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comparision between different signals

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the signal is a representation of some other time varying quantity, i.e., analogous to another time varying

signal. For example, in an analog audio signal, the instantaneous voltage of the signal varies continuously

with the pressure of the sound waves. It differs from a digital signal, in which a continuous quantity is

represented by a discrete function which can only tae on one of a finite number of values. !he term

analog signal usually refers to electrical signals" however, mechanical, pneumatic, hydraulic, and other

systems may also convey analog signals.

An analog signal uses some property of the medium to convey the signal#s information. For example,

an aneroid barometer uses rotary position as the signal to convey pressure information. In an electrical

signal, the voltage, current, or frequency of the signal may be varied to represent the information.

Any information may be conveyed by an analog signal" often such a signal is a measured response to

changes in physical phenomena, such as sound, light, temperature, position, or pressure. !he physical

variable is converted to an analog signal by a transducer. For example, in sound recording, fluctuations in

air pressure (that is to say, sound) strie the diaphragm of a microphone which induces corresponding

fluctuations in the current produced by a coil in an electromagnetic microphone, or the voltage produced

by a condensor microphone. !he voltage or the current is said to be an $analog$ of the sound.

An analog signal has a theoretically infinite resolution. In practice an analog signal is sub%ect to electronic

noise and distortionintroduced by communication channels and signal processing operations, which can

progressively degrade the signal&to&noise ratio. In contrast, digital signals have a finite resolution.

'onverting an analog signal to digital form introduces a constant low&level noise calledquanti(ation

noise into the signal which determines the noise floor, but once in digital form the signal can in general be

processed or transmitted without introducing additional noise or distortion. !herefore as analog signal

processing systems become more complex, they may ultimately degrade signal resolution to such an

extent that their performance is surpassed by digital systems. !his explains the widespread use of digital

signals in preference to analog in modern technology. In analog systems, it is difficult to detect when such

degradation occurs. )owever, in digital systems, degradation can not only be detected but corrected as

well.

Contents

*hide+

, -isadvantages

. /odulation

0 1ee also

2 3eferences

-isadvantages*edit+

!he primary disadvantage of analog signal is that any system has noise 4 i.e., random unwanted

variation. As the signal is copied and re&copied, or transmitted over long distances, or electronically

processed, the unavoidable noise introduced by each step in the signal path is additive, progressively

degrading the signal&to&noise ratio, until in extreme cases the signal can be overwhelmed. !his is

calledgeneration loss. 5oise can show up as #hiss# and intermodulation distortion in audio signals, or

$snow$ in video signals. !his degradation is impossible to recover, since there is no sure way to

distinguish the noise from the signal" amplifying the signal to recover attenuated parts of the signal

amplifies the noise (distortion6interference) as well. 1ince digital signals can be transmitted, stored and

processed without introducing noise, even if the resolution of an analog signal is higher than a

comparable digital signal, after enough processing the analog signal to noise ratio will be lower.

7lectrically, analog signal noise can be diminished by shielding, good connections, and several cable

types such as coaxial or twisted pair.

/odulation*edit+

Another method of conveying an analog signal is to use modulation. In this, some base signal (e.g.,

a sinusoidal carrier signal) has one of its properties modulated8 amplitude modulation involves altering the

amplitude of a sinusoidal voltage waveform by the source information, frequency modulation changes

the frequency. 9ther techniques, such as changing the phase of the base signal also wor.

Analog circuits do not involve quantisation of information into digital format. !he concept being measured

over the circuit, whether sound, light, pressure, temperature, or an exceeded limit, remains from end to

end.

A discrete signal or discrete-time signal is a time series consisting of a sequence of quantities. In other

words, it is a time series that is a function over a domain of integers.

:nlie a continuous&time signal, a discrete&time signal is not a function of a continuous argument"

however, it may have been obtained by sampling from a continuous&time signal, and then each value in

the sequence is called a sample. ;hen a discrete&time signal obtained by sampling a sequence

corresponding to uniformly spaced times, it has an associated sampling rate" the sampling rate is not

apparent in the data sequence, and so needs to be associated as a characteristic unit of the system.

Contents

*hide+

, Acquisition

. -igital signals

0 1ee also

2 3eferences

Acquisition*edit+

-iscrete signals may have several origins, but can usually be classified into one of two groups8

*,+

<y acquiring values of an analog signal at constant or variable rate. !his process is

called sampling.

*.+

<y recording the number of events of a given ind over finite time periods. For example, this

could be the number of people taing a certain elevator every day.

-igital signals*edit+

-iscrete cosine waveform with frequency of => )( and a sampling rate of ,>>> samples6sec, easily satisfying the sampling

theorem for reconstruction of the original cosine function from samples.

A digital signal is a discrete&time signal for which not only the time but also the amplitude has been made

discrete" in other words, its samples tae on only values from a discrete set (a countable set that can

be mapped one&to&one to a subset of integers). If that discrete set is finite, the discrete values can be

represented with digital words of a finite width. /ost commonly, these discrete values are represented

asfixed&point words (either proportional to the waveform values orcompanded) or floating&point words.

!he process of converting a continuous&valued discrete&time signal to a digital (discrete&valued discrete&

time) signal is nown as analog&to&digital conversion. It usually proceeds by replacing each original

sample value by an approximation selected from a given discrete set (for example by truncating or

rounding, but much more sophisticated methods exist), a process nown as quanti(ation. !his process

loses information, and so discrete&valued signals are only an approximation of the converted continuous&

valued discrete&time signal, itself only an approximation of the original continuous&valued continuous&time

signal.

'ommon practical digital signals are represented as ?&bit (.=@ levels), ,@&bit (@=,=0@ levels), 0.&

bit (2.0 billion levels), and so on, though any number of quanti(ation levels is possible, not %ust powers of

two.

A continuous signal or a continuous-time signal is a varying quantity (a signal) whose domain, which

is often time, is a continuum(e.g., a connected interval of the reals). !hat is, the function#s domain is

an uncountable set. !he function itself need not be continuous. !o contrast, a discrete time signal has

a countable domain, lie the natural numbers.

A signal of continuous amplitude and time is nown as a continuous time signal or an analog signal. !his

(a signal) will have some value at every instant of time. !he electrical signals derived in proportion with

the physical quantities such as temperature, pressure, sound etc. are generally continuous signals. !he

other examples of continuous signals are sine wave, cosine wave, triangular wave etc. 1ome of the

continuous signals.

!he signal is defined over a domain, which may or may not be finite, and there is a functional mapping

from the domain to the value of the signal. !he continuity of the time variable, in connection with the law

of density of real numbers, means that the signal value can be found at any arbitrary point in time.

A typical example of an infinite duration signal is8

A finite duration counterpart of the above signal could be8

and otherwise.

!he value of a finite (or infinite) duration signal may or may not be finite. For example,

and otherwise,

is a finite duration signal but it taes an infinite value for .

In many disciplines, the convention is that a continuous signal must always have a finite value, which

maes more sense in the case of physical signals.

For some purposes, infinite singularities are acceptable as long as the signal is integrable over any finite

interval (for example, the signal is not integrable, but is).

Any analogue signal is continuous by nature. -iscrete signals, used in digital signal processing, can be

obtained by sampling andquanti(ation of continuous signals.

'ontinuous signal may also be defined over an independent variable other than time. Another very

common independent variable is space and is particularly useful in image processing, where two space

dimensions are used.

Think of an analog waveform. A sine wave will do.

It is continuous in both the time and amplitude domains. Discrete signals are not continuous in the time

domain and digital signals are not continuous in the amplitude domain but it's not just one or the other:

Discrete signals only refer to the time-domain sampling so it is much less confusing to use the term

discrete-time signal.

It could be the sampling of an analog value at random intervals, fixed 1us intervals, or counting the

number of people exiting a door in a one-hour period, as examples.

If the discrete-time samples are also constrained by the set of sampling values, then the samples are

digital. e.g.- some value of the power of 2 so it can be represented by a binary value (quantization).

So, discrete signals can be analog samples where the values are continuous, but digital signals also have

their magnitudes pulled from a discrete set of values.

Discrete simply means there is a definite delineation between values.

Digital signals are discrete in magnitude but could be sampled at any time, which also makes it a discrete-

time signal. In fact, it is almost necessarily so. (almost)

Edit:

Trent's answer is wrong. He is somewhat confusing discrete logic with discrete signals.

Binary should not be confused with digital even though it is the most canonical example.

Alphabets are digital, flag semaphores are digital, electron states/orbits are digital, etc.

A 3-way light bulb has FOUR states, not three.

Possible digital states representing a three-way light bulb:

00 (off)

01 (50W)

10 (100W)

11 (150W)

Example of possible discrete sampling of a three way light bulb over 24 hours. 1 hr intervals:

00

00

00

00

01

01

01

01

01

10

11

11

11

00

00

00

00

00

00

00

00

00

00

This example constitutes a discrete-time signal of digital values, which makes it a digital signal, overall.

Analog and digital signals are used to transmit information, usually

through electric signals. In both these technologies, the information, such as

any audio or video, is transformed into electric signals. The difference

between analog and digital technologies is that in analog technology,

information is translated into electric pulses of varying amplitude. In digital

technology, translation of information is into binary format (zero or one)

where each bit is representative of two distinct amplitudes.

Comparison chart</> Embed this chart

Analog Digital

Signal

Analog signal is a continuous signal

which represents physical

measurements.

Digital signals are discrete time signals

generated by digital modulation.

Waves Denoted by sine waves Denoted by square waves

Representation

Uses continuous range of values to

represent information

Uses discrete or discontinuous values to

represent information

Example

Human voice in air, analog

electronic devices.

Computers, CDs, DVDs, and other digital

electronic devices.

Technology

Analog technology records

waveforms as they are.

amples analog waveforms into a limited

set of numbers and records them.

Data

transmissions

ub!ected to deterioration by noise

during transmission and write"read

cycle.

Can be noise#immune without

deterioration during transmission and

write"read cycle.

Response to

Noise

$ore li%ely to get affected reducing

accuracy

&ess affected since noise response are

analog in nature

Analog Digital

Flexibility

Analog hardware is not fle'ible. Digital hardware is fle'ible in

implementation.

Uses

Can be used in analog devices

only. (est suited for audio and

video transmission.

(est suited for Computing and digital

electronics.

Applications )hermometer *Cs, *DAs

Bandidth

Analog signal processing can be

done in real time and consumes

less bandwidth.

)here is no guarantee that digital signal

processing can be done in real time and

consumes more bandwidth to carry out the

same information.

!emory tored in the form of wave signal tored in the form of binary bit

"oer

Analog instrument draws large

power

Digital instrument draw only negligible

power

#ost &ow cost and portable Cost is high and not easily portable

$mpedance &ow High order of +,, megaohm

Errors

Analog instruments usually have a

scale which is cramped at lower

end and give considerable

observational errors.

Digital instruments are free from

observational errors li%e paralla' and

appro'imation errors.

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