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Difference between Serial Adder and Parallel Adder

Last Updated : 14 Mar, 2023
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Addition is a fundamental operation in digital electronics, and is used in a wide range of applications such as arithmetic, data processing, and control systems. There are two main types of adders used in digital circuits: Serial Adder and Parallel Adder. Understanding the differences between these two types of adders is essential to designing and implementing efficient and effective digital systems.

1. Serial Adder: A serial adder is used to add two binary numbers in serial form. The two binary numbers to be added serially are stored in two shift registers. The circuit adds one pair at a time with the help of one full adder. The carry output from the full adder is applied to a D flip-flop, the output of which is then used as a carry input for the next pair of significant bits. However, the sum bit S from the output of the full adder can be transferred into a third shift register. 

2. Parallel Adder: A parallel adder is a combinational digital circuit that adds two binary numbers in parallel form. It consists of full adders connected in cascade, with the output carry from each full adder connected to the input carry of the next full adder.

Similarities:

  • Both Serial Adder and Parallel Adder are used for adding binary numbers in digital circuits.
  • They both use full adders as the basic building blocks for performing addition operations.
  • Both types of adders have inputs for two binary numbers and a carry-in bit, and outputs for a sum and a carry-out bit.
  • The operation of both types of adders is based on the principles of binary addition, where a carry-out bit is generated if the sum of the two bits is greater than or equal to two.
  • They can both be used for various applications in digital electronics, such as arithmetic, data processing, and control systems.

Difference between Serial Adder and Parallel Adder:

Parameters Serial Adder Parallel Adder
Addition manner It is used to add two binary numbers in serial form. It is used to add two binary numbers in parallel form. 
Type of Registers A serial adder uses shift registers. A parallel adder uses registers with parallel loads.
Requirement It requires a single full adder. It requires multiple full adders.
Usage of A carry flip-flop is used in the serial adder. Ripple carry adder is used in the parallel adder.
Circuit Type A serial adder is a sequential circuit. A parallel adder is a combinational circuit.
Propagation Delay In serial adder, propagation delay is less. In parallel adder, propagation delay is present from input carry to output carry.
Speed The serial adder has a slow speed as compared to the parallel adder. The parallel adder has fast speed as compared to the serial adder.
Addition process The addition process is carried out bit by bit. Therefore, addition time relies on bit count. The addition process is carried out simultaneously. That implies all bits sum up simultaneously. Therefore, time does not rely on bit count.
Requirement of Components It necessitates fewer components.  It necessitates more components because of design complexity.
Number of Full Adders The number of required full adders is fixed i.e. one. The number of required full adders is equal to the number of bits in the binary number.

Conclusion: In conclusion, Serial Adder and Parallel Adder are two types of electronic circuits used for adding binary numbers. Serial Adders process one bit at a time, while Parallel Adders process all bits simultaneously. The choice of which type of adder to use depends on the specific application, and the designer must balance factors such as speed, complexity, and power consumption. Understanding the differences between these two types of adders is crucial to designing and implementing efficient and effective digital systems.


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