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Complete path or combination of interconnected paths for electron flow in a computer. Computer circuits are binary in concept, having only two possible states. They use on-off switches (transistors) that are electrically opened and closed in nanoseconds and picoseconds (billionths and trillionths of a second). A computer's speed of operation depends on the design of its circuitry. Faster rates are achieved by shortening the time it takes to open and close the switches and by developing circuit paths that can handle the increased speeds.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on computer circuitry, visit Britannica.com.
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