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XOR logic gate

(also exclusive OR, XOR gate, EOR, EXOR)

XOR logic gate definition

The XOR logic gate, short for Exclusive OR, is a fundamental component in digital logic circuits (the systems that form the building blocks of digital devices, such as computers, smartphones, or calculators).

XOR gate takes in two binary inputs (0 or 1) and produces a single binary output based on a specific rule. The output of an XOR gate is “1” if the number of input values that are “1” is odd, and the output is “0” if the number of input values that are “1” is even.

XOR gate has many applications, from error detection and correction to data comparison and encryption.

See also: AES encryption

How does an XOR gate work?

  • An XOR gate takes two input signals (usually labeled A and B). It uses these two signals to produce a single output signal (usually labeled Y).
  • If both inputs (A and B) are the same (both 0 or both 1), the XOR gate outputs 0.
  • If the inputs are different (one is 0 and the other is 1, or vice versa), the XOR gate outputs 1.
  • The XOR gate tells you whether the number of turned-on inputs is odd or even.

Examples of XOR gates in use

  • Error detection. XOR gates verify if the information sent or received is correct, helping prevent mistakes.
  • Securing information. XOR gates play a role in encrypting data for security and are used in various encryption algorithms.
  • Digital communication. XOR gates are used in digital communication systems. In some modulation techniques, XOR gates create signals with different phases, which are combined to transmit data.
  • Random number generation. XOR gates can be used in linear feedback shift registers (LFSRs) to generate pseudorandom number sequences. These sequences are used in various applications, such as cryptography and simulations.
  • Syncing devices. XOR gates help devices work together by synchronizing their timing signals.
  • Enhancing wireless security. XOR gates help establish secure connections in wireless communication, only allowing authorized devices to connect.
  • Routing data. XOR gates direct data through circuits, ensuring it goes the right way to reach its destination.