Tech moves fast! Stay ahead of the curve with Techopedia!
Join nearly 200,000 subscribers who receive actionable tech insights from Techopedia.
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.
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.