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Could a Neuroscientist Understand a Microprocessor?
There is a popular belief in neuroscience that we are primarily data limited, and that producing large, multimodal, and complex datasets will, with the help of advanced data analysis algorithms, lead to fundamental insights into the way the brain processes information. These datasets do not yet exist, and if they did we would have no way of evaluating whether or not the algorithmically-generated insights were sufficient or even correct. To address this, here we take a classical microprocessor as a model organism, and use our ability to perform arbitrary experiments on it to see if popular data analysis methods from neuroscience can elucidate the way it processes information. Microprocessors are among those artificial information processing systems that are both complex and that we understand at all levels, from the overall logical flow, via logical gates, to the dynamics of transistors. We show that the approaches reveal interesting structure in the data but do not meaningfully describe the hierarchy of information processing in the microprocessor. This suggests current analytic approaches in neuroscience may fall short of producing meaningful understanding of neural systems, regardless of the amount of data. Additionally, we argue for scientists using complex non-linear dynamical systems with known ground truth, such as the microprocessor as a validation platform for time-series and structure discovery methods.
neuroscience  microprocessor  microchip 
march 2019 by schleemilch
Home · hoglet67/AtomBusMon Wiki
his project is an open-source in-circuit emulator for the 6502, 65C02, Z80, 6809 and 6809E 8-bit processors, built using an off-the-shelf programmable hardware device called a GODIL that can be purchased for just over $50. The device plugs into your CPU socket, replacing the CPU, and you can control it over a serial connection to debug your software or hardware.
ICE  emulator  6502  6809  microprocessor 
december 2018 by cstup
Inside The Machine | No Starch Press
A collection of ArsTechnica columns about machine internals: basic terms like superscalar, L2, etc., plus comparisons between Intel, Motorola, and IBM's approaches at the time of 2006
book  hardware  intel  microprocessor 
may 2018 by mechazoidal

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