Friday, September 3, 2010

Digital Logic - Signals and Gates

Introduction - Why Do You Want to Learn This Material?

In this lesson you're going to be introduced to Digital Logic. There are lots of reasons to learn digital logic. Here are some of those reasons.

  • Digital logic is the foundation for digital computers. If you want to understand the innards of computers you need to know digital logic.
  • Digital logic has relations to other kinds of logic including:
    • Formal logic - as taught by many philosophy departments
    • Fuzzy logic - a tool used to design control systems and many other systems.
    • So, in learning digital logic you learn something that helps you elsewhere.
  • For many students, learning digital logic is fun.

What Are You Going to Learn?

There are at least two general areas you need to become familiar with.

  • First, there's background you need to know - the basics of digital logic - things like zeros and ones (0s and 1s) and how you can represent signals as sequences of zeroes and ones. Eventually you will want to know how large arrays of zeroes and ones can be used in computer files to store information in pictures, documents, sounds and even movies and you'll want to learn about how information can be transmitted, between computers and digital signal sources.
  • You will also need to know things about digital circuits - gates, flip-flops and memory elements and others - so that you can eventually design circuits to manipulate digital signals.
Here is a short list of the topics you will learn.
  • Learn what logic signals look like
  • Model logic signals
  • Learn Boolean algebra for logic analysis
  • Learn about gates that process logic signals
  • Learn how to design some smaller logic circuits
  • Learn about flip-flops and memory elements that store logic signals

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