# 5 - Counters

##### 2016-05-17 11:33:00 +0000, 2 years and 5 months ago

To enable the D-Type to toggle, (change state on each clock pulse) the Data input should be connected to the Â¬Q input, the D input is therefore always opposite to the Q output and so toggling occurs on each clock pulse, this arrangement is shown below.

    +-------------+
|             |  D connected to
|      |      |  Â¬Q
|  +---+---+  |
|  |   S   |  |
+--+D     Q+--+---output
|       |  |
input--+CK     |  |
|     ¬Q+--+
|   R   |
+---+---+
|


Both Set and Reset at connected to logic 0. The circuit has many applications because the output frequency is effectively half of the input frequency and it can be combined together to create binary counters.

5.01 - Binary, Decimal and Hexadecimal

The decimal number system consists of 10 numbers, deci meaning one tenth.

0 0000 0
1 0001 1
2 0010 2
3 0011 3
4 0100 4
5 0101 5
6 0110 6
7 0111 7
8 1000 8
9 1001 9
10 1010 A
11 1011 B
12 1100 C
13 1101 D
14 1110 E
15 1111 F

Computers only operate on two values, ON or OFF, 1 or 0, respectively, the unit system for computers is therefore Binary, bi meaning two.

Binary system columns are:

• Units (2^0)
• Twos (2^1)
• Fours (2^2)
• Eights (2^3)

and so on:

This system is expressed below:

8421 (columns)

1101 (binary)
8401 (decimal)
8+4+1 = 13

0011
0021
2+1 = 3

1001
8001
8+1 = 9

1111
8421
= 15


Addition and subtraction are all done the same way, for example:

8421 (columns)
1110+
0010

1110 = 8+4+2+0
= 14

0010 = 0+0+2+0
=2

=> 14 + 2 = 16

16 > 15, therefore a new column must be added, the 16 column.

1101 + 0010
=10000
=16


As computers have become faster, they now process columns of the binary system in blocks of four, this means they now count in 16’s instead of 2’s. This is known as Hexadecimal. This means that it’s now necessary to represent numbers larger than 9, this is done by substituting letters, as shown:

DECIMAL     = 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15
HEXADECIMAL = 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 A  B  C  D  E  F


The third column in the hexadecimal system is the 16x16 grid or the 256 column.

5.02 - 4 Bit-Down counters

D-type flip-flops can be cascaded together to produce a binary counter, four such flip flops are shown below connected together as an asynchronous counter.

            |      | Q0    |      | Q1    |      | Q2    |      | Q3
+----+----+ |  +----+----+ |  +----+----+ |  +----+----+ |
| +--+--+ | |  | +--+--+ | |  | +--+--+ | |  | +--+--+ | |
| |  S  | | |  | |  S  | | |  | |  S  | | |  | |  S  | | |
+-+D   Q+-+-*  +-+D   Q+-+-*  +-+D   Q+-+-*  +-+D   Q+-+-+
|     | | |    |     | | |    |     | | |    |     | |
input --+CK ¬Q+-+ +----+CK ¬Q+-+ +----+CK ¬Q+-+ +----+CK ¬Q+-+
|  R  |        |  R  |        |  R  |        |  R  |
+--+--+        +--+--+        +--+--+        +--+--+
logic 0 ----+--------------+--------------+--------------+


Q is connected to CK, RESET connected to logic 0
The waveform for each of the Q outputs is shown below:

      +-+ +-+ +-+ +-+ +-+ +-+ +-+ +-+ +-+ +-+ +-+ +-+ +-+ +-+ +-+ +-+ +-+ |
clock | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |
input | | ^ | ^ | ^ | ^ | ^ | ^ | ^ | ^ | ^ | ^ | ^ | ^ | ^ | ^ | ^ | ^ | ^
| | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |
| +-+ +-+ +-+ +-+ +-+ +-+ +-+ +-+ +-+ +-+ +-+ +-+ +-+ +-+ +-+ +-+ +-+
|                                                                   |
|   +---+   +---+   +---+   +---+   +---+   +---+   +---+   +---+   |
Q0 |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |
+---+   +---+   +---+   +---+   +---+   +---+   +---+   +---+   +---+
|                                                                   |
|   +-------+       +-------+       +-------+       +-------+       |
Q1 |   |       |       |       |       |       |       |       |       |
+---+       +-------+       +-------+       +-------+       +-------+
|                                                                   |
|   +---------------+               +---------------+               |
Q2 |   |               |               |               |               |
+---+               +---------------+               +---------------+
|                                                                   |
|   +-------------------------------+                               |
Q3 |   |                               |                               |
+---+                               +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|  0| 15| 14| 13| 12| 11| 10|  9|  8|  7|  6|  5|  4|  3|  2|  1|  0|


It should also be noted that the binary counter circuit will also act as a frequency divider, with Q0 being half the frequency of the input and Q1 being half the frequency of Q0 and so on.

5.03 - 4 Bit-Up counters

To make a binary up-counter it is necessary to connect each successive clock input to the Â¬Q output, as shown in the following diagram:

            0      | Q0    0      | Q1    0      | Q2    0      | Q3
|      |       |      |       |      |       |      |
+----+----+ |  +----+----+ |  +----+----+ |  +----+----+ |
| +--+--+ | |  | +--+--+ | |  | +--+--+ | |  | +--+--+ | |
| |  S  | | |  | |  S  | | |  | |  S  | | |  | |  S  | | |
+-+D   Q+-+-+  +-+D   Q+-+-+  +-+D   Q+-+-+  +-+D   Q+-+-+
|     | |      |     | |      |     | |      |     | |
input --+CK ¬Q+-+------+CK ¬Q+-*------+CK ¬Q+-+------+CK ¬Q+-+
|  R  |        |  R  |        |  R  |        |  R  |
+--+--+        +--+--+        +--+--+        +--+--+
logic 0 ----+--------------+--------------+--------------+


¬Q is connected to CK. SET and RESET connected to logic 0.
The waveform of the down counter is shown below.

      |   +-+ +-+ +-+ +-+ +-+ +-+ +-+ +-+ +-+ +-+ +-+ +-+ +-+ +-+ +-+ +-+ |
clock |   | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |
input |   ^ | ^ | ^ | ^ | ^ | ^ | ^ | ^ | ^ | ^ | ^ | ^ | ^ | ^ | ^ | ^ | |
|   | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |
+---+ +-+ +-+ +-+ +-+ +-+ +-+ +-+ +-+ +-+ +-+ +-+ +-+ +-+ +-+ +-+ +-+
|                                                                   |
|   +---+   +---+   +---+   +---+   +---+   +---+   +---+   +---+   |
Q0 |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |
+---+   +---+   +---+   +---+   +---+   +---+   +---+   +---+   +---+
|                                                                   |
|       +-------+       +-------+       +-------+       +-------+   |
Q1 |       |       |       |       |       |       |       |       |   |
+-------+       +-------+       +-------+       +-------+       +---+
|                                                                   |
|               +---------------+               +---------------+   |
Q2 |               |               |               |               |   |
+---------------+               +---------------+               +---+
|                                                                   |
|                               +-------------------------------+   |
Q3 |                               |                               |   |
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+                               +---+
|  0|  1|  2|  3|  4|  5|  6|  7|  8|  9| 10| 11| 12| 13| 14| 15|  0|


This time the circuit counts upwards, the decimal numbers are included at the bottom of the diagram.

5.04 - modulo-N counters

Often a counter is required to count up to another number, other than 15, before resetting itself. The most common is a Binary Coded Decimal, which counts up from 0-9, which is done in 10 clock pulses. This is achieved by gating the outputs of 2^1 and 2^3 together, (2^1 + 2^3 = 10) with an AND gate, so when the binary output is 10, the AND gate is triggered high, this pulse is sent to the RESET, thus resetting the counting back to 0 again.

             Q0             Q1             Q2             Q3
|      |       |      |       |      |       |      |
+----+----+ |  +----+----+ |  +----+----+ |  +----+----+ |
| +--+--+ | |  | +--+--+ | |  | +--+--+ | |  | +--+--+ | |
| |  S  | | |  | |  S  | | |  | |  S  | | |  | |  S  | | |
+-+D   Q+-+-+  +-+D   Q+-+-*  +-+D   Q+-+-+  +-+D   Q+-+-*
|     | |      |     | | |    |     | |      |     | | |
--+CK ¬Q+-*------+CK ¬Q+-*-+----+CK ¬Q+-*------+CK ¬Q+-+ |
|  R  |        |  R  |   |    |  R  |        |  R  |   |
+--+--+        +--+--+   |    +--+--+        +--+--+   |
+--------------+------+-------+--------------+      |
|                     |                             |
|             /---+---+                             |
+-------------+AND|                                 |
\---+---------------------------------+


¬Q connected to CK, all S inputs connected to logic 0, all R inputs connected to AND gate output.
The waveform of the resetting is shown below, notice the bottom numbers reset to 0 again on the 10th clock pulse.

      +-+ +-+ +-+ +-+ +-+ +-+ +-+ +-+ +-+ +-+ +-+ +-+ +-+ +-+ +-+ +-+ +-+ |
clock | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |
input | | ^ | ^ | ^ | ^ | ^ | ^ | ^ | ^ | ^ | ^ | ^ | ^ | ^ | ^ | ^ | ^ | |
| | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |
| +-+ +-+ +-+ +-+ +-+ +-+ +-+ +-+ +-+ +-+ +-+ +-+ +-+ +-+ +-+ +-+ +-+
|                                                                   |
|   +---+   +---+   +---+   +---+   +---+   +---+   +---+   +---+   |
Q0 |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |
+---+   +---+   +---+   +---+   +---+   +---+   +---+   +---+   +---+
|                                                                   |
|       +-------+       +-------+       |       +-------+       +---+
Q1 |       |       |       |       |       |       |       |       |   |
+-------+       +-------+       +-------+-------+       +-------+   |
|                                                                   |
|               +---------------+                       +-----------+
Q2 |               |               |                       |           |
+---------------+               +-----------------------+           |
|                                                                   |
|                               +-------+                           |
Q3 |                               |       |                           |
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+       +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|  0|  1|  2|  3|  4|  5|  6|  7|  8|  9|1'0|  1|  2|  3|  4|  5|  6|


This circuit can also be used to divide the frequency output by 10, however the frequency output from Q3 does not have a mark-to-space ratio of 1:1.

             Q0             Q1             Q2             Q3
|      |       |      |       |      |       |      |
+----+----+ |  +----+----+ |  +----+----+ |  +----+----+ |
| +--+--+ | |  | +--+--+ | |  | +--+--+ | |  | +--+--+ | |
| |  S  | | |  | |  S  | | |  | |  S  | | |  | |  S  | | |
+-+D   Q+-+-*  +-+D   Q+-+-+  +-+D   Q+-+-*  +-+D   Q+-+-+
|     | | |    |     | |      |     | | |    |     | |
--+CK ¬Q+-*-+----+CK ¬Q+-*------+CK ¬Q+-*-+----+CK ¬Q+-+
|  R  |   |    |  R  |        |  R  |   |    |  R  |
+--+--+   |    +--+--+        +--+--+   |    +--+--+
+------+-------+--------------+      |       |
|      |                             |
|      +------------+                |
|             /---+-+                |
+-------------+AND|                  |
\---+------------------+


If symmetrical output is required from modulo-10 counter, then it is necessary to split the circuit into a modulo-5 counter with a divide-by-2 counter, therefore; 2^1 + 2^4 / 2 = 10. Notice Q3 is not connected to the reset of the AND output.
The waveform of this is shown below:

      +-+ +-+ +-+ +-+ +-+ +-+ +-+ +-+ +-+ +-+ +-+ +-+ +-+ +-+ +-+ +-+ +-+ |
clock | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |
input | | ^ | ^ | ^ | ^ | ^ | ^ | ^ | ^ | ^ | ^ | ^ | ^ | ^ | ^ | ^ | ^ | |
| | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |
| +-+ +-+ +-+ +-+ +-+ +-+ +-+ +-+ +-+ +-+ +-+ +-+ +-+ +-+ +-+ +-+ +-+
|                                                                   |
|   +---+   +---+   |   +---+   +---+   |   +---+   +---+   |   +---+
Q0 |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |
+---+   +---+   +---+---+   +---+   +---+---+   +---+   +---+---+   |
|                                                                   |
|       +-------+           +-------+            +------+           |
Q1 |       |       |           |       |            |      |           |
+-------+       +-----------+       +------------+      +-----------+
|                                                                   |
|               +---+               +---+               +---+       |
Q2 |               |   |               |   |               |   |       |
+---------------+   +---------------+   +---------------+   +-------+
|                                                                   |
|                   +-------------------+                   +-------+
Q3 |                   |                   |                   |       |
+---+---+---+---+---+                   +---+---+---+---+---+       |
|  0|  1|  2|  3|  4|5'0|  1|  2|  3|  4|5'0|  1|  2|  3|  4|5'0|  1|


The same principle can be applied to any number of counters.

There is an issue when multiple counters are connected together at high frequencies however, which originates from the fact that there is a finite time delay between a clock pulse and the Q output responding.

This is known as ‘propagation delay’. For the 74HC series D-types, it is around 20ns. When long chains operate at high frequency, this delay becomes very noticeable. For example 12 D-types chained together as an asynchronous counter; the difference between the last and first D-type changing state would be 240ns (12210^-6), if the frequency of the input is 4MHz (250ns/CK), the last flip-flop will be changing state almost one clock-cycle after the first flip-flop. This could cause serious problems if the first and last flip-flop were gated together. This can be solved however using synchronous counters, where all the flip-flops are clocked together.

5.05 - using 7-segment arrays witth BCD & Hex. counters

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