Introduction into the world of programming

As a prerequisite to programming you should know some basic things about programmable devices. Historically, programmable devices have not always been digital devices. The Hollerith desk was built by IBM. It was the first type to retrieve and store information using a punch card.

The first digital programmable digital device was the Harvard Mark I Computer which was built as a partnership between Harvard and IBM in 1944. Since then, there has been a host of them. Now let’s see what programmable devices are:

What are programmable devices

A programmable device is any device whose operations are controlled by a stored program that can be changed or replaced. The program should have the capacity to be changed or replaced, and this is what differentiates programmable devices from fixed function logic devices whose programs can’t be replaced, such as radio set. Examples of programmable devices include a computer and smartphones whose programs can be changed or replaced.A program refers to a collection of instructions that perform a specific task when executed, such as operating system, software applications and a number of them.

Features of programmable devices

Programmable devices have certain features that define them as such. They should have:

  1. Processor
  2. Electrical nodes
  3. Memory for storage of data or instructions.

Why make devices programmable

For a device to be programmable, it should have the ability to adapt and quickly process simple information. This means it should be able to take input, provide output and handle information.

There are four key reasons to make a device programmable:

  • Board space: Compared to a fixed function logic device, they use less much board space for an equivalent amount of logic
  • Design can be readily changed without rewiring or replacing components
  • Faster: Design can be designed faster because less expensive software tools can be used to develop, simulate and test design.
  • Less Cost: Most times the PLDs used in prototyping is the same one that would be used in the final product as compared to fixed function logic device.

Now that you know the basics about programming, you can now go ahead venture into the interesting world of programming.