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Old 12 October 2017, 23:11   #21
Daedalus
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Well, a long story short, decoupling caps are generally needed in digital circuits because switching a logic line from high to low causes a reversal in the flow of current. This in turn causes a slight spike in the power supply rails. In general, the larger the current involved and the faster the switch, the larger the spike. And when you have lots of gates switching at the same time, the effect is cumulative, meaning that eventually the spike will get big enough to affect another part elsewhere, maybe causing a spurious bit to appear or some other malfunction, or even damaging it. A computer with millions of gates all switching in sync with each other (because they all run off the same clock) would be particularly susceptible to this noise, with millions of such spikes every second. Decoupling capacitors allow this spike to dissipate by acting as a simple filter, effectively neutralising it before it travels too far.
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Old 13 October 2017, 21:38   #22
MigaTech
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This is exactly how I thought coupling caps worked, only I didn't visualise it in this excellent detail. That stated I still hadn't completely mastered the decoupling and coupling side of caps fully. < As there is a difference obviously.

Coupling = Transfer of signal to circuit. < Offers a cleaner signal.
De-coupling = Diversion of signal from circuit. < Cleans signal from opposite circuit.

That about sums it up in 2 lines or am I completely off chart?
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Old 14 October 2017, 13:40   #23
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Yep, that's pretty much it. Coupling is also a means of blocking a DC bias in an AC signal, so it might not necessarily be any cleaner, but will be centred around 0V.
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