Definition - What does Exclusive OR Gate (XOR Gate) mean?
An exclusive OR gate (XOR gate) is a digital logic gate that is implemented using transistors in order to act as an electronic switch used in implementing Boolean functions. It is built by combining standard logic gates such as the common NAND and NOR gates in order to produce the more complex function of this gate. XOR produces a "1" output if the inputs are different and a "0" if all the inputs are the same value.
An XOR gate serves as a handy function that can be applied in many different types of computational circuits and is generally used in arithmetic logic circuits, computational logic comparators and error detection circuits. An exclusive OR gate is mainly used to build circuits that execute arithmetic operations and calculations, particularly adders and half-adders, as it can provide a "carry-bit" function. It can also serve as a controlled inverter where one input passes the binary data and the other input is supplied with a control signal.
An XOR gate is typically found in applications dealing with a basic logic comparator that generates a logic "1" output when its two input bits are unequal. This is the reason why it gained an inequality status as an add function. Considered a hybrid, its effectiveness and adaptability has turned it into a standard logical function complete with its own Boolean expression, operator and symbol.