Modeling an Arithmetic Logic Unit in Python

03:30 PM - 04:25 PM on August 15, 2015, Room 705

Joseph Mosby

Audience level:


The Arithmetic Logic Unit is a fundamental component of any computer. Though its operations are commonly treated as a black box by most software engineers, in this talk we will peer under the hood of what's really going on inside a sample ALU.


The Arithmetic Logic Unit is the core component of a CPU responsible for performing arithmetic calculations using nothing but raw bits. In this discussion, we will walk through the operations an ALU is expected to perform, discuss and model the required logic gates required for a simple 16-bit ALU, then build a full ALU ourselves using Python functions.