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debouncing

Bouncing is the tendency of any two metal contacts in an electronic device to generate multiple signals as the contacts close or open; debouncing is any kind of hardware device or software that ensures that only a single signal will be acted upon for a single opening or closing of a contact.

When you press a key on your computer keyboard , you expect a single contact to be recorded by your computer. In fact, however, there is an initial contact, a slight bounce or lightening up of the contact, then another contact as the bounce ends, yet another bounce back, and so forth. A similar effect takes place when a switch made using a metal contact is opened. The usual solution is a debouncing device or software that ensures that only one digital signal can be registered within the space of a given time (usually milliseconds).

This was last updated in September 2005

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