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PART A - Hardware
2. The CPU
PART B - Software
10. Input and output
This guide is written for a wide range of pre-degree courses in Microelectronic Systems. The contents have been carefully matched to current [late 1990s] UK syllabuses at Level 3, but the topics covered, depth of coverage, and student activities have been designed so that the resulting guide will be a student-focused text suitable for the majority of courses at pre-degree level around the world. The only prior knowledge assumed is basic math and science.
The UK courses covered by this text are:
• Advanced GNVQ Units in Microelectronic Systems from Edexcel
• BTEC National units in Microprocessor systems, Micro Electronic Systems, and Software Design Methods.
Essential theory is provided here but the guide is strongly practical in its approach, encouraging students to assemble and test real microelectronic systems in the laboratory. The examination syllabuses do not specify which processors and which programming languages the student should cover. The suppliers' catalogues list several hundred microprocessors and microcontrollers and any one or more of these could be selected as a subject for study. There is likewise a variety of languages or versions of languages that may be used to program them.
To keep the size of the guide within reasonable bounds, the guide looks at the Zilog Z80 as a typical microprocessor, and at the Atmel AT90S1200 as a typical microcontroller. Both of these are readily available from the major suppliers such as Farnell, RS Components and Maplin, as well as from several of the smaller firms. Other processors are mentioned where they show interesting differences from these two types. With regard to languages, the guide concentrates on assembler (for the Atmel controller), BASIC and PBASIC (for the Stamp). Other languages are described, including C.
The descriptions of these processors and languages are intended to exemplify processors and languages in general. They are aimed at giving the student a wide view of the topic, but it is not expected that students will center their studies on these particular processors or languages. In keeping with the syllabuses, the guide leaves the student with an unrestricted choice of devices, prototyping systems and programming languages.
The guide is a study guide, suitable for class use and also for self instruction. The main text is backed up by boxed-off discussions and summaries, which the student may read or ignore, as appropriate.
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Updated: Thursday, May 18, 2017 10:08 PST