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Digital Circuit Design for Computer Science Students: An Introductory Textbook [Paperback]

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Item description for Digital Circuit Design for Computer Science Students: An Introductory Textbook by Niklaus Wirth...

This textbook provides a thorough and systematic introduction to designing digital circuits. The author is the leading programming language designer of our time and in this book, based on a course for 2nd-year students at the Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich, he aims to close the gap between hardware and software design. He encourages the student to put the theory to work in exercises that include lab work culminating in the design of a simple yet complete computer. The lab work is based on a workstation equipped with a single field programmable gate array chip and software tools for entering, editing, and analyzing designs. This text is a modern introduction to designing circuits using state-of-the-art technology and a concise, easy to master hardware description language (Lola)

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Item Specifications...

Pages   204
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.9" Width: 6.6" Height: 0.6"
Weight:   0.9 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Aug 23, 1995
Publisher   Springer
ISBN  354058577X  
ISBN13  9783540585770  

Availability  110 units.
Availability accurate as of May 27, 2017 10:15.
Usually ships within one to two business days from La Vergne, TN.
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More About Niklaus Wirth

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Product Categories

1Books > Special Features > New & Used Textbooks > Computer Science & Information Systems
2Books > Subjects > Computers & Internet > Computer Science > Circuitry > Circuit Components
3Books > Subjects > Computers & Internet > Computer Science > Circuitry > Circuit Design
4Books > Subjects > Computers & Internet > Computer Science > Systems Analysis & Design
5Books > Subjects > Computers & Internet > General
6Books > Subjects > Computers & Internet > Hardware > Microprocessors & System Design > Computer Design
7Books > Subjects > Professional & Technical > Engineering > Electrical & Optical > General
8Books > Subjects > Professional & Technical > Engineering

Reviews - What do customers think about Digital Circuit Design for Computer Science Students: An Introductory Textbook?

Best book of its kind  Jun 23, 2005
This is an unusual little book that addresses a specific need: the first introduction to hardware how and why for someone who's already a competent programmer. That audience has very different needs than those of electrical engineering students learning logic design, but I know of no other book intended for that audience.

The pace is brisk. It starts at the level of bipolar transistors, and shows the differences between a CMOS and TTL totem pole. Before page 100, the student has seen combinational logic, registers, RAM and ROM, and the Lola hardware design language, and is designing a CPU. By the time the book ends, the student has seen bit-slice controllers, microprocessors and IO systems, and the inner workings of a UART.

This is not idle play. 99% of all processors these days do not run Windows or Unix. Instead, they're inside of sewing machines, fuel injectors, implanted defibrillators, and anti-lock brakes. Schools do little, if anything at all, to prepare students for working in an environment where software and hardware are interchangeable. In those worlds, a programmer is often called upon to specify and debug hardware, at least as one member of a mixed development team. They may even need to understand how to create logic circuits that perform computing tasks. Silicon Graphics and Cray have both released main-stream processors that have programmable logic strapped onto their CPUs, and someone has to make that logic work.

Because of its unique direction, this book skips nearly all of what a "logic design" book would address. There is no Karnaugh mapping, state minimization, or mention of logic hazards (though the student does get a look at some kinds of transient glitches). There is bare mention of asynchronous design, a bugbear of logic design students and now relegated to narrow niches. There are, however, schematics and part lists for a CPU built from MSI logc, for a microprocessor-based computer, and for the gate-array logic design of a small CPU.

An EE might poo-poo this book as "logic lite," because it doesn't teach all that manly circuit stuff. Well, it wasn't meant to. The student who studies this book carefully, however, will be ready to deal with ground bounce, spec sheets, and a wide range of problems from the analog level on up.

Wirth's dense but readable book is my choice for a programmer's first look inside the hardware. I just wish there were an edition newer than the 1995 printing.

An unusual approach towards circuit design and HDLs  Nov 25, 1998
When this book appeared in 1995, I had a look at it, but I did not buy it. Why not ?

Wirth describes the basics of modern circuit design without going too much into the electrical details. After a short look at transistors (bipolar and FET) he goes to gates (NAND/NOR/NOT) and shows how to create building blocks like multiplexers, ROM and RAM with them. This presentation culminates in the description of a simple microprocessor core. But it looked a bit too elementary at first sight.

Nevertheless, 3 years later I bought the book, started reading it and still enjoy reading it. Why this change of view ? What I overlooked at first sight was the HDL that Wirth introduces after the presentation of the building blocks in chapter 7. This language is called Lola (Logic Language) and is much simpler than VHDL, Verilog and even simpler than Abel. Lola looks a bit like the other languages Wirth created (Pascal, Modula, Oberon). In the second half of the book, he uses this language to specify his processor design and some peripherals (like a UART). These readable and concise designs together with the unique approach to circuit design are the main reasons why I can recommend this book.

Warning: If you want to learn a HDL that is widely accepted in the industry, learn VHDL, Verilog or Abel. Lola is the outgrowth of an academic project and will not enable you to earn much money in the industry. But I like it and the book.


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