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Essential Guide to Semiconductors, The by Jim Turley

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Gates and Logic Functions

The binary/digital system explains how numbers work, but how do chips do things? When you turn the power on, how does a communications chip communicate? Why does a graphics chip make graphics? How does a microprocessor decide when to beep or how to run a word processor?

Deep down, all these chips are amazingly, stupendously stupid. They are not endowed with any uncanny form of intelligence or magical powers. They are just very carefully and laboriously built up from the most basic building blocks by patient and talented engineers. It's the intelligence of the engineers, not the chips themselves, that is impressive.

All digital chips, from memories to microprocessors and everything in between, are built up from just four ...

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