electronics. Yay! :D

Cheers
John

Zachary
2005-Jan-24, 09:15 PM
Had a little look in my stash of books, and The Art of Electronics has a section on bare bones microprocessors. There is also a student manual, which I have a copy of somewhere, which also contains a bunch of stuff on digital electronics.

As I mentioned earlier, I'm an RF engineer, so I completely agree with


Oh, and don't buy into the popular notion that the word "electronics" has been redefined to mean "nothing but computer geekery".

So far I have worked on satellite receiver front ends, marine HF receivers and transmitters (up to 10kW!!!), half a dozen or so mobile phones (Got a Sony Ericsson T200? One of mine) and currently I work for a GPS antenna company. In 10 years as an engineer I've done serious digital design exactly twice, neither of which involved a computer beyond the design stage. Digital electronics is popular in universities as it is easy to teach but it is only one small bit of the picture. Which is why the Art of Electronics is good, as not only is it full of op amps, it contains the innards of ICs as analogue electronics. Yay! :D

Cheers
John

Well luckily for me I'm only taking this as far as a hobby, since I'm a much bigger fan of digital than analogue :D (I just find digital to be so much more structured and logical, like a big chest of lego pieces and all you have to do is put them together).

oh yes, and I bought Logic and Computer Design Fundamentals from amazon, so I'll see where I go from there.