I basically want to know how to make(In hardware and in a simulator) a simple CPU. A book that covers low level stuff like, like logic gates, and more high level stuff like a complete CPU. Ive tried to find this book: http://www.amazon.com/Elements-Computing-Systems-Building-Principles/dp/0262640686/ref=ed_oe_p but here in Argentina it costs double to use credit card online, and I don't want to use 60 dollars on a book, i looked for a PDF of it, and I didn't find anything. I also don't want a complex collage level 1000 page book, I'm only 14 years old. The "best" and clear information on how a computer works I found were in video tutorials on how to build a redstone computer in the video game Minecraft.


closed as primarily opinion-based by Matt Young, PeterJ, Vladimir Cravero, Leon Heller, RedGrittyBrick Jun 22 '14 at 10:13

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ Here's the thing, those 1000 page college text books are the length they are for a reason. Designing a CPU is not exactly trivial. If you want to make a little 4 bit thing with a small instruction set, there are plenty of hobby projects to be found on the web. \$\endgroup\$ – Matt Young Jun 22 '14 at 4:40
  • \$\begingroup\$ Have a look at nand2tetris.org \$\endgroup\$ – pjc50 Jun 22 '14 at 9:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ This book is great, but of course this is a very opinionated question. buthowdoitknow.com or right from amazon for $16 ($10 for Kindle) amazon.com/s/… \$\endgroup\$ – sherrellbc Jun 22 '14 at 16:35
  • \$\begingroup\$ MIT open courseware 6.004, details change depending on which lecturer's version from which year is up at any given time. \$\endgroup\$ – Chris Stratton Sep 25 '16 at 15:54

There are no CPU design tutorials because those who design CPUs are generally far beyond being tutored. Tutorial text are at the far lower levels:

  • gate design (from transistors)
  • MSI* components design (= register, mux, demux, adder) from gates
  • ROM and RAM design (from gates or MSI components)

When you have mastered theses levels to sufficient degree you can probably imagine how a CPU could work.

Those 1000 page books (The Patterson & Hennessy books are my favourite) explain how a modern CPU is built. You don't need that to make a basic CPU, there are plenty designs on the web that show an 8 or 16 bit CPU built from 74xxx level chips.

*MSI - medium-scale integration (vs small-scale integration being logic gates etc.)


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