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This counter is fully programmable; that is, it can be preset to any number between 0 and 9 or 15. As presetting is synchronous, setting up a low level at the load input disables the counter and causes the outputs to agree with the setup data after the next clock pulse, regardless of the levels of the enable inputs. The clear function for the SN74HC163 is synchronous. A low level at the clear (CLR) input sets all four of the flip-flop outputs low after the next low-to-high transition of CLK, regardless of the levels of the enable inputs. This synchronous clear allows the count length to be modified easily by decoding the Q outputs for the maximum count desired. The active-low output of the gate used for decoding is connected to CLR to synchronously clear the counter to 0000 (LLLL). The carry look-ahead circuitry provides for cascading counters for n-bit synchronous applications without additional gating. ENP, ENT, and a ripple-carry output (RCO) are instrumental in accomplishing this function. Both ENP and ENT must be high to count, and ENT is fed forward to enable RCO. Enabling RCO produces a high-level pulse while the count is maximum (9 or 15 with QA high). This high-level overflow ripple-carry pulse can be used to enable successive cascaded stages. Transitions at ENP or ENT are allowed, regardless of the level of CLK.