IEEE Computer Volume 15 Number 4 -- BOOK REVIEWS
Original Publication Date: 1982-Apr-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Nov-11
Software Patent Institute
True Seaborn: AUTHOR [+3]
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Microprogrammed Control and Reliable Design of Small Computers -- George D. Kraft and Wing N. Toy (Prentice Hall, Englewood Cliffs, N.J., 1981, 428 pp., $25.00).
Described in its preface as a "cookbook" of microprogramming and reliability techniques, Kraft and Toy's text should be useful to practicing engineers as well as students interested in the design of highly reliable microprogrammed small computer systems.
The book is a detailed exposition of the methods and philosophies of Bell Laboratories in the two areas indicated by the title: microprogramming and reliable design techniques. After an introductory chapter devoted to the differences between conventional and micropro grammed control units that includes basic architectures, control store organization, emulation, and nanoprogramming concepts, the real meat of the text begins with the discussion of internal processor control in the second chapter. Included in this chapter are vertical and horizontal microprogramming, various techniques for generating microprogram store addresses, including conditional branching instructions, microsubroutines, functional branching, microprogram loops, interrupts, and microprogram sequencing. Numerous examples and options are provided for each of these topics.
The first section continues with con sideration of the control of main storage operations. A summary of memory technology and communication leads to the presentation of various synchronous and asynchronous busing schemes and memory options. Direct memory access techniques for these buses and memories are also detailed. The first section concludes with a discussion of control of input/output operations, including the general 1/0 structure, fixed and variable timing signals, programmed I/O, partial microprogrammed control, and synchronization.
The mathematics and basic concepts of redundancy, reliability, and maintainability open the book's second section. Such classical reliability measures as mean time between failures, availability, mean ti...