Saturday, August 04, 2012

Sequential Logic Circuits

Unlike Combinational Logic circuits that change state depending upon the actual signals being applied to their inputs at that time, Sequential Logic circuits have some form of inherent "Memory" built in to them as they are able to take into account their previous input state as well as those actually present, a sort of  "before" and "after" is involved with sequential circuits.
In other words, the output state of a sequential logic circuit is a function of the following three states, the "present input", the "past input" and/or the "past output". Sequential Logic circuits remember these conditions and stay fixed in their current state until the next clock signal changes one of the states, giving sequential logic circuits "Memory".
Sequential logic circuits are generally termed as two state or Bistable devices which can have their output or outputs set in one of two basic states, a logic level "1" or a logic level "0" and will remain "latched" (hence the name latch) indefinitely in this current state or condition until some other input trigger pulse or signal is applied which will cause the bistable to change its state once again.

Sequential Logic Representation

 The word "Sequential" means that things happen in a "sequence", one after another and in Sequential Logic circuits, the actual clock signal determines when things will happen next. Simple sequential logic circuits can be constructed from standard Bistable circuits such as Flip-flops, Latches and Counters and which themselves can be made by simply connecting together universal NAND Gates and/or NOR Gates in a particular combinational way to produce the required sequential circuit.

Classification of Sequential Logic

As standard logic gates are the building blocks of combinational circuits, bistable latches and flip-flops are the building blocks of Sequential Logic Circuits. Sequential logic circuits can be constructed to produce either simple edge-triggered flip-flops or more complex sequential circuits such as storage registers, shift registers, memory devices or counters. Either way sequential logic circuits can be divided into the following three main categories:
  • 1. Event Driven - asynchronous circuits that change state immediately when enabled.
  • 2. Clock Driven - synchronous circuits that are synchronized to a specific clock signal.
  • 3. Pulse Driven - which is a combination of the two that responds to triggering pulses.


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