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2.1.4.

AK Circuit Simplification: Boolean Algebra


Introduction
Have you ever had an idea that you thought was so unique that when you told someone else
about it, you simply could not believe they thought you were wasting your time with it? If so,
you know how the mathematician George Boole felt in the 1800s when he designed a math
system that, at the time, had no practical application. Today, however, his math system is the
most important mathematical tool used in the design of digital logic circuits. Boole introduced
the world to Boolean algebra when he published his work called “An Investigation of the Laws
of Thought, on Which Are Founded the Mathematical Theories of Logic and Probabilities.”

In the same way that normal algebra has rules that allow you to simplify algebraic
expressions, Boolean algebra has theorems and laws that allow you to simplify expressions
used to create logic circuits.

By simplifying the logic expression, we can convert a logic circuit into a simpler version that
performs the same function. The advantage of a simpler circuit is that it will contain fewer
gates, will be easier to build, and will cost less to manufacture.

In this activity you will learn how to apply the theorems and laws of Boolean algebra to
simplify logic expressions and digital logic circuits.

The moral of the story is to keep dreaming. Someday your grandchildren may be using
something that you’re thinking about right now. When your grandparents were kids, do you
think that they imagined someday that we would all have 10,000 songs in our pockets or a
telephone in our backpacks?

Procedure
Using the theorems and laws of Boolean algebra, simplify the following logic expressions.
Note the Boolean theorem/law used at each simplification step. Be sure to put your answer in
Sum-Of-Products (SOP) form.

1. F 1  A( A  AB )
F 1  A( A  B ) 13B
F 1  AA  AB 12A
F 1  0  AB 4
F 1  AB 5

© 2014 Project Lead The Way, Inc.


Digital Electronics ANSWER KEY 2.1.4 Circuit Simplification: Boolean Algebra – Page 1
2. F 2  X Y Z  X Y Z  X YZ
F2  Y Z( X  X )  X YZ 12 A
F2  Y Z( 1)  X YZ 8
F2  Y Z  X YZ 2
F2  Z( Y  Y X ) 12 A
F2  Z( Y  X ) 13 D
F2  Y Z  XZ 12 A

3. F3  JK  J K
F3  J( K  K ) 12 A
F3  J( 1) 8
F3  J 2

4. F4 ( B  B )( AB  AB C )
F4 ( 1)( AB  AB C ) 8
F4  AB( 1  C ) 2, 12 A
F4  AB( 1) 6
F 4  AB 2

5. F5 ( X  Y )( X Y)
F5  XX  XY  X Y  Y Y 12 B
F5  X  XY  X Y  0 4
F5  X  X( Y  Y ) 5, 12 A
F5  X  X( 1) 8
F5  X  X 2
F5  X 7

© 2014 Project Lead The Way, Inc.


Digital Electronics ANSWER KEY 2.1.4 Circuit Simplification: Boolean Algebra – Page 2