# difference between minus and subtract microoperation

While reading Computer Architechture book by M.Mano. I came across Arithmetics Microoperations sections which has two microoperations which confuses me a lot,

R3 <- R1 - R2 ( Minus Microoperation )

R3 <- R1 + complemented(R2) + 1 ( Subtract Microoperation ).

Can someone tell me the difference?

## 1 Answer

Suppose we're working with unsigned bytes, e.g. modulo 256.

Let's say R1 = 100 and R2 = 70. Direct subtraction should give us 100 - 70 = 30:

01100100
01000110 -
========
00011110


Modulo 256, subtracting 70 is the same as adding 256 - 70 = 186, because -70 is +186. The complement of 70 is 255 - 70 = 185, which is just one less. Therefore, the following sum produces 100 + 185 + 1 = 286 which is the same as 30 (modulo 256). Of course, the ninth bit 'falls off' when doing 8-bit arithmetic, so we get 30 as a result.

 01100100
10111001
00000001 +
========
100011110


So both methods give the same result, just in a different way.