A logic gate is an electronic component that can be used to conduct electricity based on a rule. The output of the gate is the result of applying this rule to one or more "inputs". These inputs may be two wires or the output of other logic gates.
Logic gates are digital components. They normally work at only two levels of voltage, a positive level and zero level. Commonly they work based on two states: On and Off. In the On state, voltage is positive. In the Off state, the voltage is at zero. The On state usually uses a voltage in the range of 3.5 to 5 volts. This range can be lower for some uses.
Logic gates compare the state at their inputs to decide what the state at their output should be. A logic gate is on or active when its rules are correctly met. At this time, electricity is flowing through the gate and the voltage at its output is at the level of its On state.
AND logic gateEdit
AND gates have two inputs. The output of an AND gate is on only if both inputs are on. If at least one of the inputs are off, the output will be off.
Using the image at the right, if A and B are both in an On state, the output (out) will be an On state. If either A or B is in an Off state, the output will also be in an Off state. A and B must be On for the output to be On.
OR logic gateEdit
OR gates have two inputs. The output of an OR gate will be on if at least one of the inputs are on. If both inputs are off, the output will be off.
Using the image at the right, if either A or B is On, the output (out) will also be On. If both A and B are Off, the output will be Off.
NOT logic gateEdit
The NOT logic gate has only one input. If the input is On then the output will be Off. In other words, the NOT logic gate changes the signal from On to Off or from Off to On. It is sometimes called an inverter.
XOR logic gateEdit
XOR gates have two inputs. The output of a XOR gate will be true if only one of the inputs is true. If both inputs are on, the output will be off.