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Instruction Set Architectures

Some things an ISA defines: - How binary instructions are formatted - What instructions are available to be processed on a specific hardware setup - How computer memory, (volatile and non-volatile) is accessed

An Instruction Set Architecture (ISA) defines the communication rules between the hardware and software of the computer. The ISA is a design principle (conceptual) and not stored in a computer’s memory.

Instruction Set Architecture
Lesson 1 of 1
  1. 1
    An Instruction Set Architecture, or ISA, acts as a translator between our hardware and software. ISA is the defined set of instructions that our hardware can understand and how the software can i…
  2. 2
    A Central Processing Unit (CPU) is the electronic circuitry that executes instructions based on an input of binary data (0’s and 1’s). The CPU consists of three main components: - Control Unit (CU…
  3. 3
    Now that we have a general understanding of the CPU, let’s dive a little deeper. #### Control Unit The Control Unit is the component receiving instructions from the software and running the show….
  4. 4
    The CPU is just a single component of the computer’s hardware, other important components of hardware include Random Access Memory (RAM), buses (high-speed wires), as well as hard disks and other n…
  5. 5
    What the Instruction Set Architecture is centrally focused on is defining the machine instructions that our hardware can understand. Machine instructions, or binary code, come packaged in very spe…
  6. 6
    The Instruction Set Architecture defines how hardware processes binary data. Each 0 or 1 of binary data is called a bit and groups of these bits are put together in specific lengths that create i…
  7. 7
    In the previous exercise, we created the following OPCODE example: 000001 01001 10111 0001101001010110 We now know that the first part of the bit sequence is the OPCODE, but what about the rest…
  8. 8
    The MIPS ISA is a simple instruction set that is broken up into three distinct types of instructions, all 32-bits in length: - R-Type or Register MIPS instructions are used for most arithmetic …
  9. 9
    R-Type instructions are the most common in MIPS and give us a good way of understanding how an ISA defines the process that a CPU goes through when receiving data. All R-type instructions have an …
  10. 10
    Congratulations on making it through the lesson on Instruction Set Architecture. We have covered a lot of ground so far so let’s review some of the key concepts: - The Instruction Set Architecture…

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