In electronics, a flip flop or flip-flops is a multi-contact switch with two stable states and is used as an input to store state data a non-bistible multivibrator. The flip flop can be designed to alter the state by means of signals applied to a single or more input controls and will normally have one or more outputs. When the input to a flip-flop changes, it flips the flop and a corresponding change to occur in the corresponding output. Flip-flops are used as a component in many different electronic devices, including computer chips, resistors, capacitors, sensors, switches, relays, voltage control units, diodes, and RF circuits. Flips are also used as a type of input control in microprocessor controlled systems and some consumer electronic products. As well, in the military applications, flip flops are used for vehicle controls.
The two types of flip flops are positive-edge-triggered and negative-edge-triggered. In a positive-edge-triggered circuit, the electrical input to the circuit is balanced across the contacts that are biased in an upward or downward direction by means of a magnet or some other component. As soon as a flip flop comes in contact with either of these poles, it will flip, changing the polarity of the circuit. Therefore, when flip flops are used for input control, the circuit is said to be in a positive-edge-triggered circuit. On the other hand, in a negative-edge-triggered circuit, the flip flops do not flip, but the contacts are biased such that they will push the circuit in a down or in a rising direction.
A flip flop is useful for input control as it provides a simple method of ensuring that the same information, in the same form, is sent to the specified output at a specific time. This simple method is very effective in preventing human error. If one sets up a circuit and accidentally resets the input, the circuit will still receive the desired signal. However, in a flip flop, since the polarity of the contacts is changed, the circuit will receive a different signal than it would receive under normal conditions.