Gates & Circuits

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Key Terms

  • Analog: Containing values that may take on any continuous value.
  • Bistable environment: An electronic setup that requires distinguishing two electric states from each other and maintaining the two separate states.
  • Bits: Binary digits; a set of individual binary digits, each of which is 1 or 0.
  • Boolean expression: An expression that evaluates to true or false and is constructed from true-false predicates and Boolean operations.
  • Boolean logic: A logical system that describes rules for working with two values: true and false.
  • Circuit: A collection of gates that together computes something.
  • Compare-for-equality circuit (CE circuit): Tests two unsigned binary numbers for exact equality.
  • Computing agent: An abstract concept representing any object capable of understanding and executing our instructions.
  • Control circuits: Circuits whose purpose is to control the order or choice of what a computer is doing.
  • Core: Small, magnetizable, iron oxide-coated “doughnut,” about 1/50 of an inch in inner diameter, with wires strung through its center hole.
  • Decoder: A control circuit that turns on one of its outputs when given an input that matches it.
  • Gate: An electronic device that operates on a collection of binary inputs to produce a binary output.
  • Hardware design: The process of designing circuits and other physical computer systems.
  • Magnetic core: A form of memory storage from the past that used small iron disks to generate magnetic fields in response to electric currents.
  • Multiplexor: A control circuit that selects one of its input values to pass through to its output, depending on a code passed in along selector lines.
  • Sum-of-products algorithm: A process for determining a circuit by starting with its truth table and then generating a Boolean expression for it.
  • Transistor: A solid-state electronic device that may or may not let a current through and changes state in response to an electronic control input.
  • Truth table: A table showing the truth values of a Boolean expression for every possible combination of inputs.