logic circuit

logic circuit, electric circuit whose output depends upon the input in a way that can be expressed as a function in symbolic logic; it has one or more binary inputs (capable of assuming either of two states, e.g., "on" or "off") and a single binary output. Logic circuits that perform particular functions are called gates. Basic logic circuits include the AND gate, the OR gate, and the NOT gate, which perform the logical functions AND, OR, and NOT. Logic circuits can be built from any binary electric or electronic devices, including switches, relays, electron tubes, solid-state diodes, and transistors; the choice depends upon the application and design requirements. Modern technology has produced integrated logic circuits, modules that perform complex logical functions. A major use of logic circuits is in electronic digital computers. Fluid logic circuits have been developed whose function depends on the flow of a liquid or gas rather than on an electric current.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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