Bit-Slice Design: Controllers and ALUs

by Donnamaie E. White

Copyright © 1996, 2001, 2002 Donnamaie E. White



Table of Contents

1. Introduction

2. Simple Controllers

3. Adding Programming Support to the Controller

4. Refining the CCU

5. Evolution of the ALU

6. The ALU and Basic Arithmetic

7. Tying the System Together




Adding Programming Support to the Controller

Last Edit September 24, 1996; May 1, 1999; July 7, 2001

Microprogram Memory

The microprogram memory is implemented in ROMs when a final design is debugged and a high volume production run is anticipated. ROMs carry a mask charge for their factory programming, and the production volume must be sufficient to absorb this charge. Low volume production and prototypes are implemented in PROMs, erasable PROMs (EEPROMS), or writable control stores. In the PROM family, registered PROMs, memories with on-board pipeline registers, also exist. [Early 1980s]

AMD's Am27S27

The Am27S27 was a registered PROM. It was organized as a 512 by 8 array, with nine (9) address lines and two (2) enable lines. The worst-case time between the address being presented and the data being ready to enter the register was 50ns and referred to as the address to Cp(high) to set-up time, ts(A). The register must be output-enabled, E'1 and E'2 both LOW, and clocked to load the data. Data are available at the output in 20ns (worst-case) referred to as the delay from Cp(high) to output, tPHL(Cp), tPLH(Cp), assuming that the chip is already enabled. (Refer to the Am27S27 data sheet if you can find one.) If the chip is not enabled, the time delay is 25ns worst-case.

Only the portion of the microword containing the branch address need be under output control. The remaining output enables may be used to allow large PROM memories to be constructed. Most 1K - 4K words deep.

Sample Design

Assume that a 512 by 80 memory is desired. Using the Am27S27 (tristate), ten chips must be placed in parallel with all address and enable lines common (Figure 3-10).

Figure 3-10 512 by 80 Am27527 memory, initial layout.

not yet loaded


The first item that needs to be investigated is DC loading. Assume that the memory is connected to three Am2911 microprogram sequencers, which provide the required 9-bit address (2**n = 512). Each address line carries ten times the loading represented by one Am27S27.

From the data sheets, we get the information in Table 3-3.

The Am2911 can drive 48 loads. The 512 x 80 memory presents 10 loads; thus there is no problem here.

IOL of Am2911 12.0
-------------------- ----- = 48
IIL of Am27S27 0.25

What about AC loading? The Am27S27 will present a capacitive load of 10 x 5pF = 50pF, which, in the Am2911 specification, is the number for which the Am2911 timing is characterized; therefore, there will be no degradation of Am2911 performance.

Table 3-3 Data on DC Loading

Parameter Am2911 Am27S27 Low Power
VOH 2.4V    
IOH -2.6mA    
VOL 0.5V    
IOL 12mA    
VIH   2.0V 2.0V
IIH   225A 2.0A
VIL   0.8V 0.8V
IIL   -0.25mA -0.4mA
CIN   5pF  

Sample Design 2

Assume that a 2K x 80 memory is desired.

This requires that an Am25LS139 Decoder (or comparable device) be used to decode the two added high-order address bits into output enable E'2 signals. Three Am2911 units are required to supply the 11-bit address. The configuration is shown in Figure 3-11, which details the basic interconnections.

Figure 3-11 2K by 80 Am27527 memory. Only one "row" of 27527s are enabled at any one time.

Fig 3-11

The address lines are loaded with 4 x 10 = 40 loads, under the 48 load limit; therefore, no buffer drivers are required.

The Am27S27S devices are switched by row and are not always enabled. When the enable signal is switched, there is an added delay of 5ns using tPZL(CP), tPZH(CP) as the device switches from its high-impedance state to active output, making the total delay from clock to output 25ns worst case.

The AC loading is significant with 40 x 5pF = 200pF loading on each Am2911 address line.

The Am2911 performance must be degraded in accordance with this increased capacitive load by 0.1ns per pF over 50pF:

200pF - 50pF = 150pF

0.1ns/pF x 150pF = 15ns added delay to the Am2911 propagation time

There is no way to avoid the delay. Any buffer drivers inserted between the Am2911 and the Am27S27 array, while removing the Am2911 degradation, would add a propagation delay of their own of an approximately equivalent magnitude.

The 0.1ns/pF degradation figure is conservative, and measurements have shown that the actual degradation is somewhat less (0.07ns/pF), but it is the accepted figure for worst-case timing, where conservative estimates are desirable.


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Copyright © September 1996, 1999, 2001, 2002 Donnamaie E. White White Enterprises