A simple bistable multivibrator can be made by cross-coupling two NAND gates:

Note: The following has the assertion levels written out so as not to break my brain.

                                      next stable
     +------+                  now       state
S ---| NAND |                S R T B |    T B
     |      |o+---- T        L L - - |    H H *bad*
   +-|      | |              L H - - |    H L <-set
   | +------+ |              H L - - |    L H <-reset
   +------------+            H H H L |    H L <-rest
              | |            H H L H |    L H <-rest
   +----------+ |            H H L L |  \/none\/
   | +------+   |            H H H H |  /\none/\
   +-| NAND |   |
     |      |o--+-- B
R ---|      |

Let's look at what happens to this device under each of the input (S,R) combinations. When SR=LH, the "set" state, the value of T is set to H. When SR=HL, the "reset" state, the value of T is reset to L. When SR=HH, the "rest" state, the value of T stays the same. Setting SR=LL is bad because, upon returning to the "rest" state, the device becomes astable and rapidly flips between the two states marked "none". Thus, there are only two useful states: T=L,B=H and T=H,B=L, and we can refer to the state of the entire device by merely referring to the state of T. We automatically know that B is the opposite.

Note that the device does not necessarily go directly to any of the states; it may travel through up to 3 intermediate states before finding the stable one. See also propagation delay.

Also note that both "set" and "reset" occur when the inputs S and R, respectively, are brought to the low level. They are thus low asserting, and in mixed logic notation, a much simpler state transition table describing the device's useful states of operation is:

S(L) R(L) | T(H) B(L)
 0    0   | rest rest
 1    0   |  1    1
 0    1   |  0    0

This device is sometimes called an unclocked SR Flip-Flop or an unclocked SR Latch. It is the basic component in both the (clocked) SR Latch and (clocked) SR Flip-Flop, and thus occurs in other types of Flip-Flops, in registers and in memories. See also synchronous sequential network, digital systems, feedback, switch debouncing.