The basic difference between encoder and decoder is that, in encoder, the binary information is passed in the form of 2n input lines, and it changes the input into n output lines. Whereas, in decoder, the binary information is passed in the form of n input lines, and changes this binary information in the form of 2n output lines. Similarly, we will see other differences between encoder and decoder.

But before jumping directly to the comparison, let’s first see a brief description of encoder and decoder.


An encoder can also be described as a combination circuit that has a maximum of 2^n (or less) input lines and n output lines.

Encoders are used to convert a decimal number into a binary number. The objective is to perform a binary operation such as addition, subtraction, multiplication, etc. The basic logic element that is used in encoders is an OR gate. The operation of the encoder is fairly simple. Encoders are commonly used in Videos, E-mail, etc.

The representation of the encoder is shown in the below image –

2. Decoder :
A decoder is also a combination circuit as encoder but its operation is exactly reverse as that of the encoder. A decoder is a device that generates the original signal as output from the coded input signal and converts n lines of input into 2n lines of output. An AND gate can be used as the basic decoding element because it produces a high output only when all inputs are high.