Memory simulation in µCsim

Typical microprocessor system can look like this:

[CPU-memory connection]

Address space

In our terminilogy "address space" means a set of: Bus lines can be shared by address spaces, in this case number of control line sets specifies the address spaces.

Microcontrollers usually have more address spaces. Some is used inside only, some can be used for external memories.

Address space does not store any value. It just specifies range of addresses by start address (which is not necessarily zero) and size which the CPU can provide when it tries to access a memory location.

Memory chip

"Memory chip" is a circuit which can hold values in cells. Cells are indexed from 0 up to size-1. Each cell stores some (usually 8) bits.

[Memory chip]

Address decoder

Addresses coming from an address space via address bus must be routed to memory and translated to cell indexes. This is done by the "address decoder". It listens addresses on the bus and control lines and enables exactly one memory chip. This way cells of the memory chip appear in the address space.

[Decoded addresses]

It is possible that some addresses are not decoded. Writing to such an address results data to be lost. Reading of a non-decoded address results random value. Pullup or pulldown resistors can be applied to data bus lines to provide a specific value for read operations.

As it shown above, it is also possible that some cells of a chip is not mapped to any address.

Mixed address spaces (shared chips)

Decoder connects an address of an address space to a cell of a memory chip. Only one cell can be connected to each addresses but same cell can be connected to more than one address spaces. This is done by routing different control lines to the same chip through logic L:

[Sharing memchip]

Because each cell of a memory chip uses same read/write control, in real world it is not possible to share individual cells of a chip between address spaces. In µCsim simulator we can define as many address decoders as we want so it is possible to map any cell to any address.