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What is the difference between a 8 bit buffer and a 8 bit latch?

Are they both used for the same purpose?

The 74LS273, is a buffer or a latch?

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What is the difference between a 8 bit buffer and a 8 bit latch?

With regards to low-level electronics, a buffer is a device whose output will always follow its input. A latch's output will follow its input only while the latch enable is active; when the enable goes inactive the latch will hold the last value it had.

At a high level, "buffer" simply means any sort of circuit that will sustain a previous value, and therefore the term has no place in any sort of discussion that requires enough precision to mention "latch".

Are they both used for the same purpose?

Not at the low level.

The 74LS273, is a buffer or a latch?

Latches are level-enabled. The '273, being edge-enabled, is a flop-flop.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ "Buffer" has two meanings. \$\endgroup\$ – travisbartley Oct 16 '13 at 4:05
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    \$\begingroup\$ @trav1s: True. I had assumed that the OP meant from a low-level electronics perspective due to the subsequent use of "latch". \$\endgroup\$ – Ignacio Vazquez-Abrams Oct 16 '13 at 4:07
  • \$\begingroup\$ WIkepedia says a buffer can store data temporarily.Now what would happen if the data is being replaced before it is read? does it mean that earlier data is forever lost? \$\endgroup\$ – DesirePRG Oct 16 '13 at 4:08
  • \$\begingroup\$ @DesirePRG: Please revise your further questions based on the edit to my answer. \$\endgroup\$ – Ignacio Vazquez-Abrams Oct 16 '13 at 4:46

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