Shift Registers

Shift registers are a type of sequential logic circuit used to store and transfer data. They are often used to reduce the number of GPIO pins needed from a Microcontroller, such as the Arduino or Raspberry Pi Pico to control another device, such as a keyboard or keypad.

Robot Tips Shift Registers SN74HC595

18 January 2023 by Kevin McAleer | Share this article on


Shift registers are a type of sequential logic circuit used to store and transfer data. They are often used to reduce the number of GPIO pins needed from a Microcontroller, such as the Arduino or Raspberry Pi Pico to control another device, such as a keyboard or keypad.

They are typically composed of a number of flip-flops, each of which is capable of storing a single bit of data. The data is transferred in and out of the register through a series of clock pulses. Each pulse shifts the data one bit at a time, either to the left or right, depending on the type of register used.

Shift registers are commonly used in communication and audio/video systems to store and transmit data in a serial format. They can also be used to convert parallel data into serial data and vice versa.

SN74HC595

This SN74HC595 is common shift register that takes a serial input (SPI) of 1 byte (8 bits) and then output those digital bits onto 8 pins. They can be chained together, for example, putting three in a row with the serial output of one plugged into the serial input of another to make 3 x 8 = 24 digital outputs.


Video

In this video I show you how to use shift registers to reduce the number of pins required to control several seven segment displays.


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