Binary Counter

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What Does Binary Counter Mean?

A binary counter is a hardware circuit that is made out of a series of flip-flops. The output of one flip-flop is sent to the input of the next flip-flop in the series. A binary counter can be either asynchronous or synchronous, depending on how the flip-flops are connected together.

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Techopedia Explains Binary Counter

A binary counter connects several D-type flip-flop circuits together. The flip-flops change state with every clock pulse, which yields a binary number that can be used for digital clocks or timers. One common design is asychronous, with the output of one flip-flop is connected to the next. When one cell is toggled, the next one down is toggled. For every two toggles, the next cell in the line is toggled. This arrangement is also referred to as a “ripple through” counter.

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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert
Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret 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 IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.