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Registers, counters and memories are
extensively used in the design of digital
systems in general and digital computers in
particular. Registers can also be used to
facilitate the design of sequential circuits.
Counters are useful for generating timing
variables to sequence and control operations
in a digital system. Memories are essential for
storage of programs and data in the digital
A group of binary storage cells suitable for
holding binary information.
Constitute by a group of flip-flops since each
flip-flop is a binary cell capable of storing one
bit of information.
An n-bit register has a group of n flip-flops and
is capable of storing any binary information
containing n bits.

May have combinational gates that perform
certain data-processing tasks.
Consists of a group of flip-flops and gates that
effect their transition. The flip-flops hold
binary information and gates control when
and how new information is transferred into
the register.
Essentially a register that goes through a
predetermined sequence of states upon the
application of input pulses.
The gates a connected in such a way as to
produce a prescribed sequence of binary
states in a register.
A special type of register, it is common to
differentiate them by giving them a special
Memory Unit
A collection of storage cells together with
associated circuits needed to transfer
information in and out of storage.
RAM differs from ROM in that RAM can
transfer the stored information out (read) and
is also capable of receiving new information in
for storage (write). A more appropriate name
for such a memory would be read-write
4 bit register
Exercise : Design a 4 bit-register with a
parallel load using D flip-flops.
Exercise: Convert the four-bit register
with a parallel load using
a) JK
b) T
Sequential Logic Implementation
Since register are readily available as MSI
circuits, it becomes convenient at times to
employ a register as part of the sequential
Block diagram shows a sequential circuit that
uses a register. The present state of the
register and the external inputs determine the
next state of the register and the values of
external output.

Design the sequential circuit whose state table
is listed in table below.

Present State Input Next State Output
A1 A2 x A1 A2 y
0 0 0 0 0 0
0 0 1 0 1 0
0 1 0 0 1 0
0 1 1 0 0 1
1 0 0 1 0 0
1 0 1 0 1 0
1 1 0 1 1 0
1 1 1 0 0 1

Shift Register
A register capable of shifting its binary
information either to the right or to the left.
Consists of a chain of flip-flops connected in
cascade, with the output of one flip-flop
connected to the input of the next flip-flop. All
flip-flop receive a common clock pulse which
causes the shift from one stage to the next.
Simple Shift Register
One that uses only flip-flop. The Q output of a given
flip-flop is connected to the D input of the flip-flop at
its right. Each clock pulse shifts the contents of the
register one bit position to the right. The serial input
determines what goes into the leftmost flip-flop during
the shift. The serial output is taken from the output of
the rightmost flip-flop prior to the application of a
pulse. Although this shift register shift its contents to
the right, if we turn the page upside down, we find that
the register shifts its content to the left. Thus a
unidirectional shift register can function either as a
shift-right or as a shift-left register.
Serial Transfer
A digital system is said to operate in a serial
mode when information is transferred and
manipulated one bit at a time. The content of
one register is transferred by shifting the bits
from one register to the other. The
information is transferred one bit at a time by
shifting the bits out of the source register into
the destination register.

Serial VS Parallel modes of Operation
In the parallel mode, information is available
form all bits of a register and all bits can be
transferred simultaneously during one clock
In the serial mode, the registers have a single
serial input and a single serial output. The
information is transferred one bit at a time while
the registers shifted in the same direction.

Computers may operate in a serial mode, a
parallel mode, or in a combination of both.
Serial operations are slower because of the
time it takes to transfer information in and out
of shift registers. Serial computers, however,
require less hardware to perform operations
because one common circuit can be used over
and over again to manipulate the bits coming
out of shift registers in a sequential manner.
The time interval between
Bidirectional Shift Register with
Parallel Load