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Logic Families

(Extracted from The diagram below shows a few familes of solid-state logic.

Note that the gates have been named with the assumption that a positive voltage represents 1 and a negative voltage represents 0. This is merely a convention. In a logic family where the NOR gate is the basic construct, since AND gates are more common than OR gates in most digital circuits, the convention can be reversed so that the NOR gate becomes a NAND gate. The AND and OR gates shown for diode logic are not complete in themselves; in addition to the fact that an inverter cannot be made without amplifying components, the lack of amplication limits the complexity of logic circuits that can be built with them. But computers have been built using primarily diode logic, and the occasional vacuum tube for amplication; and a gate design involving diode logic governing the input to a transistor is the core of the logic family diode-transistor logic (DTL), not shown in the diagram. Both RTL and DTL had some signicant limitations that TTL overcame, making it the most popular bipolar logic family. ECL, because it made use of a switch between smaller signal levels, did not require waiting for transistors to go into saturation; while it was elaborate, and consumed more current, it was therefore used when the very highest performance was desired. Only one logic family using MOSFET transistors is illustrated, CMOS. In CMOS, every logic gate is implemented twice, once as itself in positive logic, and once as its opposite in negative logic. Although this seems wasteful, it has important advantages. A CMOS gate connects its output either to the positive supply or to ground. It doesnt contain any resistors, so it doesnt produce voltages that are produced by the continuous ow of current through a resistor. Relay logic also had this desirable characteristic; but power was still constantly consumed, through the coil of the relays electromagnet, whenever the relay was on. The input of a transistor is itself of high impedance, so it only demands that a small trickle of current ow into it. This very low power consumption made the extremely high packing density of current integrated circuits feasible. It is not entirely without disadvantages. Bipolar transistors come in two kinds, PNP and NPN. And, similarly, there are two kinds of eld-eect transistors, p-channel and n-channel. The NPN and the n-channel transistor 1

are generally preferred for higher quality circuits (thus, NMOS was used for microprocessors while PMOS was used for calculator chips); metals conduct using electrons and not holes, and, thus, it is easier for low resistivities to be achieved in semiconductors doped with a donor impurity. A CMOS gate requires both kinds of MOSFET, and is thus limited by the characteristics of its p-channel MOSFETs. The diagram below shows, on the left, how CMOS circuitry is often constructed in practice: instead of using separate CMOS NAND and NOR gates, more complex circuits combining AND and OR functions are built up, along with their mirror images, on each side of a compound gate.

The right side of the diagram illustrates what is known as domino logic. This addresses the problem that the p-channel MOSFETS limit the performance of a CMOS gate by building the logic circuit out of n-channel MOSFETS only, using only one p-channel MOSFET, along with a corresponding n-channel MOSFET for a clock signal. The result of doing this, called dynamic CMOS, is a circuit whose output can drive regular CMOS circuitry, but not another dynamic CMOS circuit; the addition of a CMOS inverter on the output, as shown, leads to domino logic. In practice, the logic circuit built from n-channel MOSFETS would be more complex than the three-gate example shown here. The diagram below illustrates how a CMOS NOR gate works for the dierent possible inputs it may receive:

Areas at a positive potential are shown in red, those at a negative potential are shown in blue. By-ways, down which very little current, and that incidental to the operation of the device, would ow are shown in a lighter color. Note that the path between the two series transistors in the case of two positive inputs to the device is shown as gray, as it is isolated by two non-conducting transistors from both the positive and negative supplies. Current ows to the output from the positive supply at the top when a negative input makes both of the p-channel MOSFETs in series at the top conduct; current ows from the output into the ground at the bottom when a positive input makes either of the n-channel MOSFETs in parallel at the bottom conduct. Note that one way current can be consumed in CMOS is when, during switching, for a brief moment both the top and bottom parts conduct, if one pair of transistors receives signals before the other pair. Also note that the other transistor logic families did not attempt to obtain an AND logic function by placing transistors in series; this generally means that the input voltages to the transistors would dier, one being closer to the positive supply than the other, and that the voltage across the transistor would dier. 2

Here is a diagram of how a CMOS NOR gate, such as the one described above, might look on an integrated circuit chip fabricated in an n-well process:

Note the key to the various areas on the chip, and the schematic at the right which attempts to illustrate the location of the transistors in the actual form of the gate. A bipolar logic family once thought very promising that also dispenses with resistors is Integrated Injection Logic.

In I2L, the fundamental unit is not the AND or OR gate; logic is accomplished by a wired-OR function. But inverters with multiple outputs are needed, so that multiple OR combinations involving one common signal are kept separate. A wired-OR between three two-output inverters is shown in the diagram above, and the equivalent construct using relays as logic elements is shown in the lower right of the diagram. While there are no actual resistors in I2L logic, the PNP transistor whose emitter is connected to +V in the two-output inverters shown above has a function similar to that of a resistor. But because it is a transistor, it responds to the voltage level connected to its collector, leading to similar economies of energy to those of CMOS, if not quite as close to perfection. Closely related to ECL, a little-known early high-speed logic family was CTL, or complementary transistor logic. Fairchild was one of the main companies producing ICs belonging to this family. (Interestingly enough, they currently make microchips with a trademarked technology called Current Transfer Logic, this being a completely dierent, low-power and low-noise technology, but having the same initials.) It is of some historical importance; this is the logic family used in the NEAC 2200/500, produced by NEC, which was the rst Japanese computer to use only ICs, and no discrete transistors, for its logic, and, closer to home, it was the logic family used in the IC-6000 by Standard Computer, which was a microprogrammable computer, available in 1966, which could either emulate the IBM 7090 family of computers, or use a custom instruction set for enhanced FORTRAN performance.