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Fundamentals of Digital Electronics

What is Digital Electronics?

Digital electronics is defined as

Digital electronics is the branch of electronics that deals with the study of digital signals, and the components that use or create them.

Components of Digital Electronics

Digital electronics or the digital circuit comprises various components that perform specific functions. These components are divided into two categories:

  • Active components
  • Passive components

The active components are the transistors and diodes while the passive components are the capacitors, resistors, inductors, etc.


Diodes are manufactured using semiconductor materials. They are used for allowing the flow of current in a particular direction. Different types of diodes are used in the construction of the digital circuit.


A semiconductor device with three terminals is known as the transistor. The main function of the transistor is to amplify the signal, and it is also used as a switching device.

Capacitors and Inductors

The main function of the capacitor is to store electrical energy. A capacitor is made using two conducting plates and between these plates, an insulator is placed. The change in the current is resisted with the help of an inductor. They are used for storing electric energy in the magnetic field.

Logic Gates

Logic gates are the basic components of the digital circuit with one output and more than one input. AND, OR and NOT gates are the basic gates while NAND and NOR the universal gates. EX-OR and EX-NOR are the special gates.

Logic gates

Battery and Switch

The conversion of chemical energy into electric energy takes place because of the battery. It is used as a source of energy. The flow of electric current is controlled by using a switch.


The flow of current in the circuit is opposed by the resistor. The fixed resistor and variable resistor are the two types of resistors. All the resistors work on the basis of Ohm’s law.

Advantages of Digital System Over Analog System

  • The transmission of data in digital systems takes place without degradation due to noise when compared to an analog system.
  • The digital system comes with noise-immunity, which makes the storage of data easier. Whereas the analog system undergoes wear and tear, which degrades the information in storage.
  • The digital system comes with an interface with computers which makes it easy to control the data. The system can be kept bug free by updating the software. This feature is not available in the analog system.

Disadvantages of Digital System

Though the digital system has noise-immunity and better storage it does have disadvantages too:

  • The energy consumed by the digital system is more compared to the analog system. This energy is consumed in calculations and signal processing which results in the generation of heat.
  • These systems are expensive.
  • The digital systems are fragile, that is if one of the digital data is misinterpreted, the final data will change completely.
  • Taking care of analog issues in digital systems could be demanding as analog components are used in designing the digital system.

Applications of Digital Circuits

Digital electronics or digital circuits are an integral part of electronic devices and here are the uses of digital circuits:

  • The display of digital watches is designed based on digital circuits.
  • Rocket science and quantum computing use digital electronics.
  • The automatic doors work on the principle of digital electronics.
  • Everyday encounters with traffic lights are based on digital circuits.

The video below lets you know about the difference between analog and digital signals:

Read more about related concepts:

Stay tuned with BYJU’S to learn more about other Physics related topics.

Frequently Asked Questions – FAQs

What is the use of resistors in circuits?

A resistor is used in a digital circuit to control the flow of current.

Name the operation performed by the digital circuit.

The digital circuit is used for performing Boolean logic operations.

What are the two forms of Boolean expressions?

  • The product of sum form
  • The sum of products form

These are the two forms of Boolean expressions.

What is binary number system?

The binary number system has only two digits, and they are 0 and 1. This system has a base 2.

What are logic gates and their types?

Logic gates are defined as the fundamental building blocks of the digital system. The input of this system can be one or more than one. However, the output is always one.
There are three types of logic gates:

  • AND gate
  • OR gate
  • NOT gate

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