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8.9: Sum and Product Notation

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    For reference, this section introduces the terminology used in some texts to describe the minterms and maxterms assigned to a Karnaugh map. Otherwise, there is no new material here.

    Σ (sigma) indicates sum and lower case “m” indicates minterms. Σm indicates sum of minterms. The following example is revisited to illustrate our point. Instead of a Boolean equation description of unsimplified logic, we list the minterms.


    The numbers indicate cell location, or address, within a Karnaugh map as shown below right. This is certainly a compact means of describing a list of minterms or cells in a K-map.


    The Sum-Of-Products solution is not affected by the new terminology. The minterms, 1s, in the map have been grouped as usual and a Sum-OF-Products solution written.

    Below, we show the terminology for describing a list of maxterms. Product is indicated by the Greek Π (pi), and upper case “M” indicates maxterms. ΠM indicates product of maxterms. The same example illustrates our point. The Boolean equation description of unsimplified logic, is replaced by a list of maxterms.


    Once again, the numbers indicate K-map cell address locations. For maxterms this is the location of 0s, as shown below. A Product-OF-Sums solution is completed in the usual manner.


    This page titled 8.9: Sum and Product Notation is shared under a GNU Free Documentation License 1.3 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Tony R. Kuphaldt (All About Circuits) via source content that was edited to the style and standards of the LibreTexts platform; a detailed edit history is available upon request.