A counter circuit is usually constructed of a number of flip-flops connected in cascade. Counters are a very widely used component in digital circuits, and are manufactured as separate integrated circuits and also incorporated as parts of larger integrated circuits.
In digital logic and computing, a counter is a device which stores (and sometimes displays) the number of times a particular event or process has occurred, often in relationship to a clock signal. The most common type is a sequential digital logic circuit with an input line called the clock and multiple output lines. The values on the output lines represent a number in the binary or BCDnumber system. Each pulse applied to the clock input increments or decrements the number in the counter.
Operating principle. Most frequency counters work by using a counter which accumulates the number of events occurring within a specific period of time. For example, a mechanical event could be arranged to interrupt a light beam, and the counter made to count the resulting pulses.