Author Topic: Book recommendation for building a simple computer  (Read 1935 times)

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Offline Arch

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Book recommendation for building a simple computer
« on: June 06, 2015, 02:49:25 am »
Hey, I'm looking for a book recommendation for building a simple computer, preferably something more recent and maybe can be found on amazon or similar sites (physical copy).
It would ideally cover building an 8bit or 16bit thing with a processor, rom/ram, possibly lcd or audio output. Nothing too fancy really. I am aiming for one that has separate chips for each aspect as opposed to a monolithic "does everything" chip and preferably uses chips that come in a package that I can easily use with a perf board
I am not too interested in the details of how the main processor circuit works, I am looking for a higher level overview of all the components used and why/how they are used. Ideally it would include how to create a program for it

Hopefully this is clear enough. I tried searching the forums but I don't get very relevant results  :phew:
I think a lot of people call them retro computers but ideally if I try to design/build my own I would like easy to find and relatively inexpensive parts

Thanks in advance

PS: If there is another topic like this already it would be nice to post that link here too
 

Offline signal

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Re: Book recommendation for building a simple computer
« Reply #1 on: June 06, 2015, 02:55:07 am »
Malvino, Digital Computer Electronics

http://www.amazon.com/Digital-Computer-Electronics-Albert-Malvino/dp/0028005945/ref=pd_sim_14_5?ie=UTF8&refRID=0PQ7Q4Z32GCHV692X1GV

Basically takes you through building an entire computer
 

Offline tautech

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Re: Book recommendation for building a simple computer
« Reply #2 on: June 06, 2015, 03:24:59 am »
Check out GK's home built project, think he mentions some reference books in there too:
https://www.eevblog.com/forum/projects/homebrew-digital-computer-system/
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Offline Markybhoy

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Re: Book recommendation for building a simple computer
« Reply #3 on: June 06, 2015, 10:51:42 am »
There is a free course on Coursera that takes you through building a computer from a simple nand gate however it uses
software emulation.

https://www.coursera.org/course/nand2tetris1

It uses the book The Elements of Computing Systems: Building a Modern Computer from First Principles
by Noam Nisan, Shimon Schocken.

I think there may be some chat on the course forums about making the computer in hardware,   someone created it in an fpga.
 

Offline bson

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Re: Book recommendation for building a simple computer
« Reply #4 on: June 06, 2015, 09:49:21 pm »
Looks like what you're look for is basic 1980s design info - address decoding, bus buffering and management, I/O device interfacing, etc.  Things are quite a bit different on a modern SoC like an ARM based one, and modern desktop while in principle are similar in reality are quite a bit different with QPI, external bus bridges, multiple PCI controllers, lane bundling, etc.  Since what you're looking for is 80s microprocessor system design, the place to start would be exactly with literature on this subject from that era...  Here's one I found by googling:
http://www.ballyalley.com/ml/z80_docs/Z80_Design/Z-80%20Microcomputer%20Design%20Projects%20%28William%20Barden%20Jr%29%281980%29.pdf
 

Offline Arch

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Re: Book recommendation for building a simple computer
« Reply #5 on: June 09, 2015, 02:34:41 am »
Thanks, I'll check these things out. The Digital Computer Electronics book is more like what I'm looking for. Was hoping there would be a newer one but I guess it'll do (maybe there's not much new stuff to talk about this old stuff)
 

Offline matseng

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Re: Book recommendation for building a simple computer
« Reply #6 on: June 09, 2015, 04:46:42 am »
There is a free course on Coursera that takes you through building a computer from a simple nand gate however it uses
software emulation.
https://www.coursera.org/course/nand2tetris1

I just signed up for that course and will see how quickly I can finish it - it looks kinda interesting.  The lectures are perfectly understandable when run at x2 speed :-)

I've been interested in getting into FPGAs/CPLDs  for a long time now, I even have bought a Bora-Bora board on Kickstarter a long time ago, but it ended up in a drawer as many other of my purchases.  Maybe this will get me started...
 


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