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CIS 115

Embedded Systems, Computer Architecture & Finite State Machines

Tyranny of Numbers

For some time now, electronic man has known how 'in principle' to extend greatly his visual, tactile, and mental abilities through the digital transmission and processing of all kinds of information. However, all these functions suffer from what has been called 'the tyranny of numbers.' Such systems, because of their complex digital nature, require hundreds, thousands, and sometimes tens of thousands of electron devices.

-Jack Morton - 1957
VP of Bell Labs

Jack Kilby

Image Source: Wikipedia

Integrated Circuit

Image Source: Wikipedia

Robert Noyce

Image Source: Wikipedia

Intel Founders

Andy Grove, Robert Noyce, Gordon Moore (1978)

Image Source: Wikipedia

Moore's Law

Image Source: Wikipedia

Intel 4004

Image Source: Wikipedia


Image Source: Wikipedia

Fixed Program Computers

Image Source: Wikipedia

John von Neumann

Image Source: Wikipedia

Stored Program Computers

Von Neumann Architecture

Image Source: Wikipedia

System Bus

Image Source: Wikipedia

Image Source: Wikipedia

Instruction Set Architecture (ISA)

Image Source: Wikipedia

Hardware Classes

  1. Internal Components
  2. Storage
  3. Peripherals
  4. Cables & Connectors

Information from Wikibooks

Motherboard Features

Old Motherboard Diagram

Image Credit: Wikipedia

New Motherboard Diagram

Image Credit: Wikipedia


Image Credit: Wikipedia

Processor Features - Intel Core i7 3970X

Intel Core i7 3970X vs. AMD FX 9370

Memory (RAM)

Image Credit: Wikipedia

Memory Features

Graphics Card

Image Credit: Wikipedia

Graphics Card Features - EVGA GeForce GTX TITAN

EVGA GeForce GTX TITAN vs AMD Radeon HD 7970

Hard Disk Drive (HDD)

Image Credit: Wikipedia

Solid State Drive (SSD)

Image Credit: Wikipedia

Disk Drive Features


Image Credit: Computerworld


Optical Disk Drive (ODD)

Image Credit: Wikipedia

Optical Disk Comparison

Type Capacity Speed
CD 800 MB up to 88Mbit/s (72x)
DVD 4.7/8.5 GB 11.08 Mbit/s
Blu-ray 25/128 GB 54 Mbit/s

Power Supply (PSU)

Image Credit: Wikipedia

Device Usage
Video Card 50-150W / plug
PCI Card 5-10W
ODD 20-30W
HDD 15-30W
Motherboard 50-150W
Processor 80-140W

Information from

Note: multiply by 1.5 to account for real usages and efficiency

Image Credit:

Other Peripherals

How can we represent the way real-world systems operate using a computer?

Finite State Machine

Image Source: Wikipedia

Moore Machine

Image Source:

Ouput depends only on state
Each state can only have 1 set of outputs

Mealy Machine

Image Source:

Ouput depends on inputs and state
Each state can have multiple sets of outputs

Finite State Machine Examples

  1. Elevator Control System
  2. Stoplight
  3. Baseball At-bat
  4. Starting a Car
  5. Pinball Machine
  6. Store Self-Checkout
  7. ATM Withdrawal
  8. Keypad Security Lock
  9. Paper-Rock-Scissors Game
  10. Changing a Tire
  11. 2 Player Texas Hold-em Poker
  12. A DVD Player


Blog 4: Computer Systems in Daily Life

We interact with a variety of computer systems on a daily basis, but most of the time we don’t take the time to think about where they came from and how they work. Choose a computer system you see in your everyday life and write about it and its history. Tell us how it works and how it affects us in our daily life. A simple example would be the keycard entry systems at the K-State dorms and the engineering labs. Some questions to ask yourself while you are doing your research:

Soda FSM