A signal is an electromagnetic or electrical current that is used for carrying data from one system or network to another. The signal is a function that conveys information about a phenomenon.
In electronics and telecommunications, it refers to any time-varying voltage that is an electromagnetic wave which carries information. A signal can also be defined as an observable change in quality such as quantity
In this tutorial, you will learn:
- What is Signal?
- What is an Analog Signal?
- What is a Digital Signal?
- Characteristics OF Analog Signal
- Characteristics of Digital Signals
- Difference Between Analog and Digital Signal
- Advantages of Analog Signals
- Advantages of Digital Signals
- Disadvantages of Analog Signals
- Disadvantage of Digital Signals
Analog signal is a continuous signal in which one time-varying quantity represents another time-based variable. These kind of signals works with physical values and natural phenomena such as earthquake, frequency, volcano, speed of wind, weight, lighting, etc.
A digital signal is a signal that is used to represent data as a sequence of separate values at any point in time. It can only take on one of a fixed number of values. This type of signal represents a real number within a constant range of values.
Here, are essential characteristics of Analog Signal
- These type of electronic signals are time-varying
- Minimum and maximum values which is either positive or negative.
- It can be either periodic or non-periodic.
- Analog Signal works on continuous data.
- The accuracy of the analog signal is not high when compared to the digital signal.
- It helps you to measure natural or physical values.
- Analog signal output form is like Curve, Line, or Graph, so it may not be meaningful to all.
Here, are essential characteristics of Digital signals
- Digital signal are continuous signals
- This type of electronic l signals can be processed and transmitted better compared to analog signal.
- Digital signals are versatile, so it is widely used.
- The accuracy of the digital signal is better than that of the analog signal.
Here are important differences between Analog and Digital Signal:
|An analog signal is a continuous signal that represents physical measurements.||Digital signals are time separated signals which are generated using digital modulation.|
|It is denoted by sine waves||It is denoted by square waves|
|It uses a continuous range of values that help you to represent information.||Digital signal uses discrete 0 and 1 to represent information.|
|Temperature sensors, FM radio signals, Photocells, Light sensor, Resistive touch screen are examples of Analog signals.||Computers, CDs, DVDs are some examples of Digital signal.|
|The analog signal bandwidth is low||The digital signal bandwidth is high.|
|Analog signals are deteriorated by noise throughout transmission as well as write/read cycle.||Relatively a noise-immune system without deterioration during the transmission process and write/read cycle.|
|Analog hardware never offers flexible implementation.||Digital hardware offers flexibility in implementation.|
|It is suited for audio and video transmission.||It is suited for Computing and digital electronics.|
|Processing can be done in real-time and consumes lesser bandwidth compared to a digital signal.||It never gives a guarantee that digital signal processing can be performed in real time.|
|Analog instruments usually have s scale which is cramped at lower end and gives considerable observational errors.||Digital instruments never cause any kind of observational errors.|
|Analog signal doesn't offer any fixed range.||Digital signal has a finite number, i.e., 0 and 1.|
Here, are pros/benefits of Analog Signals
- Easier in processing
- Best suited for audio and video transmission.
- It has a low cost and is portable.
- It has a much higher density so that it can present more refined information.
- Not necessary to buy a new graphics board.
- Uses less bandwidth than digital sounds
- Provide more accurate representation of a sound
- It is the natural form of a sound.
Here, are pros/advantages of Digital Signals:
- Digital data can be easily compressed.
- Any information in the digital form can be encrypted.
- Equipment that uses digital signals is more common and less expensive.
- Digital signal makes running instruments free from observation errors like parallax and approximation errors.
- A lot of editing tools are available
- You can edit the sound without altering the original copy
- Easy to transmit the data over networks
Here are cons/drawback of Analog Signals:
- Analog tends to have a lower quality signal than digital.
- The cables are sensitive to external influences.
- The cost of the Analog wire is high and not easily portable.
- Low availability of models with digital interfaces.
- Recording analog sound on tape is quite expensive if the tape is damaged
- It offers limitations in editing
- Tape is becoming hard to find
- It is quite difficult to synchronize analog sound
- Quality is easily lost
- Data can become corrupted
- Plenty of recording devices and formats which can become confusing to store a digital signal
- Digital sounds can cut an analog sound wave which means that you can't get a perfect reproduction of a sound
- Offers poor multi-user interfaces
- Sampling may cause loss of information.
- A/D and D/A demands mixed-signal hardware
- Processor speed is limited
- Develop quantization and round-off errors
- It requires greater bandwidth
- Systems and processing is more complex.
- An analog signal is a continuous signal whereas Digital signals are time separated signals.
- Analog signal is denoted by sine waves while It is denoted by square waves
- Analog signal uses a continuous range of values that help you to represent information on the other hand digital signal uses discrete 0 and 1 to represent information.
- The analog signal bandwidth is low while the bandwidth of the digital signal is high.
- Analog instruments give considerable observational errors whereas Digital instruments never cause any kind of observational errors.
- Analog hardware never offers flexible implementation, but Digital hardware offers flexibility in implementation.
- Analog signals are suited for audio and video transmission while Digital signals are suited for Computing and digital electronics.