Microcomputer based simulation
Digital simulation is a useful tool in many scientific areas. Interactive simulation can provide the user with a better appreciation of a problem area. With the introduction of large scale integrated circuits and in particular the advent of the microprocessor, a large amount of computing power is available at low cost. The aim of this project therefore was to investigate the feasibility of producing a minimum cost, easy to use, interactive digital simulation system. A hardware microcomputer system was constructed to test simulation program concepts and an interactive program was designed and developed for this system. By the use of a set of commands and subsequent interactive dialogue, the program allows the user to enter and perform simulation tasks. The simulation program is unusual in that it does not require a sophisticated operating system or other system programs such as compilers. The program does not require any backup memory devices such as magnetic disc or tape and indeed could be stored in ROM or EPROM. The program is designed to be flexible and extendable and could be easily modified to run with a variety of hardware configurations. The highly interactive nature of the system means that its operation requires very little programming experience. The microcomputer hardware system uses two microprocessors together with specially designed interfaces. One was dedicated to the implementation of the simulation equations, and the other provided an input/output capability including a low cost CRT display.