When two numbers of n digits each are added and the sum occupies n + 1 digits, we say that an overflow occurred. When the addition is performed with paper and pencil, an overflow is not a problem since there is no limit to the width of the page to write down the sum. An overflow is a problem in digital computers because the width of registers is finite. A result that contains n + 1 bits cannot be accommodated in a register with a standard length of n bits. For this reason, many computers detect the occurrence of an overflow, and when it occurs, a corresponding flip-flop is set which can then be checked by the user.

The detection of an overflow after the addition of two depends on whether the numbers are considered to be signed or unsigned. When two unsigned numbers are added, an overflow is detected from the end carry out of the most significant position. In the case of signed numbers, the leftmost bit always represents the sign, and negative numbers are in 2' sbinary numbers complement form. When two signed numbers are added, the sign bit is treated as part of the number and the end carry does not indicate an overflow.

An overflow cannot occur after an addition if one number is positive and the other is negative, since adding a positive number to a negative number produces a result that is smaller than the larger of the two original numbers. An overflow may occur if the two numbers added are both positive or both negative. To see how this can happen, consider the following example. Two signed binary numbers, + 70 and + 80, are stored in two 8-bit registers. The range of numbers that each register can accommodate is from binary + 127 to binary - I28. Since the sum of the two numbers is + I50, it exceeds the capacity of the 8-bit register. This is true if the numbers are both positive or both negative. The two additions in binary are shown below together with the last two carries.

carries: 0 I

Topics You May Be Interested In
Number System Other Alphanumeric Codes
Octal And Hexadecimal Number Conversion Bus And Memory Transfers
Subtraction Of Unsigned Numbers Program Counter
Subtraction Of Unsigned Numbers-2 Computer Instructions
Fixed-point Representation Instruction Cycle

+ 70 0 I000110

+ 80 0 I010000

+ I5O I 0010110

carries: I

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Octal And Hexadecimal Number Conversion -2 Register Transfer Language -2
Complements -2 Logic Microoperations
Integer Representation Operation Code
Overflow Common Bus System-memory Address
Register Transfer Language Memory-reference Instructions - Sta, Lda And Bsa

- 70 0 I OI110IO

-80 I 01100000

- I5O   110IOIO

Note that the 8-bit result that should have been positive has a negative sign bit and the 8-bit result that should have been negative has a positive sign bit. If, however, the carry out of the sign bit position is taken as the sign bit of the result, the 9-bit answer so obtained will be correct. Since the answer cannot be accommodated within 8 bits, we say that an overflow occurred.

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Complements Memory Transfer
Fixed-point Representation Binary Adder
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Three-state Bus Buffers Bsa: Branch And Save Return Address -subroutine Call


Frequently Asked Questions

Ans: Subtraction of two signed binary numbers when negative numbers are in 2' s complement form is very simple and can be stated as follows: Take the 2's complement of the subtrahend (including the sign bit) and add it to the minuend (including the sign bit). A carry out of the sign bit position is discarded. view more..
Ans: The addition of two numbers in the signed-magnitude system follows the rules of ordinary arithmetic. If the signs are the same, we add the two magnitudes and give the sum the common sign. If the signs are different, we subtract the smaller magnitude from the larger and give the result the sign of the larger magnitude. view more..
Ans: When an integer binary number is positive, the sign is represented by 0 and the magnitude by a positive binary number. When the number is negative, the sign is represented by 1 but the rest of the number may be represented in one of three possible ways: view more..
Ans: When two numbers of n digits each are added and the sum occupies n + 1 digits, we say that an overflow occurred. When the addition is performed with paper and pencil, an overflow is not a problem since there is no limit to the width of the page to write down the sum. view more..
Ans: An overflow condition can be detected by observing the carry into the sign bit position and the carry out of the sign bit position. If these two carries are not equal, an overflow condition is produced. view more..
Ans: The representation of decimal numbers in registers is a function of the binary code used to represent a decimal digit. A 4-bit decimal code requires four flip-flops for each decimal digit. view more..
Ans: The floating-point representation of a number has two parts. The first part represents a signed, fixed-point number called the mantissa. The second part designates the position of the decimal (or binary) point and is called the exponent. The fixed-point mantissa may be a fraction or an integer. For exam ple, the decimal number +6132.789 is represented in floating-point with a fraction and an exponent as follows: view more..
Ans: A floating-point number is said to be normalized if the most significant digit of the mantissa is nonzero. For example, the decimal number 350 is normalized but 00035 is not. Regardless of where the position of the radix point is assumed to be in the mantissa, the number is normalized only if its leftmost digit is nonzero. view more..
Ans: In previous sections we introduced the most common types of binary-coded data found in digital computers. Other binary codes for decimal numbers and alphanumeric characters are sometimes used. Digital computers also employ other binary codes for special applications. A few additional binary codes encountered in digital computers are presented in this section. view more..
Ans: Binary codes for decimal digits require a minimum of four bits. Numerous different codes can be formulated by arranging four or more bits in 10 distinct possible combinations. A few possibilities are shown in Table 3-6. view more..
Ans: The ASCII code (Table 3-4) is the standard code commonly used for the transmission of binary information. Each character is represented by a 7-bit code and usually an eighth bit is inserted for parity (see Sec. 3-6). The code consists of 128 characters. Ninety-five characters represent graphic symbols that include upper- and lowercase letters, numerals zero to nine, punctuation marks, and special symbols view more..
Ans: Binary information transmitted through some form of communication medium is subject to external noise that could change bits from 1 to 0, and vice versa. An error detection code is a binary code that detects digital errors during transmission. The detected errors cannot be corrected but their presence is indicated. The usual procedure is to observe the frequency of errors. If errors occur infrequently at random, the particular erroneous information is transmitted again. If the error occurs too often, the system is checked for malfunction view more..
Ans: Parity generator and checker networl<s are logic circuits constructed with exclusive-OR functions. This is because, as mentioned in Sec. 1·2, the exclusive-OR function of three or more varia.bles is by definition an odd function. An odd function is a logic function whose value is binary 1 if, and only if, an odd function number of variables are equal to 1. According to this definition, the P( even) is the exclusive-OR of x, y, and l because it is equal to 1 when either one or all three of the variables are equal to I (Table 3-7). The P(odd) function is the complement of the P(even) function. view more..
Ans: A digital system Is an interconnection of digital hardware module. that at'ClOinpl.lsh a specific Wormation-proceaslna taslc. Digital systems vary in size and complexi.ty interacting digital &om a few integrated circuits to a complex of interconnected and computers. Digital system design invariably UBeS a modular approach. The modules are constructed &om such digital components as ules registet&, are in decoders, terconnected arithmetic with common elements data and control paths , and control logic. The to fonn various moda digital computer system. view more..
Ans: The symbolic notation used to describe the microoperation transfers among registers is called a register transfer language. The term "register transfer" implies the availability of hardware logic circuits that can perform a stated microoperation and transfer the result of the operation to the same or another register. view more..
Ans: Computer registers are designated by capital letters (sometimes followed by numerals) to denote the function of the register. For example, the register that holds an address for the memory unit is usually called a memory address register and is designated by the name MAR. view more..
Ans: where P is a control signal generated in the control section. It is sometimes convenient to separate the control variables from the register transfer operation by specifying a control function. view more..
Ans: A typical digital computer has many registers, and paths must be provided to transfer information from one register to another. The number of wires will be excessive if separate lines are used between each register and all other registers in the system. view more..

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