MIX - Architecture

Architecture

MIX is a hybrid binary–decimal computer. When programmed in binary, each byte has 6 bits (values range from 0 to 63). In decimal, each byte has 2 decimal digits (values range from 0 to 99). Bytes are grouped into words of five bytes plus a sign. Most programs written for MIX will work in either binary or decimal, so long as they do not try to store a value greater than 63 in a single byte.

A word has the range −1,073,741,823 to 1,073,741,823 (inclusive) in binary mode, and −9,999,999,999 to 9,999,999,999 (inclusive) in decimal mode. The sign-and-magnitude representation of integers in the MIX architecture distinguishes between “−0” and “+0.” This contrasts with modern computers, whose two's-complement representation of integer quantities includes a single representation for zero, but whose range for a given number of bits includes one more negative integer than the number of representable positive integers.

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