What is Digital Electronics? | Definition, Types, Formula & Examples

What is Digital Electronics?

Digital electronics is an electrical circuit that operates on only two fixed values: “1” and “0”. They use a series of 1s and 0s to store and communicate information. They can also perform calculations using only the numbers 1 and 0. This is called Boolean math or Boolean logic.

How do they get just 1’s and 0’s?

In most digital electronic circuits, when the circuit voltage is positive and close to the mains voltage, it indicates 1. This is also called HIGH. When the voltage is close to ground (or zero) it represents zero, also sometimes called LOW. With these two signals, almost anything can be stored and communicated, including the image on the screen you’re viewing right now. But it takes MANY of these signals to work VERY fast!

What are Electronic Gates?

In digital electronics, gates are electrical functions performed on the numbers 1 and 0. Like simple math. An example of this is an AND gate. There are two inputs and one output for the AND gate. The output is 1 only if both inputs are 1. If one of the inputs is 0, the output is 0. An even simpler gate is the inverter. In this case, there is an entrance and an exit. If a 1 is input, a 0 is output. If 0 is input, then 1 is output. It simply inverts the signal.

What are Electronic Chips?

A microchip is a series of electronic gates placed in a small area. These chips can have millions and millions of gates to do all kinds of complex jobs. There are chips that handle the graphics for your computer monitor, those with lots of memory to store data, and those that run programs like your computer’s processor.

To manufacture microchips, special materials called semiconductors are used along with expensive precision equipment. Hundreds of engineers can spend years designing and inventing a single complex electronic chip.

Where are they used?

Digital electronics are used around the world, including computers, iPods, video games, televisions, cameras, cell phones, and cars. Although digital electronics are a relatively new invention in the world, most of us can hardly imagine a world without them.

Interesting facts about Digital Electronics

The main semiconductor used in electronic chips is silicon. Silicon is the most common element in the earth’s crust after oxygen.

Much of the information on the Internet is transmitted by fiber optics. With fiber optics, light is used instead of electricity to send information.

The first computer chip was invented by Jack Kilby while working for Texas Instruments.

In 2011, Apple became the world’s largest buyer of computer chips thanks to the iPhone.

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