digital memory gated latch vs D flip flop?

 Many people find it difficult to understand how computer memory works, how computer remembers the data(image, video, text). Here we try to explain how the digital memory works with gated latch and D flip flop with their differences and similarities.

When it comes to representing memory in digital circuits, both gated latches and D flip-flops are used, but they serve slightly different purposes and have distinct characteristics:

Gated Latch

The following shows circuit diagram of SR gated latch and its truth table.


  • Type: Level-sensitive
  • Behavior: The output can change state as long as the enable signal (often a clock or gate signal) is active.
  • Common Use: Gated latches are often used in situations where a signal needs to be stored temporarily as long as a control signal is active.
  • Example: D Latch
    • Inputs: Data (D) and Enable (EN)
    • Operation: When EN is high, the output (Q) follows the input (D). When EN is low, the output (Q) retains its state.

D Flip-Flop

The circuit diagram of D flip flop and its truth table are provided below.

d flip flop truth table

  • Type: Edge-triggered
  • Behavior: The output changes state only at a specific moment, typically on the rising or falling edge of the clock signal.
  • Common Use: D flip-flops are widely used for data storage, especially in sequential logic circuits like shift registers, counters, and memory devices.
  • Example: D Flip-Flop
    • Inputs: Data (D) and Clock (CLK)
    • Operation: On the rising (or falling) edge of the CLK signal, the output (Q) takes the value of the input (D) and retains this value until the next clock edge.


  • Memory Representation: Both can represent memory, but D flip-flops are more commonly used in synchronous systems where precise timing and edge-triggered events are crucial.
  • Level vs. Edge: Gated latches are level-sensitive, while D flip-flops are edge-triggered. This makes D flip-flops more suitable for clocked sequential circuits where state changes are synchronized with clock edges.
  • Complexity and Stability: D flip-flops offer more stability in timing-critical applications because they are less susceptible to glitches that can occur in level-sensitive designs.


While both gated latches and D flip-flops can represent memory, the D flip-flop is more commonly associated with reliable and stable memory storage in synchronous digital circuits. Its edge-triggered nature makes it a fundamental building block in most digital systems for storing data and ensuring proper timing synchronization.

Post a Comment

Previous Post Next Post