Build a Modern Computer from First Principles: From Nand to Tetris (Project-Centered Course)

Start Date: 02/23/2020

Course Type: Common Course

Course Link:

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About Course

What you’ll achieve: In this project-centered course* you will build a modern computer system, from the ground up. We’ll divide this fascinating journey into six hands-on projects that will take you from constructing elementary logic gates all the way through creating a fully functioning general purpose computer. In the process, you will learn - in the most direct and constructive way - how computers work, and how they are designed. What you’ll need: This is a self-contained course: all the knowledge necessary to succeed in the course and build the computer system will be given as part of the learning experience. Therefore, we assume no previous computer science or engineering knowledge, and all learners are welcome aboard. You will need no physical materials, since you will build the computer on your own PC, using a software-based hardware simulator, just like real computers are designed by computer engineers in the field. The hardware simulator, as well as other software tools, will be supplied freely after you enroll in the course. Course format: The course consists of six modules, each comprising a series of video lectures, and a project. You will need about 2-3 hours to watch each module's lectures, and about 5-10 hours to complete each one of the six projects. The course can be completed in six weeks, but you are welcome to take it at your own pace. You can watch a TED talk about this course by Googling "nand2tetris TED talk". *About Project-Centered Courses: Project-centered courses are designed to help you complete a personally meaningful real-world project, with your instructor and a community of learners with similar goals providing guidance and suggestions along the way. By actively applying new concepts as you learn, you’ll master the course content more efficiently; you’ll also get a head start on using the skills you gain to make positive changes in your life and career. When you complete the course, you’ll have a finished project that you’ll be proud to use and share.

Course Syllabus

We will start with a brief introduction of Boolean algebra, and learn how Boolean functions can be physically implemented using logic gates. We will then learn how to specify gates and chips using a Hardware Description Language (HDL), and how to simulate the behaviour of the resulting chip specifications using a hardware simulator. This background will set the stage for Project 1, in which you will build, simulate, and test 15 elementary logic gates. The chipset that you will build this module will be later used to construct the computer's Arithmetic Logic Unit (ALU) and memory system. This will be done in modules 2 and 3, respectively.

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Course Introduction

Build a Modern Computer from First Principles: From Nand to Tetris (Project-Centered Course) In this project-centered course, we will explore the most important concepts and principles of computer architecture, programming, and how to make computer architecture simple. We will build a modern computer on the Visual C# programming environment, using the essential language features and abstract concepts that make the C# programming style appealing. We will learn how to use the LINQ framework to write efficient, reliable, and portable programs. We will then learn how to use the powerful Linked List to structure our programs and how to use the SIMD model to write portable and secure code. We will then learn how to use the MinGW/MyGW toolchain to get started quickly. We will learn about system calls and how to use the WinRT framework to get started quickly. We will then learn how to use the JNI framework to get started quickly. We will then learn how to use the Virtual Machine (VM) to get started quickly. We will then learn how to use the Web stack to get started quickly. We will then learn how to use the CLI and the command line. We will then learn how to use the VHDL framework to get started quickly. We will then learn how to use the CLI and the command line. We will then learn how to use the VHDL framework to get started quickly. We will then learn how to use the Web stack to get started quickly. We will then learn how to use the CLI and the command line. We will then learn how to use

Course Tag

Logic Gate Computer Architecture Assembly Languages Hardware Description Language (HDL)

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