Behind every digital system are logic gates, lots of them. A logic gate is a building block of a digital circuit, which is at the heart of any computer operation.

logic gates perform logical operations that take binary inputs, aka zeros and ones, and produce a single binary output. They’re used in most electronic devices, including smartphones, tablets, and memory devices. Combining 10s 1000s or millions of logic gates makes it possible for a computer to perform highly complex operations and tasks at ever-increasing speeds.

There are seven basic logic gates represented by specific symbols And, Or XOR, NOT, NAND, NOR, and XNOR. Two common types of flash memory NOR and NAND flash are named for the logic gate architecture they resemble. Which you can read more about it by clicking the link above or in the description below. So what is a logic gate, think of a logic gate like your light switch, it’s either in an ON or OFF position.

Similarly, the input-output terminals are always in one of two binary conditions, false or zero, and true, or one. Each gate has its own logic or set of rules that determine how it acts based on multiple inputs outlined in a truth table. For instance, the AND gate is named as such because the output is one only when both input one and input two are true or one. If only one input is true, and the other is false, the output will be false or zero.

Using this reasoning the OR gate is a true output if one or both inputs are true. A NOT gate is also known as a logical inverter. This gate only has one input and reverses the logic state. So if the input is one, the output is zero, NAND, NOR, and XNOR are inverse of their respective gates.

So for example, a NAND gate is an AND gate followed by aNOT gate. In theory, there’s no limit to the number of gates that can be arrayed on a single device, but in practice, only a certain amount can be packed into a given physical space. What questions do you have about logic gates and the role of integrated circuit technology advances? drop them in the comments below and be sure to hit that like button!