The Functional Units of a Digital Computer

  • Hans W. Gschwind


In chapter 7, the function of the arithmetic unit has been defined loosely as the performance of arithmetic operations. As such, the capabilities of the arithmetic unit have been compared to those of a desk calculator. Although this analogy is valid in a general sense, the capabilities of arithmetic units exceed those of the desk calculator: in addition to arithmetic operations, certain logic data manipulations can be performed. Moreover, the particular manner in which operations are performed is influenced by the electronic design. In the following paragraphs we shall discuss three types of operations: fixed-point arithmetic operations, logic operations, and floating-point arithmetic operations. Incidental to this discussion, we shall see structures required for the implementation of the individual operations. In conclusion, several sample layouts of arithmetic units are indicated in which the individual requirements are combined.


Digital Computer Storage Location External Device Arithmetic Unit Address Register 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Williams, Kilburn, and Tootill: Universal High-Speed Digital Computers, Proceedings IEE, vol. 98, part II, pp. 13–28. Feb. 1951.MathSciNetGoogle Scholar
  2. Kilburn, Tootill, Edwards, and Pollard: Digital Computers at Manchester University, Proceedings, IEE, vol. 100, part II, pp. 487–500. Oct. 1953.Google Scholar
  3. Mccracken D. D.: Digital Computer Programming. New York: John Wiley and Sons. 1957.MATHGoogle Scholar
  4. Blaauw G. A.: Indexing and Control-Word Technique, IBM Journal of Research and Development, vol. 3, No. 3, pp. 288–301. July 1959.CrossRefMATHMathSciNetGoogle Scholar
  5. Beckmann, Brooks, and Lawless: Developments in the Logical Organization of Computer Arithmetic and Control Units, Proceedings IRE, vol. 49, No. 1, pp. 53–66. Jan. 1961.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Mcsorley: High-Speed Arithmetic in Binary Computers, Proceedings IRE, vol. 49, No. 1, pp. 67–91. Jan. 1961.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Rajchman J. A.: Computer Memories: A Survey of the State of the Art, Proceedings IRE, vol. 49, No. 1, pp. 104–127. Jan. 1961.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Adams C. W.: Design Trends for Large Computer Systems, Datamation, pp. 20–22. May 1961.Google Scholar
  9. Wilson, and Ledley: An Algorithm for Rapid Binary Division, Transactions IRE, vol. EC-10, No. 4. Dec. 1961.Google Scholar
  10. Graselli A.: Control Units for Sequencing Complex Asynchronous Operations, Transactions IRE, vol. EC-11, No. 4, pp. 483–493. Aug. 1962.Google Scholar
  11. Burks, Goldstine, and von Neumann: Preliminary Discussion of the Logical Design of an Electronic Computing Instrument, 1946. Reprinted in Datamation, vol. 8, No. 9, pp. 24–31, Sept. 1962, and vol. 8. No. 10, pp. 36-41. Oct. 1962.Google Scholar
  12. Wallace C. S.: A Suggestion for a Fast Multiplier, Transactions IEEE, vol. EC-13, No. 1, pp. 14–17. Feb. 1964.Google Scholar
  13. Landsverk O.: A Fast Coincident Current Magnetic Core Memory, Transactions IEEE, vol. EC-13, No. 5, pp. 580–585. Oct. 1964.Google Scholar
  14. Bartee, and Chapman: Design of an Accumulator for a General Purpose Computer, Transactions IEEE, vol. EC-14, No. 4, pp. 570–574. Aug. 1965.Google Scholar
  15. Rajchman J. A.: Memories in Present and Future Generations of Computers, IEEE Spectrum. Nov. 1965.Google Scholar

Following are references on associative memories

  1. Slade, and Smallman: Thin Film Cryotron Catalog Memory System, Proceedings Eastern Joint Computer Conference, pp. 115–120. Dec. 1956.Google Scholar
  2. Taube, and Heilprin: Automatic Dictionaries for Machine Translation, Proceedings IRE, vol. 45, No. 7, pp. 1020–1021. July 1957.Google Scholar
  3. Mcdermid, and Petersen: A Magnetic Associative Memory System, IBM Journal of Research and Development, vol. 5, No. 1, pp. 59–62. Jan. 1961.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Kiseda, Petersen, Seelbach, and Teig: A Magnetic Associative Memory, IBM Journal of Research and Development, vol. 5, No. 2, pp. 106–121. Apr. 1961.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Croft, Goldman, and Strohm: A Table Look-up Machine for Processing of Natural Languages, IBM Journal of Research and Development, vol. 5, No. 3, pp. 192–203. July 1961.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Seeber, and Lindquist: Associative Memory with Ordered Retrieval, IBM Journal of Research and Development, pp. 126–136. Jan. 1962.Google Scholar
  7. Lussier, and Schneider: All-Magnetic Content Addressed Memory, Electronic Industries, pp. 92–98. March 1963.Google Scholar
  8. Lee, and Pauli: A Content Addressable Distributed Logic Memory with Applications to Information Retrieval, Proceedings IEEE, vol. 51, No. 6, pp. 924–932. June 1963.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Johnson, and Mc Andrew: On Ordered Retrieval from an Associative Memory, IBM Journal of Research and Development, vol. 8, pp. 189–193. Apr. 1964.CrossRefMATHGoogle Scholar
  10. Chu Y.: A Destructive Readout Associative Memory, Transactions IEEE, vol. EC-14, No. 4, pp. 600–605. Aug. 1965.Google Scholar
  11. Mckeever B. T.: The Associative Memory Structure, AFIPS Conference Proceedings, vol. 27, part 1, pp. 371–388. Fall Joint Computer Conference, 1965.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Wien 1967

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hans W. Gschwind
    • 1
  1. 1.University of New MexicoUSA

Personalised recommendations