Instruction Set Completeness

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Before investigating the operations performed by the instructions, let us discuss the type of instructions that must be included in a computer. A computer should have a set of instructions so that the user can construct machine language programs to evaluate any function that is known to be computable. The set of instructions are said to be complete if the computer includes a sufficient number of instructions in each of the following categories:

1. Arithmetic, logical, and shift instructions

2. Instructions for moving information to and from memory and processor registers

3. Program control instructions together with instructions that check status conditions

4. Input and output instructions

Arithmetic, logical, and shift instructions provide computational capabilities for processing the type of data that the user may wish to employ. The bulk of the binary information in a digital computer is stored in memory, but all computations are done in processor registers. Therefore, the user must have the capability of moving information between these two units. Decisionmaking capabilities are an important aspect of digital computers. For example, two numbers can be compared, and if the first is greater than the second, it may be necessary to proceed differently than if the second is greater than the first. Program control instructions such as branch instructions are used to change the sequence in which the program is executed. Input and output instructions are needed for communication between the computer and the user. Programs and data must be transferred into memory and results of computations must be transferred back to the user.

The instructions listed in Table 5-2 constitute a minimum set that provides all the capabilities mentioned above. There is one arithmetic instruction, ADD, and two related instructions, complement AC(CMA) and increment AC(INC). With these three instructions we can add and subtract binary numbers when negative numbers are in signed-2's complement representation. The circulate instructions, CIR and CIL, can be used for arithmetic shifts as well as any other type of shifts desired. Multiplication and division can be performed using addition, subtraction, and shifting. There are three logic operations: AND, complement AC(CMA), and clear AC(CLA). The AND and complement provide a NAND operation. It can be shown that with the NAND operation it is possible to implement all the other logic operations with two variables (listed in Table 4-6). Moving information from memory to AC is accomplished with the load AC(LDA) instruction. Storing information from AC into memory is done with the store AC(STA) instruction. The branch instructions BUN, BSA, and ISZ, together with the four skip instructions, provide capabilities for program control and checking of status conditions. The input (lNP) and output (OUT) instructions cause information to be transferred between the computer and external devices.

Although the set of instructions for the basic computer is complete, it is not efficient because frequently used operations are not performed rapidly. An efficient set of instructions will include such instructions as subtract, multiply, OR, and exclusive-OR. These operations must be programmed in the basic computer. The programs are presented in Chap. 6 together with other programming examples for the basic computer. By using a limited number of instructions it is possible to show the detailed logic design of the computer. A more complete set of instructions would have made the design too complex. In this way we can demonstrate the basic principles of computer organization and design without going into excessive complex details. ln Chap. 8 we present a complete list of computer instructions that are included in most commercial computers.

The function of each instruction listed in Table 5-2 and the microoperations needed for their execution are presented in Sees. 5-5 through 5-7. We delay this discussion because we must first consider the control unit and understand its internal organization.

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Rating - 4/5