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I understand that in a D latch, whenever the clock signal is high, Q matches D, and while the clock signal is low, it holds the previous state of D. For a D flip-flop, Q will hold whatever value D is at the exact moment C goes high, and will hold that same state until C goes high again. I am able to draw the clock diagram and identify these circuits. But I am not understanding the purpose of these components in a high level context.

  1. What exactly does the D latch and D flip-flop do? (Differences and similarity)
  2. From my understanding, it is to be able to "store" a bit value, but if that's the case, why not use an SR latch?

Edit: I have seen the following post. However, my question is a little more specific. I am asking specifically about a D latch/flip-flop. I also want to be able to differentiate how this is different from a SR latch, since it seems that their descriptions seem to do the same thing.

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    $\begingroup$ Possible duplicate of What is the exact difference between a latch & a flipflop? $\endgroup$ – David Richerby May 12 '16 at 20:29
  • $\begingroup$ I have also noted a second part to the question, asking about the difference between the D latch and SR latch. $\endgroup$ – Jonathan May 12 '16 at 20:33
  • $\begingroup$ This is part of the reason why we prefer one question per question! Your title says the question is about latches vs flip-flops but the question itself is also about other things. Since the question about latches vs flip-flops has already been answered, I suggest you edit your question to remove that part and focus on the part that's not already been answered. Don't forget to update the title. Thanks! $\endgroup$ – David Richerby May 12 '16 at 20:36
  • $\begingroup$ I have done my best to edit, is it ok now? $\endgroup$ – Jonathan May 12 '16 at 20:38
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One big difference is that while the SR flipflop has a "not-allowed" state (i.e., inputs S=1, R=1), the D flipflop has no such condition.

Another difference, is that the D flipflop just mirrors the input into the output, while SR has two inputs: one for setting the ouput to 1, and one for resetting the output into a 0.

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  • $\begingroup$ As the related thread answers the flipflop/latch question, here I unser the D vs SR question. $\endgroup$ – Ran G. May 12 '16 at 21:02

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