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Mudassir Ali

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History of computers is a journey from abacus to Automata theory, Turing machine to ENIAC, the first computer which was Turing complete. History of computer organization and architecture is a subset of history of computers and computing in general.

You could take development of logic gates and transistors as a starting point for hardware as they form the basic units of the Arithmetic Logical Unit – The different types of adders, etc. Then development of flip flops, the basic memory unit and registers.

What follows from here is how these are actually implemented on chips. How floating point numbers are represented in binary, the instruction formats and addressing modes.

Then the evolution of different types of control units, from hardwired control units to microprogrammed ones. The microprogrammed control units i.e, software implementation of control units leads us to Microprocessors.

Historically Intel introduced the first family of 4 bit microprocessors, but usually for learning purposes we start with the family of first 8 bit microprocessors.

After 8 bit came 16 bit, then 32 bit and the more recent 64 bit processors that most of our personal systems work on.