2.Logic gates

A logic gate is a circuit which uses digital signals as its inputs and outputs. What makes a circuit a gate is that each output depends entirely on the signals applied at the inputs. If these input signals change, then the output signal may also change. Digital circuits  which use logic gates are usually arranged so that a logic 1 appears at an output only for some definite combination of input signals - for this reason these circuits are sometimes called combinational logic circuits. In theory, we could make i.c.s for each and every possible combination of input signals to produce a 1 output, but this would be wasteful of resources. In practice, what is done is to make i.c.s which accomplish a few standard logic operations. From these standard logic i.c.s any combinational logic circuit can be built up. The microprocessor is an extension of this idea - a circuit which can perform virtually any logic function.
The action of a standard combinational logic circuit, or of any circuit made up from these units, can be described in two ways. One way is by the use of a truth table. A truth table shows what output can be expected from each possible combination of inputs, so that the action of the circuit can be readily checked. Another method of describing the action of a circuit is by Boolean Algebra. This method is much more concise but less easy for the raw beginner to interpret, so both methods wrn always be used together in this book. Boolean algebra, incidentally, was invented long before modern computers. It is named after George Boole (1815-1864) who devised it as a method of turning logical statements into algebraic expressions. Little use was made of this work until Shannon found in 1938 that Boolean algebra could be usied to analyse relay circuits which carried out the sort of switching operations we now refer to as 'AND' and 'OR' gates.

AND gate
Figure 2.1 shows the symbol, truth table and Boolean expression for the AND gate, one of the standard logic gates. As the truth table shows, the output is logic 0 unless both inputs of the two-input gate are at logic 1. For a three-input AND gate, the output is at logic 1 only when all three inputs are at logic 1.

AND Gate
Boolean: A.B= Q Read as A and B gives Q
0 0 0
0 1 0
1 0 0
1 1 1
Figure 2.1. A two-input AND gate symbol, truth-table and Boolean expression. The output is 1 only when both inputs are at 1

As Figure 2.2 shows, the truth table for a gate with three inputs takes up a lot more space than that for the two-input gate, and is prohibitively long when four or more inputs are used. The Boolean expression uses the dot symbol to indicate the AND action so that for a four-input AND gate the action is A.B.C.D = 1. In words, this means that the output is 1 only when A AND B AND C AND D inputs are all at 1. Note that the action of the AND gate can also be illustrated by switches in series, as shown in Figure 2.3.

AND Gate
Boolean: A.B.C= Q Read as A and B gives Q
0 0 0 0
0 0 1 0
0 1 0 0
0 1 1 0
1 0 0 0
1 0 1 0
1 1 0 0
1 1 1 1
Figure 2.2. A three-input AND gate. The number of lines of the truth table equals 2n, where n is the number of gate inputs. The output is 1 only when all the inputs are at 1, whatever the number of inputs

Series Switches Figure 2.3. A switch circuit which has the same truth table as a three-input AND gate

For each switch, open = 0, closed 1

AND gates are useful for testing for coincidence of binary 1s, and in circuitry where several factors control an output. For example, a gas central heating boiler can be switched on (1) when the room thermostat, the boiler water thermostat, the gas flame detector and the outside temperature detector are all giving a logic 1 output.

OR gate
The symbol, truth table and Boolean expression for the OR gate are shown in Figure 2.4. This type of OR gate produces a logic 1 at the output if either input is at 1 or if both inputs are at 1. For inputs which are all set to 0, the output also is logic 0. As before, the truth table for an OR gate with more than three inputs is rather bulky, and the action is most easily summed up by the Boolean expression A + B + C + D+....=1..

OR Gate
Boolean: A + B = Q Read as A or B gives Q
0 0 0
0 1 1
1 0 1
1 1 1
Figure 2.4. A two-input OR gate symbol, truth table and Boolean expression. The output is 1 if any input is at 1

The choice of the + sign may look unfortunate at first sight because it is more natural to associate + with the AND operation, but the laws of Boolean algebra make the choice of the + sign automatic. The word 'plus' should not be used when reading the expression; for +, read OR at all tinaes. The Boolean expression A + B + C = 1 is therefore read as A OR B OR C gives logic 1 at the output. Note that the action of the OR gate can also be illustrated by switches in parallel, as shown in Figure 2.5. An OR gate would be used when more than one input may be used to produce an output. On a central ating system, for example, a logic 1 output may be wanted (to light the boiler) when the circulating pump starts OR when hot water is drawn.

Parallel Switches Figure 2.5. A switch circuit which has the same truth table as a three-input OR-gate

Logic NOT
The NOT gate, inverter, or complementing circuit, illustrated in Figure 2.6, consists simply of an inverting switch whose output is the logic opposite of the input. In Boolean symbols, the action is represented by drawing a bar over a letter which represents an input. For example, a signal A passed into an inverter becomes , meaning that if A were 0, = 1, and for A= l,=0.

NOT Gate
Boolean: = Q
Read as inverse (or complement of A is Q, altematively as Q= NOT A
0 1
1 0

Figure 2.6. The inverter, complementer, or NOT gate. This simply inverts the signal at its input. The small circle at the output indicates inversion - without the circle the symbol is that of a non-inverting amplifier, or buffer

An inverter may be needed in a circuit if previous gates have produced an output which is of incorrect polarity, or if an input is of incorrect polarity. For example, if we need an output from a gate when input A = 1 and input B = 0,then one solution is to use the inverter to convert B = 0 to = 1, and then combine with A in an AND gate (Figure 2.7).

Boolean: A. = Q
0 0 0
0 1 0
1 0 1
1 1 0
Figure 2.7. Using an inverter to obtain (or implement) a truth table which is not obtained from the AND or OR gate directly

NAND and NOR gates
The combination of the NOT gate with the AND/OR gates produces gate circuits known as 'NAND' and 'NOR' gates, whose symbols, truth tables and Boolean expressions are illustrated in Figure 2.8. These gates might seem of little interest, but they are simpler to construct in integrated form and have the peculiar advantage that they can be converted more easily into other gates. For example, two NAND gates connected as in Figure 2.9 form an AND gate; it is not possible to combine two AND gates to form a single NAND gate. For this reason the NAND/NOR gates are much more common and readily available than other types. Further examples of the uses of these gate types in forming other gates are given at the end of this chapter.

NAND Gate NOR Gate
Truth Table
0 0 0
0 1 0
1 0 1
1 1 0
Truth Table
0 0 0
0 1 0
1 0 1
1 1 0

= Q
Read as NOT (A and B) gives Q

= Q
Read as NOT (A or B) gives Q

Figure 2.8. The NAND and NOR gates, with truth tables, symbols and Boolean expressions

2x NAND Gate
Truth Table
0 0 1 1 0
0 1 1 1 0
1 0 1 1 0
1 1 0 1 1
Figure 2.9. Two NAND gates used to simulate the AND gate. The truth table shows how this happens the second NAND gate acts as an inverter because one input is held at logic 1

The simple OR gate has a logic 1output for any input or cornbination of inputs at logic 1- The exclusive-OR (XOR) gate has its output at logic 1 for any single input at 1 but not for a combination of inputs. The truth table and symbol are shown in Figure 2.10 along with the Boolean expression which, in this case, is rather more complex. As it happens, though X-OR gate i.c.s are obtainable, the Boolean expression contains the clue to a method of constructing an X-OR gate from other circuits (see later, this chapter).

(a) XOR Gate
Boolean: ( ).(A + B) = Q
(b) X-OR action

Truth Table
0 0 0
0 1 1
1 0 1
1 1 0
Figure 2.10. A two-input X-OR gate (a). This has a truth table similar to that of the OR gate, except for the state when both inputs are 1. The Boolean expression shows this exclusion by using the NOT (A and B) term. (b) An arrangement of gates which gives X-OR action

Discovering gate action
The usefulness of standard gate actions is that any gating logic which may be needed can be obtained from a suitable combination of these logic circuits. Designing a logic circuit is not entirely straightforward, but by following the rules below discovering the action of a circuit is relatively simple:
(1) Label with a letter each separate input for all the gates in the circuit, and label the output (Q) also.
(2) Draw up a column for each lettered input and final output, setting the primary inputs (of the first gates in the circuit) apart from the others.
(3)Write rows of logic 0s and 1s for the primary inputs. Each row should be a binary number, starting with 000------(as many  0s as there are primary inputs), and increasing by 1 in each row. The total number of rows should then be 2N, where N is the number of primary inputs. For example, if N =3 (three primary inputs), 2N = 8,so that the truth table should have eight rows.
(4) Now write in the output for each primary gate, using the truth tables for AND, OR, NOT, NAND, NOR, X-OR as required. If these outputs then form the inputs to other gates, complete the truth tables for these also until the output column is complete. The result is the complete truth table for the gating circuit.

Gate System Boolean: = Q which reduces to A.B. = Q, so that the gating system could be replaced by:
Simplified gate system
Truth Table
0 0 0 1 0 0
0 0 1 1 0 0
0 1 0 1 0 0
0 1 1 1 1 0
1 0 0 1 0 0
1 0 1 1 0 0
1 1 0 0 0 1
1 1 1 0 1 0
Figure 2.11. Discovering the truth table for a gate system. The inputs are listed, and the intermediate signals C and D noted down, knowing the truth tables of the AND and NAND gates. The final output Q is written down knowing the C and D states and the truth table for the NOR gate

Figure 2.11 shows an example of this technique being used for a circuit with three primary inputs and one output. When a large number of primary inputs exist, however, the truth table is very unwieldy, and a better approach, as usual, is to use Boolean symbols. Each primary input is labelled A, B,C .... -as before, but the outputs of the primary gates are then labelled with the Boolean expressions which describe the gate action. For example, if a NAND gate has inputs A, B, then the output is labelled (NOT A-and-B). The next set of gates is labelled in the same way, using the inputs which have already been discovered.
The final expression represents the gate action but may require simplification to remove terms which are surplus to needs. The laws of Boolean algebra shown in Table 2.1 can be used to simplify such expressions, and one example is shown in Figure 2.12. In general, though, these methods are required only by the professional engineer. The laws are shown only for reference purposes so that the mathematically inclined reader may make use of them.
The opposite process can usually best be carried out by the use of Boolean algebra. Once the Boolean expression for the action of a circuit has been found, the circuit can be sketched out - but finding the Boolean expression may be a problem. To illustrate how a circuit can be constructed (or implemented) using the Boolean expression, consider the expression for the X-OR gate of Figure 2.10:

() . (A + B) = Q

(A + B) indicates that an OR gate is needed with A and B as inputs. () indicates that a NAND gate is needed, also with A and B as inputs. Finally the outputs of these gates must be combined in an AND gate, as indicated by the AND dot between the sets of brackets. The circuit is therefore as indicated in Figure 2.10(b).

Table 2.1

Gate Laws




0.0 = 0
0.1 = 0
1.0 = 0
1.1 = 1
0+0 = 0
0+1 = 1
1+0 = 1
1+1 = 1

Boolean algebra laws

A, B are logic quantities which may be 1 or 0


A+0= A
A+1= 1
A.0 = 0
A.1 = A

Identity: A+A= A
A.A = A
Order: A+B=B+A
A.B = B.A
Change-round: (A.B)+(A.C) = A.(B+C)
(A+B).(A+C) = A+(B.C)
Factorising: (A+B)+C=A+(B+C)
(A.B).C = A.(B.C)
Complements: A+=1
A.= 0
Double Negative:

A= A

De Morgan's Theorem: = +
= .
Note: The names shown above are not necessarily those used by mathematicians

Boolean: (A.B.C) + A . (+) =Q
Using De Morgan's theorem becomes:
(A.B. C) + A () = Q
Factorising, then:
A. (B.C +) = Q
and since B.C + = 1:
A. 1= Q
so that the circuit could be:
i.e. no gates are needed
Figure 2.12. Showing how the use of Boolean algebra can simplify a logical expression and avoid the use of unnecessary gates

This comparatively simple example could also have been drawn out using only the truth table. The truth table shows that a 1 output must be obtained when the inputs are OR-ed but not when both inputs are 1. A NAND gate produces a 0 at the output when both inputs are 1, so that an AND connection of the NAND gate with an OR gate should give the required expression. Once a gating arrangement has been designed in this way, it should be checked by constructing a truth table as shown earlier, unless the number of inputs is prohibitively large.
A gating system may have to be constructed, however, with only verbal information. For example, the specification may be: a 1 output is required when either of inputs A and B is 1, but with inputs C and D 0. No other combination must give a 1 output. This may be drawn up as a truth table, but with four inputs 16 rows (24) of inputs will be needed. The alternative is to construct a Boolean expression directly from the specification. It is fairly obvious that a 1 at the output for either A or B inputs can be obtained by using an OR gate, but the output of this gate must produce a final 1 output only if neither C nor D produces a 1. Now these two inputs can be fed to a NOR gate, whose output will be 1 only while C and D are both 0. By combining the output of this NOR gate with the output of the OR gate, using this time an AND gate, the correct function should be obtained. In Boolean terms the verbal expression would be written:

Q = (A+B)..
By De Morgan's Theorem (Table 2.1),
. converts to () so that the expression becomes
which is the combination of OR and NOR AND-ed as shown above.
One of the fascinations of logic circuit design is that it cannot entirely be reduced to rules; intuition and experience still have a part to play. Very often an experienced designer will be able to avoid difficulties which are not at all obvious to another designer who is laboriously ploughing through the set procedure.

Race hazards
Logic Systems using signals which change only at widely separated intervals are seldom troubled by problems arising from the time delay in each gate. Some logic systems, however, must deal with signals which are at the 1 or 0 levels only for short times of the order of one microsecond or less. Such high-speed logic presents difficulties arising ftom the time delays in different circuits which are called race hazards.
Imagine, for example, a NAND gate which generates a negative-going pulse when its inputs both go to logic  1. The duration of this negative-going pulse will be the time for which both inputs are positive. Imagine now that both inputs are pulses 1
mS long. If they coincide exactly then the output pulse will be 1 mS long, but if one input pulse is delayed by 300 ns (1000 ns = 1 mS), then the duration of the output pulse can only be 700 ns. If one input pulse is delayed by 1mS or more, then there will be no change in the output at all. Designing a circuit to eliminate race hazards is not a task for the beginner, and the main reason for mentioning the problem is to show why logic circuits which work perfectly at low speeds may fail in curious ways when high pulse rates are used.

Arithmetic circuits
As the name suggests, arithmetic circuits are intended to carry out the functions of binary addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. Thanks to the use of 2's complement arithmetic, subtraction can be carried out by using a NOT gate and an adding circuit, and the actions of multiplication and division can also be carried out using only an adder arithmetic circuit combined with the use of shift registers (Chapter 7).
The addition of two binary numbers on paper is straight-forward, but the arrangement of logic gates to perform the same action is less simple. The least-significant bits are easiest to add because there is no carry figure from an earlier stage.

A B S(sum) C(carry)
0 0 0 0
0 1 1 0
1 0 1 0
1 1 0 1
Figure 2.13. A half-adder circuit and its truth table

Adding a 1 to a 0 will produce a 1 in the output, but adding will produce a 0 at the main output and a carry be added to the next pair of bits. The truth table for this section, called the half-dder, ias therefore as shown in Figure 2.13. The output in the sum column is the same as would be expect-ad from an X-OR gate, while the carry out-is the result of an AND operation on the input parts. A simple half4dder can therefore be constructed using the gate circuit shown in Figure 2.13. Half-adders can also, of course, obtained as MSI integrated circuits or as a small part of LSI circuits.
For adding all the pther pairs of bits a more elaborate circuitcalled the full-adder must be used. The reason is that three inputs are now needed, two for the bits which are being aded and another one for the carry bit which has come from previous addition. The truth table is now as shown in 2.14; check this with an addition if there is any uncertainty.


A1 B1 C0 S1 C1
0 0 0 0 0
0 0 1 1 0
0 0 0 1 0
0 1 1 0 1
1 0 0 1 0
1 0 1 0 1
1 1 0 0 1
1 1 1 1 1
Figure 2.14. A full-adder truth table and symbol

Full adder logic
Figure 2.15. The gating used for the full-adder

The full-adder is obtainable as a complete MSI i.c., but it can be constructed from standard gates as shown in Figure 2.15. The reader should check, using the procedure noted earlier, that this set of gates will produce the correct truth table.

Negative signs
In discussing arithmetic so far, it has always been assumed that the numbers are positive. For many digital applications, negative numbers have to be manipulated, and some way of indicating the sign of such a number is needed. An obvious method of writing a negative number is to use the 2's complement of a positive number so that, for example, the number 100101 (decimal 37) converts to 011011 (decirnal 27). Adding this to a six-bit binary number produces the same effect as the subtraction of 37; for example, adding to 111001 (decimal 57) gives 010100 (decimal 20) when the seventh bit is discarded as shown in Figure 2.16.



011011 2'scomplement
decimal 37


Answer: 010100 after discarding carry

Figure 2.16. Two's complement arithmetic

This is logical enough but the problem is that a digital circuit cannot distinguish between 011011 meaning decimal 27 and 011011 meaning decimal -37; and a readout of such binary numbers could not distinguish between the positive number and the negative one. This is done by using numbers in the eight-bit byte form, and reserving the most significant bit for indicating sign. The other seven bits are used for representing number, so that when this method of writing a signed binary number is used only seven-bit numbers can be used in one byte. If we want to use larger numbers, we can have each number represented by a double byte of 16 bits, with the most significant bit (the 16th) representing the sign. That then leaves 15 bits to represent numbers, giving a much greater range. Similarly three-byte or four-byte numbers can be written as signed binary numbers with the most significant bit reserved for indicating the sign.
The convention as to what value of the most significant bit shall represent a negative number is easily decided. When, in our earlier example, decimal 37 is written as an eight-bit byte, it becomes 00100101. Converting this to - 37 by taking  the2's complement gives 11011011, so that the most significant bit is 1, indicating a negative value. The number 01011011 would be a positive number (decimal +91). A 0 as the most significant bit therefore indicates a positive number, and a 1 indicates a negative number when this convention is used.
The advantage of this scheme is that arithmetic can be carried out on these bytes without any regard to whether the binary numbers represent positive or negative numbers, and it is only when a final result is obtained that a 1 in the most significant bit has to be interpreted either as 256 (if only it e numbers are used) or a negative sign if signed numbers are used. 
If signed binary numbers are in use, a 0 as the most significant bit indicates tbat the following digits represent a positive and the conversion of binary to decimal is carried out in the usual way. If the most significant bit is 1, however, a negative sign is written, and the following bits are taken as a 2's complement number. To find the decimal equivalent, therefore, 1 is subtracted from the least significant bit and the number is complemented. For example, the number 11011011 is read in the following stages:
(a) the MSB indicates a negative sign;
(b) 1011011 has 1 subtracted, giving 1011010;
(c) this is complemented to 0100101;
(d) the decimal equivalent of 0100101 is 37, so that the number represented by 11011011 is -37

A combinational logic circuit produces an output which is completely determined by the inputs, so that a given combination of inputs always produces the same output. Logic gate circuits can also be combined to produce circuits, called sequential logic circuits, which behave quite differently.

R-S Flip Flop
The R=0 S=0 state must be avoided, since it causes Q = - Q



0 0 1* 1*
0 1 1 0
1 1 1 0
1 0 0 1
1 1 0 1
Figure 2.17. The R-S flip.flop

The circuit of Figure 2.17 is an example of such a sequential logic circuit. The circuit uses two NAND gates, cross coupled as shown, with two inputs and two outputs. At first sight, the truth table seems quite normal, but repeating some of the inputs demonstrates that the output depends on the sequence of inputs and not simply on the combination.
For example, with inputs S = 0, R = 1 the output is Q =0, Q= 1 and changing the inputs to S = 1, R = 1 causes no change. For inputs S = 1, R = 0 the output is Q = 1,Q = 0, and changing R = 0 to R = 1, so that S= l,R= 1,again causes no change. For this circuit, therefore, the inputs S = 1, R = 1can produce either a 1 or a 0 at one output, depending on what the immediately previous inputs were.
The circuit of Figure 2.17 is called an R-S latch or flip-flop; the word 'latch' suggests that the output is locked in place. Latch circuits are used to retain an output for some time even when the inputs are changing, and such circuits are dealt with more fully in Chapter 4. The simple R-S latch has few applications.

Practical Work
Pracical work on combinational logic circuits can be carried out using the breadboard along with a few standard i.c.s. In the 74 TTL range, the 7400 quad NAND gate is particularly usweful; its pin diagram is shown in Figure 2.18.

Figure 2.18. The pinout diagram for the SN7400N quad NAND gate

Figure 2.19. A practical exercise - connecting the gates of a 7400 so as to simutate the actions of other gates

Logic circuits can be connected up using switches as inputs, remembering that an open circuit input on a TTL chip will be at logic 1. Output states can be detected using l.e.d.s with their series current-imiting resistors. If the CMOS equivalent (CD4011 A) is used; remember that each input should have a  1 M resistor permanently connected to earth, and that the output is best onnected to a transistor/l.e.d. combination as indicated in figure 1.25.
The circuit arrangements of Figure 2.19 simulate standard gate actions for which the truth table can be found either  practically or by using the methods of analysis mentioned earlier.

Carry C0 added to A1 added to B1 Þ Sl and carry C1
Carry C1 added to A2 added to B2
Þ S2 and carry C2
Figure 2.20. The arrangement ofadders inside the 7482 dual adder

Figure 2.20 is the internal circuit of the 7482 two-bit full-adder, with truth table. The carry bit between stages is internally connected and is not available at the pins.
The Pinout of the i.c. (Figure 2.21) shows what connections have to be made to switches to give suitable binary inputs,using A1,A2 as one pair of bits and B1,B2 as the higher order.
Since the circuit of a full adder,a carry into the least significant bits (C0) can be added and carry out (C2) from the most significant bits can be detected.

Figure 2.21. Pinout diagram for the 7482 dual adder

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Signals,switching and devices
Logic Gates
Clocks and other inputs
Flip-flops and counters
Shift Registers

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