On the surface, a microprocessor’s registers seem like simple storage, but not in the 8085 microprocessor. Reverse-engineering the 8085 reveals many interesting tricks that make the registers fast and compact. The picture below shows that the registers and associated control circuitry occupy a large fraction of the chip, so efficiency is important. Each bit is implemented with a surprisingly compact circuit. The instruction set is designed to make register accesses efficient. An indirection trick allows quick register exchanges. Many register operations use the unexpected but efficient data path of going through the ALU.
While the 8085’s register complement is tiny compared to current processors, it has a solid register set by 1977 standards – about twice as many registers as the 6502. The 8085 has a 16-bit program counter, a 16-bit stack pointer, 16-bit BC, DE, and HL register pairs, and the 8-bit accumulator. The 8085 also has little-known hidden registers that are invisible to the programmer but used internally: the WZ register pair, and two 8-bit registers for the ALU: ACT and TMP.
Have an amazing project to share? Join the SHOW-AND-TELL every Wednesday night at 7:30pm ET on Google+ Hangouts.
Join us every Wednesday night at 8pm ET for Ask an Engineer!
Learn resistor values with Mho’s Resistance or get the best electronics calculator for engineers “Circuit Playground” – Adafruit’s Apps!
Maker Business — SoftBank Invests $300 Million in WeWork
Wearables — Impatience reward
Electronics — Cool your FETs!
Biohacking — NinjaPCR – Open Source #iot DNA Amplifier
No comments yet.
Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.