Electronic – the purpose of a master-slave flip-flop


Why is having a 2 stage flip-flop desirable? Are there advantages of having a master-slave compared to a one stage JK flip flop?

Best Answer

The problem with simple JK latch is the race condition.

Race condition is that as long as the clock is high, when the propagation delay is less than the pulse period, the output toggles between 0 and 1 if J=K=1.

This is undesirable because the value can be undetermined. Master-Slave configuration of two JK latches eliminates this race problem.

A simple positive edge triggered Master-Slave JK flip-flop consists of two cascaded latches: One negative latch and a positive latch.

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Latches are level triggered. When the clock is low, The first latch is in transparent mode the second latch is in hold mode. When the clock is high, The first latch is in hold mode the second latch is in transparent mode. They together act as a positive edge triggered Master-Slave JK flip-flop.

When clock makes transition from 0 --> 1, the first latch moves from transparent to hold mode, while the second latch moves from hold to transparent mode at the same time. i.e., The output of the first latch just before that rising clock moment would be the data sampled by the second latch. This data is available at Q after clock becomes high, because the second latch is now in transparent mode. Once the clock becomes high, changes in the input of the first latch is not reflected anymore at the output Q because it is in hold mode now. In the previous case, when clock is high and J=K=1 , the outputs goes on toggling till the clock goes low. This problem no longer exists in this case.