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### Reading Assignment and Discussion Topics

Computer Science 471

*for class on
Tuesday
Nov. 7, 2000*

Please read
Sections 6.2 and 6.3
of the Patterson & Hennessy text,
and be prepared to discuss the following issue:

Do you think that
the control circuitry for the five-stage MIPS pipeline 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 lots and lots of combinations of instructions
that could potentially occupy the five different pipeline stages in the same cycle.
How would you describe the finite-state machine or machines, and how would you specify
the states and the state-transition function or functions? (We'll be operating at the circles-and-arrows level for most of this class.)