Programmable Logic Array

What Does Programmable Logic Array Mean?

A programmable logic array (PLA) is a type of logic device that can be programmed to implement various kinds of combinational logic circuits. The device has a number of AND and OR gates which are linked together to give output or further combined with more gates or logic circuits.


Techopedia Explains Programmable Logic Array

A programmable logic array is designed such that a number of different logical functions can be combined as a sum-of-product or product-of-sum form. A PLA having N input buffers and M output buffers consists of 2N AND gates and M OR gates, each with programmable inputs from all of the AND gates. PLAs have widely been acknowledged as compact and space-efficient solutions for many complicated circuits, especially in feedback and control systems where a number of factor variables must be involved for efficient functioning of the system.

A programmable logic array should not be confused with Programmable Array Logic (PAL), in which both AND and OR gates are programmable.


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Margaret Rouse is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical, business audience. Over the past twenty years her explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…