Difference Between CMOS and TTL 


CMOS stands for complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor, and it uses pairs of transistors to create logic gates. TTL stands for transistor-transistor logic, and it uses multiple transistors to create logic gates. Lets talk more about them.

What is complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS)?

Complementary Metal-Oxide-Semiconductor (CMOS) is a type of integrated circuit technology used in constructing digital logic circuits. CMOS technology is based on a combination of p-type and n-type metal-oxide-semiconductor field-effect transistors (MOSFETs). These tiny little transistors work together to create logic gates, which are the building blocks of digital circuits. Think of them as the “yes” and “no” decision-makers of the electronic world.

In a CMOS circuit, transistors are arranged in pairs known as complementary pairs. Each pair consists of one p-type MOSFET (PMOS) and one n-type MOSFET (NMOS). These transistors work together, with one being active while the other is inactive, to create a high-impedance state when idle, resulting in minimal power consumption and high noise immunity.

So, what’s the big deal about CMOS? Well, it’s all about the low power consumption, high noise immunity, and high density of logic functions. In simple terms, it’s like having a well-organized, energy-efficient party where everyone can communicate without shouting over each other.

What is transistor-transistor logic TTL?

Transistor-Transistor Logic (TTL) is a type of digital logic circuit technology used in the design and construction of integrated circuits. It relies on bipolar junction transistors (BJTs) to implement different logic functions. TTL was used more commonly in the 1970s and 1980s but has largely been replaced by CMOS.

In TTL circuits, transistors are used as switches to control the flow of current through the circuit. A TTL gate consists of multiple transistors configured in such a way that they perform a specific logic function, such as AND, OR, or NOT. These gates are then interconnected to create more complex circuits, such as flip-flops, counters, and registers.

TTL operates using a 5-volt power supply and is characterized by relatively fast switching speeds and low output impedance. However, it consumes more power compared to CMOS and is more susceptible to noise and interference.

Despite being an old technology, TTL technology is still being used some niche applications, particularly where speed is critical or where compatibility with existing systems is important. There are variants of TTL, such as low-power TTL (LPTTL) and advanced TTL (ACT), that have been developed recently to address some of its limitations. For example, low-power TTL is great for battery-operated devices, while high-power TTL is perfect for driving high-current loads.

CMOS vs TTL: Key Differences

 Power ConsumptionLowerHigher
Voltage LevelsOperates at lower voltages (3-15V)Operates at higher voltages (5V)
Noise ImmunityHighModerate
SpeedGenerally slower compared to TTLFaster compared to CMOS
Input ImpedanceHighLow
Output ImpedanceHighLow
Heat DissipationLowerHigher
ComplexityGenerally less complexGenerally more complex
Manufacturing CostHigherLower
Circuit DensityTypically lowerTypically higher
Noise MarginTypically higherTypically lower
Power Supply SensitivityMore sensitive to fluctuationsLess sensitive
EMI SusceptibilityLowerHigher
Threshold VoltageCMOS devices have wider threshold voltage rangeTTL devices have narrow threshold voltage range

Key Takeaways


  • CMOS use complementary pairs of metal-oxide-semiconductor field-effect transistors (MOSFETs), consisting of both p-type and n-type transistors.
  • CMOS circuits exhibit good temperature stability.
  • CMOS circuits have low output impedance, allowing them to drive capacitive loads with minimal distortion.
  • It has low power consumption. It achieves this by ensuring that only one transistor in each complementary pair is conducting at any given time, minimizing power dissipation.
  • CMOS circuits have inherent design of using complementary pairs, which helps reduce susceptibility to noise and interference.
  • CMOS devices can operate with voltage levels from 3 to 15 volts
  • It allows for high integration density, enabling the fabrication of complex digital circuits on a single chip.
  • The technology is highly scalable, allowing for the fabrication of smaller and more efficient transistors as semiconductor manufacturing processes advance.
  • CMOS technology is compatible with various digital systems and interfaces.
  • While CMOS traditionally has been slower than TTL, advancements in CMOS technology have led to faster switching speeds, narrowing the performance gap between CMOS and other technologies.
  • Due to its low power consumption, CMOS circuits generate less heat.
  • used in microprocessors, memory chips, digital signal processors, and other digital logic circuits.

Transistor-Transistor Logic (TTL)

  • TTL relies on bipolar junction transistors (BJTs) as its primary active component.
  • TTL circuits generally consume more power compared to CMOS due to the direct conduction path between the power supply and ground through the transistors.
  • The circuits have lower integration density compared to CMOS, limiting the complexity of circuits that can be fabricated on a single chip.
  • TTL circuits generally consume more power compared to CMOS due to the direct conduction path between the power supply and ground through the transistors.
  • TTL circuits have relatively fast switching speeds.
  • TTL circuits operate using a 5-volt power supply, which was a standard voltage level in older electronic systems.
  • The circuits are more susceptible to noise and interference.
  • TTL uses specific voltage levels to represent logic states, with around 0.8 volts for a logic low and 2.0 volts for a logic high.