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IAS

<computer> The first modern computer. It had main registers, processing circuits, information paths within the central processing unit and used Von Neumann's fetch-execute cycle.

The IAS machine's basic unit of information was a 40 bit word and the memory had 4096 words. A word stored in memory could represent either an instruction or data. Each IAS instruction was twenty bits long, so that two instructions could be stored in each 40-bit memory location. Each instruction consisted of an 8-bit operation code and a 12-bit address that could identify any of 2^12 locations that may be used to store an operand of the instruction.

The CPU consisted of a data processing unit and a program control unit. It contained various processing and control circuits along with a set of high-speed registers for the temporary storage of instructions, memory addresses and data.

The main actions specified by instructions were performed by the arithmetic-logic circuits of the data processing unit. An electronic clock circuit was used to generate the signals needed to synchronise the operation of the different parts of the system.

(1996-11-24)


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