• Unit 2: Instructions: Hardware Language

    In order to understand computer architecture, you need to understand the components that comprise a computer and their interconnections. Sets of instructions, called programs, describe the computations that computers carry out. The instructions are strings of binary digits. When symbols are used for the binary strings, the instructions are called assembly language instructions. Components interpret the instructions and send signals to other components that cause the instruction to be carried out.

    In this unit, you will build on your knowledge of programming from CS102: Introduction to Computer Science II to learn how to program with an assembly language. You will use the instructions of a real processor, MIPS, to understand the basics of hardware language. We will also discuss the different classes of instructions typically found in computers and compare the MIPS instructions to those found in other popular processors made by Intel and ARM.

    Completing this unit should take you approximately 9 hours.

    • 2.1: Computer Hardware Operations

    • 2.2: Number Representation in Computers

    • 2.3: Instruction Representation

    • 2.4: Logical and Arithmetic Instructions

    • 2.5: Control Instructions

    • 2.6: Instructions for Memory Operations

    • 2.7: Different Modes for Addressing Memory

    • 2.8: Case Study: Intel and ARM Instructions

    • Unit 2 Assessment