A bistable circuit, or flip-flop, can be created in many ways. Our interactive
example on the left is made from 2 transistor switches, cross connected
to use the output from each transistor as the input for the other. The
circuit also features 4 resistors and 2 capacitors.
With power on, the circuit will always assume and remain in one of 2
states - either the left transistor will be on or the right transistor
will be on. In either state, the circuit is stable.
The normal method of changing over the state of the circuit is to turn
off the transistor that is currently on. This can be achieved by connecting its
base to earth, reducing its potential to zero. As a result, this raises
the potential at the collector and also at the base of the other transistor
to turn it on. This type of behavior can be utilised to store data, therefore
flip-flops are used in the memory circuits of computers.
Using the integrated digital multimeter
and oscilloscopes on the left of the screen, circuit operation can be
demonstrated or observed. The instructor or the student is also provided
with the flexibility of running the simulation in various modes, such
as Key Event Mode, which automatically pauses the simulation whenever
events designated as key events occur.
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A simulation of a bistable circuit or flip-flop.