terminology, a buffer
is a two terminal device, (one input
and one output
). It has no logic
al effect on the input signal
, it simply passes it through to the output
. In this sense, it can be viewed as a non-inverting inverter
The buffer is used to "beef up" the output signal from a driver which has a high fanout, i.e. heavily loaded. A heavily loaded output driver will not be able to supply enough current to drive all the inputs connected to it, and signal deterioration, in the form of slew and skew problems, will occur if buffering is not used.
A common use for buffers in electronics is as a clock tree buffer.