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By Randy H. Katz

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In this book, we develop a disciplined design approach that is well-behaved with respect to time. This is called a synchronous timing methodology. A single reference clock triggers all events in the system, such as the transition among the light configurations in the traffic light controller. Certain events come from outside the system, and are inherently independent of the internal timing of the -sys-tem. For example, a pedestrian can walk up to the traffic light and push a button to get the light to change to green faster.

We will cover each of these representations in considerably more detail in subsequent chapters. 1 Switches Switches are the simplest representation of a hardware system we will examine. While providing a convenient way to think about logic statements, switches also correspond directly to transistors, the simple electronic devices from which all hardware systems are constructed. Basic Concept A switch consists of two connection terminals and a control point. The connection terminals are denoted by small circles; the control point is represented by an arrow with a line through it.

Sequential Logic: Circuits with a Memory We discuss sequential logic circuits in Chapters 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10. In this kind of network, the outputs depend on the current inputs and the history of all previous inputs. This is a potentially daunting requirement if the system must remember the entire history of input patterns. In practice, though, arbitrary inputs lead the sequential network through a small number of unique configurations, called states. A sequential network is a function that takes the current configuration (state ) of the circuit and the inputs, and maps these into a new state with new outputs.

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