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One or zero?

A project log for One-instruction TTL Computer

A breadboard-able computer which uses only a single instruction - MOVE

Justin DavisJustin Davis 04/20/2017 at 11:420 Comments

I'm wondering about the difference between a one and zero instruction computer. If there's only one instruction, then isn't it really implied? Wouldn't that make it a zero instruction computer? I guess if I think about it, a zero instruction computer doesn't do instruction decoding - the compiler has direct access to the control signals of the datapath. So that would really be a extremely large instruction set computer - it's just that the instructions are not defined by the hardware but by software. In my computer, only one thing will happen - moving data from one location to another. So I guess I am a one instruction. But I argue there's no such thing as a zero instruction - the instructions are defined by the compiler.

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