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Finite state machines/Finite state automata

Example 1. A surgeon activates the laser by pressing the button b.
•Assume the laser should stay ON for 30 ns.
•Assuming a clock with time period of 10 ns, so 30 ns means 3 clock cycles
•Assume b is synchronized with the clock and stays high for only 1 clock
Design a controller that turns on the laser for exactly 30 ns once b =1 is
detected and holds x high for exactly 3 clock cycles
State diagram for one cycle on, one cycle off for x
State diagram for x

• x = 0 for one cycle and x = 1 for next 3 cycles
• To extend the behavior we can introduce input conditions on the transitions
• For example, for a transition from OFF to ON introduce a new condition along
with clock as b = 1.
• Add a transition from OFF back to OFF with the condition of a rising clock and
State Diagram Timing diagram
FSM continued
• FSM is a mathematical formalism consisting of several things
– A set of states (our example had 4 states; { On1, On2, On3, Off}
– A set of inputs, and a set of outputs inputs: {b} and output {x}
– An initial state namely, a state to start in when we power up the system
– AN FSM has only one initial state, For our example, it is OFF
– A description of the next state to go to based on the current state and
the values of the inputs. We used directed edges with associated input
conditions to tell us the next state. The edges are named as transitions
– A description of what output values to generate in each state. Our
example assigns a value to x in every state. Assigning an output in an
FSM is called as action
– We used graphical representation of an FSM known as state diagram for
our example.

Example 2. Code detector
Problem statement : doors at hospitals or airports require a person to press a
particular sequence of buttons to unlock the door
• Assume there are three buttons colored RED, GREEN and BLUE
• Fourth button for starting the code (start)
• Pressing the start button, followed by the sequence red, blue, green, red -
unlocks the door
• Any other sequence does not unlock the door
• An extra output from the buttons component a = 1 whenever any button is
Code detector architecture
Code detector FSM
•FSM begins with a Wait state
•As long as the start button is not pressed, FSM stays in Wait state, When start button is
pressed s =1, it transits to the next state START
• In this state the FSM is ready to detect the sequence RED, BLUE, GREEN, RED
• If no button is pressed a= 0, FSM stays in start
•If button is pressed AND the button is RED (a =1, andr= 1), FSM transits to state RED1
•If button is pressed AND the button is not RED ( a= 1,and r=0), FSM returns to wait state
•FSM stays in RED1 as long as no button is pressed. If a button is pressed and the button is
BLUE, FSM transits to ( a=1, and b=1) then FSM transits to the BLUE state,
•If button is pressed and it is not BLUE, FSM returns to the Wait state
• Likewise FSM stays in Blue as long as no button is pressed and goes to a state GREEN
when a = 1, and g=1
•If FSM makes it RED2 that means user has pressed the correct sequence of buttons, Red2
sets u=1, which unlocks the door
Example. Draw a state diagram for an FSM with no inputs and three
outputs, x, y and z. xyz should always follow the following
sequence: 000, 001, 010, 100, repeat. The output should change
only on a rising clock edge. Make 000 the initial state
A wrist watch display can show one of the four items: the time, the alarm, the stopwatch, or the
date, controlled by two signals S1 and S0 (00 displays the time, 01 displays the alarm, 10 displays
the stop watch and 11 displays the date.
Assume S1S0 control an n bit wide MUX that passes through the appropriate register.
Pressing a button B (which sets B=1) sequences the display to the next item ( f the present display is
time, the next item is alarm)
Create a state diagram for an FSM describing this sequence behavior, having an input bit B, and two
output bits S1 and S0. Be sure to only sequence forward by one item each time the button is
pressed, regardless of how long the button is pressed. Make displaying the time as the initial
Example: For FSMs with the following number of states, indicate the smallest
possible number of bits for a state register representing those states

a) 4,
b) 8,
c) 9,
d) 23,
e) 900
Solution a) 2 bits
b) 3 bits
c) 4 bits
d) 5 bits
e) 10 bits
Example: How many possible states can be represented by a 16 bit register?

Solution: 2
= 65,536 states
Example: If an FSM has N states, what is the maximum number of possible transitions
that could exist in the FSM ( assuming there are a large number of inputs, meaning the
number of transitions are not limited by the number of inputs
Solution: Maximum number of transitions = N

Example: Draw a state diagram for an FSM that has an input X and an output Y.
Whenever X changes from 0 to 1, Y should become 1 for two clock cycles and then
return to 0 - even if X is still 1. Assume that rising edge of the clock is ANDed with every
FSM transition condition.
Example: Using D flip flops, create a circuit with an input X and an output Y such
that Y always equals X delayed by 2 clock cycles. Draw Waveforms.
Example: Consider three 4 bit registers connected together as shown in figure below.
Assume the initial values in the registers are unknown. Trace the behavior of the
registers by completing the timing diagram
Finite state machines
Eliminating redundant states
a) Original FSM
b) Equivalent FSM with fewer states
c) FSMs are indistinguishable and provide same output behavior for any input
State reduction
• Note: S2 and S3 appear to be same as S0 and S1
• Regardless of whether we start in S0 or S2, outputs will be
• If we start in S0 and input sequence for four clock cycles is
1,1,0,0 (these are x values)
• The state sequence will be S0, S1, S1, S2, S2 so the output
sequence will be 0,1,1,0,0
• If we start in S2, the same input sequence will result in a state
sequence of S2, S3, S3, S0,S0, so the output sequence will
again be 0, 1, 1, 0, 0
• The FSM of a) and b) have exactly same behavior

•For a large FSM, visual inspection cannot guarantee that we can
remove all redundant states
•A more systematic approach is needed
•Two states are equivalent if
• They assign same value to the output AND
•For all possible sequences of inputs, FSM outputs will be
same starting from either state
Implication table
Step 1. Look at every table cell and mark the cell with a large X if states for
that cell have different outputs.
Refer to such cells as being Marked.

•First state pair ( S1, S0) is not equivalent because S0 outputs Y =0, while S1
outputs Y =1
•Look for state pair (S2, S0) and (S2, S1)
• Step 2. Write the next state pairs for each remaining unmarked cell
• There are two unmarked cells
• (S2, S0) when X= 1, state S2’s next state is S3 while S0’s next state is S1
(looking at the FSM
• So write (S3, S1) as the next state in the same cell
• This means that for state S2, S0 to be equivalent, S3 and S1 must be
• Step 3. Mark as non equivalent any unmarked cells whose next state pairs are
already marked as nonequivalent
– Looking at cell (S2, S0), the next state pair (S3, S1) is not marked
– Nor is the next state pair (S2,S0) which happens to be current cell
– So we cannot mark this cell
– Similarly we cannot mark (S3, S1) for which next state pair (S0, S2)
– We made a pass through Step3 without any changes
• Step 4. Declare the unmarked state pairs as equivalent,
– So S2 and s0 are equivalent
– S3, and S1 are equivalent
– Finalize the step 4 of the algorithm, combine the equivalent states in the
Algorithm for state reduction
Step Description
Mark State pairs having different outputs
as non equivalent
State having different outputs
cannot be equivalent
For each unmarked state pair, Write the
next state pairs for the same input values
For each unmarked state pair, mark state
pairs having nonequivalent next state
pairs as non equivalent.
Repeat this step until no change occurs or
until all states are marked
State with nonequivalent next
states for the same input values
cannot be equivalent.
Each time through this step is
called a PASS
Merge remaining state pairs Remaining state pairs must be