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A New Approach to the Functional Design of a Digital Computer

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000129529D
Original Publication Date: 1987-Jan-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Oct-06
Document File: 6 page(s) / 26K

Publishing Venue

Software Patent Institute

Related People

R. S. BARTON: AUTHOR [+2]

Abstract

The present methods of determining the functional design of computers are critically reviewed and a new approach proposed. This is illustrated by explaining, in abstracted form, part of the control organization of a new and different machine based, in part, on the ALGOL 60 language.! The concepts of expression and procedure lead directly to use of a Polish string program. A new arrangement of control registers results, which provides for automatic allocation of temporary storage within expressions and procedures, and a generalized subroutine linkage. The simplicity and power of these notions suggests that there is much room for improvement in present machines and that more attention should be given to control functions in new designs.

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THIS DOCUMENT IS AN APPROXIMATE REPRESENTATION OF THE ORIGINAL.

Copyright ©; 1987 by the American Federation of Information Processing Societies, Inc. Used with permission.

A New Approach to the Functional Design of a Digital Computer

R. S. BARTON

   (Image Omitted: "A New Approach to the Functional Design of a Digital Computer" was published in AFIPS Conference Proceedings Vol. 19, 1961, pages 393-396, by Western Joint Computer Conference, presented at IRE-AIEE-ACM Computer Conference, May 9-11, 1961. It is reprinted here with permission of AFIPS.)

Summary

The present methods of determining the functional design of computers are critically reviewed and a new approach proposed. This is illustrated by explaining, in abstracted form, part of the control organization of a new and different machine based, in part, on the ALGOL 60 language.! The concepts of expression and procedure lead directly to use of a Polish string program. A new arrangement of control registers results, which provides for automatic allocation of temporary storage within expressions and procedures, and a generalized subroutine linkage.

The simplicity and power of these notions suggests that there is much room for improvement in present machines and that more attention should be given to control functions in new designs.

Introduction

The ideas presented arise from the conviction that for a true general purpose digital computer both coding and operation should be fully automated. Higher level programming languages, such as ALGOL, should be employed to the practical exclusion of machine language; questions of efficiency of object program and translation process ought not to arise if the machine has been properly designed. Operation should be under the control of the machine itself, in a fuller sense than is typical in current practice. The functions of scheduling, segmentation of programs for multi-level storage, and control of input-output operations should be handled by a general operational program.

This new approach will be illustrated after reviewing the customary methods of machine design.

The Special Purpose Machine

In simple and well-defined applications, the design engineer may dispense entirely with programming assistance and the program may be entirely, or in large part, in the hardware. If the processing required is complex, programmers are invited to assist the engineers. There will be a period of trading off programmed and component logic, but the resulting machine will tend to resemble the conventional general purpose computer.

The Engineers' General Purpose Machine

IEEE Computer Society, Jan 01, 1987 Page 1 IEEE Annals of the History of Computing Volume 9 Number 1, Pages 11-15

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A New Approach to the Functional Design of a Digital Computer

In the design of machines to meet competition, the utilization of new components is likely to be of vital concern to the designers. While requiring a complete new set of programs, the new product seldom show...