You are on page 1of 6

Chapter 1

1.1

Digital Concepts

Definition of an Analogue quantity

DEFINITION : An Analogue quantity is one having a continuous set of values.


EXAMPLE :

Temperature

Temperature versus Time


18
16
14
12
10
8
6
4
2
0
-2
-4
1

10 11 12 13 14

Time

1.2

Definition of a Digital quantity

DEFINITION : A Digital quantity is one having a discrete set of values. A Digital quantity is
often a sampled analogue quantity.
EXAMPLE :

Temperature

Temperature versus Time


18
16
14
12
10
8
6
4
2
0
-2
-4
1

10 11 12 13 14

Time

1.3

Binary digits : HIGH and LOW

The binary number system has only two digits: 0 and 1. These are called bits. In digital
circuits two different voltage levels are used to represent the two bits. A 1 is represented
by the higher voltage level, referred to as HIGH, and a 0 is represented by the lower
voltage level, referred to as LOW. Combinations of bits are called codes and these are
used to represent different quantities and values in digital applications.

1.4

Logic levels

The voltages used to represent a 1 and 0 are referred to as logic levels, where one voltage
level represents a HIGH and another voltage level represents a LOW. In practice a
voltage range is specified for each logic level. See the diagram below.
VH(max)

5.0 volts

HIGH = 1
VH(min)

2.0 volts

Uncertain
VL(max)

0.8 volts

LOW = 0
VL(min)

0.0 volts

Example values are shown in red. The HIGH logic level is bounded by VH(max) and VH(min).
The LOW logic level is bounded by VL(max) and VL(min). The range of uncertainty lies
between VH(min) and VL(max).

1.5

Digital Waveforms

A digital waveform is the output from a digital circuit. It is characterised by transitions


between the two logic levels: HIGH and LOW over a period of time. For example :
Logic Level
HIGH

Ideal Positive
going Pulse

Ideal Negative
going Pulse

0 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 1 1 0 1 0 1 0

Binary Code
Digital Waveform

LOW
Time
Rising Leading
Edge

Falling Trailing
Edge

Falling Leading
Edge

Rising Trailing
Edge

Two ideal pulses are shown in the diagram above. The next diagram shows the
characteristics of a non-ideal pulse.

90%
Amplitude V

50%
10%

Pulse Width tW

Base line

tr
Rise time

tf
Fall time

Not only are pulses non-ideal, they can also exhibit some undesirable characteristics.
These are overshoot, undershoot and ringing. These are shown below :

Overshoot

Ringing

Ringing

Undershoot

Digital waveforms can also be described by their periodicity; that is whether or not they
are periodic. Periodic waveforms repeat over a fixed interval, non-periodic waveforms
do not. For example
Non-Periodic Waveform

1
0
tW

Periodic Waveform

1
0
T

In the diagram above T is the period of the waveform and hence the frequency (f
expressed in Hz) of the waveform is related to the period as its inverse.
3

f =

1
(Hz)
T
1

T =

1
(s)
f

The duty cycle of the waveform is defined as the ratio of the pulse width to the period
and is expressed as a percentage.
t
DutyCycle = W
T

100%

In many digital systems all waveforms are synchronised with a basic timing waveform
called the clock. The clock is a periodic waveform in which each interval between
pulses (the period) equals one bit time.
Bit
time

Clock

1
0

1
0

1 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 1 1 1 0 1 0 1
In the diagram above a bit sequence is represented by waveform A. It can be seen that for
each bit time the waveform is either HIGH or LOW (1 or 0). These types of diagrams,
showing the clock and other related waveforms are known as timing diagrams.

1.6

Introduction to digital Integrated


Circuits

All the logic elements and functions are available as Integrated Circuits (ICs). These are
used almost exclusively in todays digital systems because of their small size, low cost,
high reliability and generally low power consumption. Integrated circuits come in a
variety of shapes and sizes and as such they are categorised according to certain
characteristics, such as the number of gates on the chip, how the chip may be connected
to a printed circuit board (PCB) and how the logic elements are implemented on the
chip. These will be discussed here briefly as an overview to this topic. It will be revisited
again in Chapter 11 in more detail.
Integrated circuits are generally constructed on a single piece of silicon, which is then
enclosed inside a plastic package. Metal contacts are connected to the silicon through the
plastic package to the outside world. Such ICs are monolithic ICs. All the components
that make up the circuit; transistors, diodes, resistors and capacitors, are an integral part
of the single silicon chip.
4

IC Packaging
The plastic packages that contain ICs come in a variety of forms but are generally
classified into two types: through-hole mounted and surface mounted. The most
common type of through-hole mounted package is the dual-in-inline package (DIP). In a
DIP the connecting legs are tapered pins that are placed through holes in the PCB and are
then soldered on the other side. Surface-mount technology (SMT) packages come in a
variety of styles; four common package types are: SOIC (small-outline IC), PLCC
(plastic leaded chip carrier), LCCC (leadless ceramic chip carrier) and flat pack. End
views of the package types discussed are shown below.
Dual-in-line package (DIP)

Plastic leaded chip carrier (PLCC)

Small-outline IC (SOIC)

Flat pack

Leadless ceramic chip carrier (LCCC)

IC Pin Numbering
All IC packages have a standard format for numbering the leads (pins). The numbering
format for DIPs, SOICs and flat packs is the same, as is the numbering format for PLCCs
amd LCCCs. These are shown below.
Pin 1 Identifier

Notch
Pin 1 Identifier
3 2 1 20 19

1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8

16
15
14
13
12
11
10
9

4
5
6
7
8

18
17
16
15
14

9 10 11 12 13
Pin Number Format for DIP, SOIC
and Flat Pack

Pin Number Format for PLCC and

LCCC
5

IC Complexity Classifications
ICs are classified by the complexity of the silicon chip that they contain. The
classification is decided by determining the number of gate circuits contained in the chip.
They are :

SSI Small-Scale Integration : 1 11 gates. For example, basic gates and flip-flops.
MSI Medium-Scale Integration : 12 99 gates. For example, encoders, decoders,
counters, registers, multiplexers, arithmetic circuits, small memories and others.

LSI Large-Scale Integration : 100 9,999 gates. For example, memories and
simple microprocessors.

VLSI Very Large-Scale Integration : 10,000 99,999 gates. For example,


microprocessors.

ULSI Ultra Large-Scale Integration : 100,000 + gates. For example, PC 3D


graphics cards microprocessor controllers and microprocessors.
These are the generally accepted definitions, though slightly different figures may be
quoted elsewhere.

IC Technologies
The types of transistors with which all ICs are implemented are either bipolar junction
transistors or MOS (metal-oxide semiconductor) transistors.
Two types of ICs which use bipolar junction transistors are transistor-transistor logic
(TTL) and emitter-coupled logic (ECL) ICs. Of these two TTL is the most widely used.
It is not as fast as ECL but consumes much less power.
Three types of ICs which use MOS technology are Complementary MOS (CMOS), nchannel MOS (NMOS) and p-channel MOS (PMOS). The CMOS and NMOS
technologies are the most popular.
All gates and functions can be implemented using the above technologies, however in
practice TTL and CMOS are popular for SSI and MSI ICs. CMOS along with NMOS is
also used for LSI, VLSI and ULSI because they consume less power and take up less area
on the chip.