Chapter 7

CS 103 Hardware

The Logic Machine

        In this unit, we will take a quick look at the physical structure of your computer at the lowest level - the switch. In the last chapter we said that the machine language instructions for a particular microprocessor controlled the way electrons flowed through the circuitry of the computer culminating in some desired result. Using applets designed by Decker & Hirshfield we will see how to construct circuits that begin to do useful work by turning switches off and on (the 1s and 0s of our binary machine language programs). Naturally, an actual computer is many thousands of times more complex than our examples, but the concepts are sound.


Lesson 1 - The Switch

Lesson 2 - Gates

Lesson 3 - The Arithmetic Level

Lesson 4 - Storage & Control

  1. To describe how the circuits of a computer are constructed.
  2. To build and test a variety of circuits.
  3. To see how simple circuits, combined in complex ways, can implement a model computer.
  4. To show the hierarchy of complexity of a computer; combining switches, gates, and circuits to perform logical tasks.