|Enable Input||Input A||Output|
A tri-state buffer is similar to a buffer, but it adds an additional "enable" input that controls whether the primary input is passed to its output or not. If the "enable" inputs signal is true, the tri-state buffer behaves like a normal buffer. If the "enable" input signal is false, the tri-state buffer passes a high impedance (or hi-Z) signal, which effectively disconnects its output from the circuit.
Tri-state buffers are often connected to a bus which allows multiple signals to travel along the same connection.
The truth table for a tri-state buffer appears to the right.
The symbol below can be used to represent a tri-state buffer.
Try the following interactive example to see for yourself how a tri-state buffer behaves.
To learn more, check out the following external resources: