Flip-flops are synchronous bistable devices. The term synchronous means the output changes state only when the clock input is triggered. That is, changes in the output occur in synchronization with the clock. Flip-flop is a kind of multivibrator. There are three types of multivibrators: 1. Monostable multivibrator (also called one-shot) has only one stable state. It produces a single pulse in response to a triggering input. 2. Bistable multivibrator exhibits two stable states. It is able to retain the two SET and RESET states indefinitely. It is commonly used as a basic building block for counters, registers and memories. 3. Astable multivibrator has no stable state at all. It is used primarily as an oscillator to generate periodic pulse waveforms for timing purposes. In this tutorial, the three basic categories of bistable elements are emphasized: edge-triggered flip-flop, pulse-triggered (master-slave) flip-flop, and data lock-out flip-flop. Their operating characteristics and basic applications will also be discussed. An edge-triggered flip-flop changes states either at the positive edge (rising edge) or at the negative edge (falling edge) of the clock pulse on the control input. The three basic types are introduced here: S-R, J-K and D.
| Click on one the following types of flip-flop. Then
its logic symbol will be shown on the left. Notice the
small triangle, called the dynamic input indicator, is
used to identify an edge-triggered flip-flop. Positive edge-triggered (without bubble at Clock input): S-R, J-K, and D. Negative edge-triggered (with bubble at Clock input): S-R, J-K, and D.
The S-R, J-K and D inputs are called synchronous inputs because data on these inputs are transferred to the flip-flop's output only on the triggering edge of the clock pulse.On the other hand, the direct set (SET) and clear (CLR) inputs are called asynchronous inputs, as they are inputs that affect the state of the flip-flop independent of the clock. For the synchronous operations to work properly, these asynchronous inputs must both be kept LOW. Edge-triggered S-R flip-flop
The basic operation is illustrated below, along with the truth table for this type of flip-flop. The operation and truth table for a negative edge-triggered flip-flop are the same as those for a positive except that the falling edge of the clock pulse is the triggering edge.
| As S = 1, R = 0. Flip-flop SETS on the rising clock edge.
| Note that the S and R inputs can be changed at any time when the clock input is LOW or HIGH (except for a very short interval around the triggering transition of the clock) without affecting the output. This is illustrated in the timing diagram below:
Edge-triggered J-K flip-flop
The J-K flip-flop works very similar to S-R flip-flop. The only difference is that this flip-flop has NO invalid state. The outputs toggle (change to the opposite state) when both J and K inputs are HIGH. The truth table is shown below.
Edge-triggered D flip-flop
The operations of a D flip-flop is much more simpler. It has only one input addition to the clock. It is very useful when a single data bit (0 or 1) is to be stored. If there is a HIGH on the D input when a clock pulse is applied, the flip-flop SETs and stores a 1. If there is a LOW on the D input when a clock pulse is applied, the flip-flop RESETs and stores a 0. The truth table below summarize the operations of the positive edge-triggered D flip-flop. As before, the negative edge-triggered flip-flop works the same except that the falling edge of the clock pulse is the triggering edge.
Pulse-Triggered (Master-Slave) Flip-flops
The term pulse-triggered means that data are entered into the flip-flop on the rising edge of the clock pulse, but the output does not reflect the input state until the falling edge of the clock pulse. As this kind of flip-flops are sensitive to any change of the input levels during the clock pulse is...
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