Circuits often require output devices to communicate their state to an user. Examples of electronic output devices include computer monitors, LCD alphanumeric panels (as on a calculator), small lamps or light-emitting diodes (LED), etc. Digilent boards include different output devices, but all of them include some number of individual LED, and seven-segment LED displays that can display the digits 0-9 in each digit position (each segment in the seven-segment display contains a single LED). LED are two-terminal semiconductor devices that conduct current in only one direction (from the anode to the cathode). The small LED chips are secured inside a plastic housing, and they emit light at a givenfrequency (RED, YELLOW, etc.) when a small electric current (typically 10mA to 25mA) flows through them.
Circuits often require inputs that come directly from users (as opposed to inputs that come from other devices). User-input devices can take many forms, among them keyboards (as on a PC), buttons (as on a calculator or telephone), rotary dials, switches and levers, etc. Digilent boards include several input devices, typically including push buttons and slide-switches. Since digital circuits operate with two voltage levels (LHV or Vdd, and LLV or GND), input devices like buttons and switches should be able to produce both of these voltages based on some user action.
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