An individual counter element, usually containing a number of flip-flops in a chain of such elements. Each element has facilities for a count input and is capable of generating an overflow (or carry) output. The counter elements may typically have count lengths of integer powers of 2 (binary counters) or integer powers of 10 (decimal counters). Cascading a counter that has a count length of 4 with one having a count length of 10 will give a counter that has a count length of 40.
Since cascadable counters are available as integrated-circuit blocks or modules, cascadable counters are also called modular counters. See also counter.