pathwaythatcarriesaddressesgeneratedbythemicro- processor to the memory and I/O elements of the computer. The size of the address bus, de-termined by the number of conductors in the bus, determines the number of memorylocations and/or I/O elements the microprocessor can address. If the address bus is com- posedof16lines(orbits),themicroprocessorwillbeabletogenerate2
,or65,536distinctaddresscodes.Iftheaddressbusisincreasedtoa20-bitwordsize,themicroprocessor’sca- pability to address memory and I/O elements is increased to 2
, or 1,048,576 possible ad-dresses.When discussing addressing capacity, it is common to use the letter
) to represent1024 (2
) addresses. Using this terminology, the 16-bit bus example above would be capa- bleofaddressingupto64kilobytesofmemory,whilethelatterexamplewouldbecapableof directlyaddressingupto1,000kBofmemory.Thisisreferredtoasa
(thatis,1MB).Itisalsocommontoexpressaddressesinhexa-decimalform.Asamatteroffact,addresslocationsareveryrarelyspecifiedinadecimalfor-mat.Whenthemicroprocessorwantstoaccessamemorylocationoraninputoroutputelementto perform a Read or Write operation, it does so by placing the appropriate address code on itsaddresspins(A
)andgeneratingthepropercontrolsignalstoperformtheoperation.Be-cause the memory unit is normally composed of several memory chips (RAM and ROM),special decoding circuitry is required to select the proper IC and then single out the proper memory location and input or output device that the microprocessor is trying to address.
In contrast to the address bus, the
in nature. Data flows along thedata bus from the microprocessor to memory during a write operation. Conversely, datamovesfrommemorytothemicroprocessorduringaReadoperation.Thedirectionsfordatamovement is the same for read and write operations between the microprocessor and In- put/Output devices.Because all of the computer elements must share the data bus, any device connected to the bus must have the capability to put its outputs in a high impedance state (floating) when notinvolved in an operation with the microprocessor. This prevents data from more than onesourcefrombeingplacedonthebusatonetime.Iftwodevicesattemptedtoplacedataonthe busatthesametime,confusionanddamagetothedeviceswouldresult.Thesizeofthedata bususuallycorrespondstothewordsizeofthecomputer.Ingeneral,thelargerthedatabus,the more powerful the system. Common data bus sizes for microcomputers are 8-bits, 16- bits, 32-bits and 64-bits.
COMPUTER BUSES 2