Difference between Latches and Flip-Flops

In digital ICs, the data can be transmitted as well as stored effectively, and the digital integrated circuits mainly include logic circuits, memory chips, and microprocessors. These ICs can be built with logic gates to store the data of the state of a circuit. Generally, the latches and flip-flops can be used to store one bit of data in the bit format. These are the building blocks and works like basic elements in computers, electronic systems, etc. The major difference between latches & FFs is that a latch verifies the i/p constantly and alters the output based on the input change, whereas a FF is a blend of the latch as well as a clock, it checks the input & modifies  the time of output which is attuned by the CLK (clock). This article gives an overview of the main differences between latches and flip-flops. Please refer the link to know more about Digital Electronics: Flip-Flops Tutorial

What are Latches and Flip Flops?

The definitions of the latch and flip flop is discussed below.

What is a Latch?

A latch (bistable multivibrator) is a device which has two stable states namely high output as well as low-output. This includes a feedback lane; accordingly, data can be stored with the device. A latch is a memory device used to store one bit of data. These are same like flip-flops, however, they are not synchronous devices. They do not work on edges of the clock as FFs do.

D Latch
D Latch

What is a Flip-Flop?

A Flip-Flop or FF is a couple of latches, and the designing of this can be done using a NOR gate or a NAND gate. Therefore, an FF can have 2-inputs, 2-outputs, a set as well as reset. This type of FF is named as SR-FF. The main function of the flip-flop is to store the binary values. A  Flip-Flop will have an extra CLK signal to make it work in a different way when contrasted with a latch. Please refer the link to know more about Different Types of Flip Flop Conversion

JK Flip Flop
JK Flip Flop

Difference between Latches and Flip-flops

The difference between latches and flip-flops include the following.

Latches & FFs are the simple kinds of sequential circuits, and also building blocks for difficult sequential circuits. The output these circuits not only control on the present inputs, although they can be controlled on the earlier inputs & outputs. The major difference between latches and flip-flops is that a latch doesn’t contain any clock signal whereas flip-flops consist of a clock signal. Generally, latches and flips are classified into different types such as D-type (data /delay), SR-type (set-reset), T-type (toggle) and JK-type. There are diverse changes for every type of latches and flip-flops to enhance the operation.




The working manner of a latch is asynchronous which means, the output produced from the latch will depend on the input. Nowadays, most of the personal computers are synchronous.  The sequential circuits which are used in PC are competent of modifying concurrently by a global CLK signal.


An FF (flip-flop) can be built with a NOR gate or NAND gate. Therefore, an FF consists of 2-inputs, 2-outputs, a set & also a reset. This kind of FF is named like SR-FF. These are mainly used to store the binary data. An FF will have an extra CLK signal to make it work in a different way when contrasted with a latch.


A latch doesn’t contain any clock signalA flip-flop contains a clock signal
The latches are classified into different types such as D-type (data /delay), SR-type (set-reset), T-type (toggle) and JK-type.The FFs are classified into different types such as D-type (data /delay), SR-type (set-reset), T-type (toggle) and JK-type. .
In electronic devices, a latch is a type of bi-stable multivibrator, and it has 2-stable states used to store one bit of data.Nowadays, easy transparent storage elements and little more superior nontransparent devices are used as flip-flops.


The structure of Latche is built with logic gates


FFs are designed with latches by adding an extra clock signal.
A latch is responsive toward the input switch and also competent in transmitting information as extended when the switch is ON.The FF is also responsive toward the CLK signal; moreover, the o/p will not vary until a modify takes place within the input CLK signal.


Latches are very fast


Flip-Flops (FFs) are very slow
Latches are responsive toward faults on enable pinFFs are protected toward faults


Latches consume less power

A flip-flop can be clocked for all time



FFs consume more power

A Latch may be clockless or clocked


Generally, a transparent latch considers a D-Q propagation delayA flip-flop considers CLK to Q, setup & hold time are essential.


Easy transparent one is frequently referred to as latches.


At present, generally, the flip-flop has approached to indicate non-transparent devices which include edge triggered or clocked
Usually, an FF can be used to control one (or) several control signals & a gate signal otherwise clock signal.


The latch is level sensitive that is, the o/p captures the i/p whenever the signal of the CLK is high, thus as long as the CLK is high, then the o/p can vary if the i/p also changes/


The working of the Latches can be done by only binary inputsFFs work by binary inputs & the CLK signal.


Latches are not capable of working as a register because of the lack of a CLK signal.FFs are capable because they come by a CLK

Thus, this is all about latch vs flip flop. From the above information, finally, we can conclude that these are used to store the data. And the method of operation is, flip-flop verifies the input constantly although modifies the o/p in an equivalent manner using a CLK signal, while a latch verifies the input as well as modifies output equally. What are the applications of latches and flip-flops?

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