As discussed earlier, a digital circuit represents and manipulates information encoded as electric signals that can assume one of two voltages – logic-high voltage (or Vdd) and logic-low voltage (or GND). A digital circuit requires a power supply that can produce these two voltages, and these same supply voltages are also used to encode information in the form of two-state, or binary signals. Thus,if a given circuit node is at Vdd, then that signal is said to carry a logic ‘1’; if the node is at GND, then the node carries a logic ‘0’. The components in digital circuits are simple on/off switches that can pass logic ‘1’ and logic ‘0’ signals from one circuit node to another. Most typically, these switches are arranged to combine input signals to produce an output signal according to basic logic relationships. For example, one well-known logic circuit is an AND gate that combines two input signals to produce an output that is the logic AND of the inputs (i.e., if both input1 and input2 are a ‘1’, then the output is a ‘1’).
Starting to make sense? These are the basics and may even seem obvious or intuitive to you, such as the wires and if they are connected. Whenever you determine your specific field of electrical engineering, you may see more complex diagrams and symbols. You’ll learn also that different countries use different symbols. For example, of the two symbols for resistors above, the first one is used in the U.S., while the second is used in Europe. You will also learn about the various symbols used for switches, other power supplies, inductors, meters, lamps, LEDs, transistors, antennas, and much more.
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