As a hardware component, counters are digital basic circuits that consist of flip-flops and operate as frequency dividers or as counting circuits. Counters are distinguished between synchronously and asynchronously operating up and down counters as well as between pure dual counters and those that count according to a binarycode.
Counters consist of series circuits of flip-flops whose inputs are switched by the output edge of the previous flip-flop.JK flip-flops, the JK inputs are set to "Hi" and the counting chain is activated exclusively with a clock edge via the clock input. Since only one edge of the output signal activates the downstream JK flip-flop via the clock input, the signal is halved in two successive flip-flops.
- In programming, a counter is a variable used to count programming repetitions. Thereby the counter forms a part of the loop programming.
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