

THE FULL ADDER
The FullAdder, so called because it comprises two HalfAdders (Circuit 1–below), is an arithmetic circuit capable of performing addition on three singlebit binary numbers. As such, the FullAdder can perform eight possible calculations:
The reason the FullAdder can perform 8 different calculations lies in the fact that 2^3 = 8: the 2 is because a bit has 2 possible values (0 or 1), and the 3 is because there are 3 singlebit numbers to be added.
The relationship between the FullAdder and the HalfAdder is similar to the relationship between the amino acid and the gene, respectively. Whereas amino acids are coded from genes, the amino acid is what the body actually uses to create proteins. Similarly, whereas the FullAdder is constituted of two HalfAdders, the FullAdder is the actual block that engineers use to create the arithmetic circuits that go in everyday machines and computers. The reason is simple: long chains of FullAdders, like long chains of amino acids, are easy to build. And some chains of FullAdders are used to perform addition, some to perform subtraction, some to perform multiplication, and some to perform division. Circuit 2 below is an example of a chain of 4 FullAdders used to perform 4–bit addition. ANALYSIS AND VERIFICATIONDERIVATION OF THE BOOLEAN/SWITCHING FUNCTIONThe construction of a FullAdder circuit is simple: all you need are two HalfAdders and an OR gate. This viewpoint makes the analysis of the FullAdder very simple and straightforward. The FullAdder above, for instance, has three input ports (A, B, C_{in}) and two output ports (Sum, C_{out}). However, between the inputs and the outputs are a number of intermediate ports through which the first HalfAdder connects to the second HalfAdder. To understand how the inputs (A, B, C_{in}) control the outputs (Sum, C_{out}) therefore, we need to analyze the intermediate ports: which we shall call T1, T2, X1 and X2, as shown in figure 1.
We start with the ports closest to the inputs —which are both T1 and T2. Observe that the only object between T1 and the inputs A and B is an XOR gate. So we say that T1 = A B, where is the symbol for the XOR function. Similarly, notice that the only object between T2 and the inputs A and B is an AND gate. And so we say T2 = A • B, where • is the symbol for the AND gate. Now we move to the next set of intermediate ports, which are X1 and X2. As in the previous paragraph, we notice that X1 is a function of T1 and C_{in} through an XOR gate. So we write X1 = T1 C_{in}. Similarly, we observe that X2 = T1 • C_{in}. At this point we only have two signals left to compute: Sum and C_{out}, which happen to be the outputs. Sum is just X1; so we say Sum = X1. C_{out}, however, is a function of X2 and T2 through an OR gate; so we say C_{out} = X2 + T2, where + is the symbol for the OR gate. This is a good point for us to summarize what we have accomplished so far before proceeding to the final stretch. So let's recap:
But we can't leave the answer like that. We have to use algebraic substitution to give the outputs (Sum and C_{out}) in terms of the inputs (A, B, C_{in}). So let's do some basic algebra to simplify our result, starting with Sum:
Now let's simplify C_{out}:
Hence, our verification shows that the switch function for the FullAdder is the compound equation DERIVATION OF THE TRUTH TABLEA note of caution before we dive in: Unless you are already very good at creating truth tables, it is important that you follow along with pencil and paper by filling your own tables as we go. Getting the truth table from the switching function is straightforward: we just plug 0s and 1s into the equation. Let's start with Sum = (A • B) • C_{in}. Since the output Sum depends on three inputs (A, B, C_{in}), we need a table with 2^3 rows: The 2 means we have two possible values (0 or 1) and the 3 means we have three different variables (A, B, C_{in}). Since 2^3 = 8, we will fill the 8 rows of the table by counting from 0 to 7 in binary (for a more intuitive explanation on how to build truth tables, see the HalfAdder article).
Notice that I took the liberty of adding the Sum column. This is because the point of the table is to see how different values of the inputs affect the output. We will solve for Sum by applying a process of combining two inputs at a time. The process is not really necessary here, but it is good practice. So let's solve for A B (and let's call the answer T1). Recall that the output of the XOR gate is true only when one of the inputs is true.
Note that the grayed out values (C_{in}) are not use in the computation. Now that we have computed A B, let's solve for Sum which is (A B) C_{in} or simply T1 C_{in}.
Now let's repeat the same process for C_{out}. Since C_{out} = ((A B) • C_{in}) + (A • B), we have three different input variables (A, B, C_{in}), which means we need 2^3 rows. The 2 means we have two possible values (0 or 1) and the 3 means we have three different variables (A, B, C_{in}). Since 2^3 = 8, we will fill the 8 rows of the table by counting from 0 to 7 in binary.
As we did in solving for Sum, we will solve for C_{out} by combining two variables at a time. As in regular algebra, the rule here is to eliminate the parentheses. Consequently, we start by computing A B and call it T1. Recall, again, that the output of the XOR function is asserted (equals to 1), only when one of the inputs is asserted; otherwise, the output is OFF (equals to 0). Also, we gray out the variables we are not using.
Now we are going to add C_{in} into the mix to eliminate those parentheses: (A B) • C_{in}: T1 • C_{in}:
The next pair of parentheses to tackle is (A • B). So
Now all we have left is to fill the Cout column. From C_{out} = ((A B) • C_{in}) + (A • B), we have used the process of combining two variables at a time to arrive at Cout = X2 + T2. You don’t remember the steps? First we combined A B and called the result T1 (column 4 above). Second we combined the result of A B with C_{in} to get X2 (column 5). Third, we solved for (A • B) and called it T2 (column 6). If this quick recap did not help, review the tables you created as you followed along with us. If you did not follow along with your own tables, now is a good time to go back and follow with us.
Our final step is to have a table with only the input and the output variables — no intermediate variables. Such a table is shown near the FullAdder applet at the top of this page. If your professor asks you to show your work, then you can turn in Table 2, Table 7, and the table at the top of the page. 
