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Questions tagged [architecture]

For questions about computer architecture: the logical structure of a computer system, distinct from particular implementations.

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59 votes
9 answers
14k views

What was the rationale behind 36 bit computer architectures?

Was there some particular design theory or constraint that made a 36 bit word size attractive for early computers? As opposed to the various power-of-2 word sizes which seem to have won out?
Mark Harrison's user avatar
29 votes
6 answers
10k views

Why did ones' complement decline in popularity?

Many early computers use ones' complement to represent some kind of signed integer. Examples include the PDP-1, the CDC-6600, and many other popular computers. The C standard is obviously written with ...
Omar and Lorraine's user avatar
15 votes
4 answers
6k views

How could early computers perform data operations before John von Neumann proposed the concept of ALU?

According to Wikipedia, John von Neumann proposed the Arithmetic and Logic Unit concept in 1945. Mathematician John von Neumann proposed the ALU concept in 1945 in a report on the foundations for a ...
Noob_Guy's user avatar
  • 693
20 votes
4 answers
6k views

Were there any 8-bit CPUs with 24-bit addressing?

Or was that something that didn't appear until later CPUs (around the time of the 286 maybe)? Also, how would I go about researching this on my own? It's not exactly something I can look up on ...
Anthony's user avatar
  • 455
19 votes
3 answers
5k views

What is the purpose of mirrored memory regions in NES's CPU memory map? [duplicate]

[Please see answers to this related question as well] I've started reading the "official" NES Documentation and in page ten, it says that "memory locations $0000-$07FF are mirrored ...
anmomu92's user avatar
  • 193
19 votes
3 answers
2k views

What is the history of the PDP-11 MARK instruction?

The PDP-11 MARK instruction was intended to be used as part of the standard PDP-11 subroutine return convention. MARK facilitated the stack clean up procedures involved in subroutine exit. To use it, ...
Leo B.'s user avatar
  • 19.4k
18 votes
4 answers
4k views

What was the first CPU with exposed pipeline?

Quoting from Programming for Performance exercise: early versions of the MIPS processor had an "exposed pipeline" (that is, the assembly language programmer needed to know the latencies of ...
Leo B.'s user avatar
  • 19.4k
4 votes
2 answers
3k views

How exactly do all control signals in 6502 work?

I'm trying to make a 6502 replica in Logisim. I want to know what exactly each control signal in 6502, how the clock cycles work and additionally I would like to see an example of these control ...
Senijs's user avatar
  • 41