Reading Assignment and Discussion Topics
Computer Science 471

for class on Tuesday Nov. 5, 1996

Please read Section 6.3 of the Patterson & Hennessy text, and be prepared to discuss the following issue:

Do you think that the control circuitry shown in Figure 6.30 of the text is somehow equivalent to one or more finite-state machines? At some level it must be, of course, since any sequential, deterministic device made of a finite collection of parts can be described as a finite-state machine. It seems as if there might be a very large number of states with complicated state-transition rules: after all, there are zillions of combinations of instructions in different stages in the same cycle. How would you specify the states, and how would you describe the state-transition function or functions?