Buffers, also known as logic buffers are semiconductor IC (integrated circuit) that are constructed of two inverters that are back to back providing a basic logic gate that passes its input, unchanged, to its output. Buffer ICs are also available in both inverting and non-inverting.
How do buffers work?
The primary purpose of a buffer IC is to regenerate the input, primarily using a strong low and high and also to regenerate weak output from non-restoring logic. They are also used to increase the propagation delay of circuits by driving the large capacitive load.
Buffers also feature transceivers and drivers that are used to regenerate the input utilising a strong high and a strong low. Buffer gates serve as an amplifier of a weak signal source is cant source a lot of current whilst increasing the current capacity of the signal so as to be able to drive a load.
Types of buffers
Buffers are available with a variety of configurations such as variations on the number of channels available, supporting a variety of different inputs and outputs such as CMOS, DTL (Diode-Transistor Logic) and single-ended and providing support for a range of logic families such as HC, HEF and TTL. Buffers are also available in combination with a converter.
Another type of buffer that is available is Bus buffers. A bus buffer is an IC that connects multiple data sources to a single bus. The open drivers can be selected to be either a logical high, a logical low, or high impedance which allows other buffers to drive the bus. Like buffers, variations of bus buffers are available such as support for different logic families, inputs, outputs as well as the number of pins configured on the IC.
Bus buffers are used in applications such as TV and video equipment, industrial controls and portable equipment.
Buffers have a wide range of application use such as;
- Automatic test equipment
- Board test systems
- Instrumentation and characterization equipment
- Semiconductor test systems