Good Example Of Essay On Analog And Digital Signals
Analog and digital signals, basically, differ in their graphs of voltage versus time. Analog signals have a continuous signal function with respect to time (Angoletta, 2014). The signal here can be sound, light, temperature, pressure, etc. The signals have smooth continuous changes similar to an analog watch. On the other hand, digital signals have a discrete (taking only binary values 0 and 1) function with respect to time. The signals have determined levels such as the case of the digital clock where time can only take account of 0 to 9.
The advantages of using analog versus digital signals are: (a) processing speed and (b) data density. The processing of analog signals is simpler since a measured amount of energy is converted to a corresponding fraction of voltage. This is especially useful in the manufacturing industries such as in temperature sensors and pressure transducers. Analog data is also denser. It carries a greater amount of data compared to digital signals. However, this is also a disadvantage because associated noise is also carried in the signal. This is particularly encountered in the music industry setup and in radio communications such as AM and FM.
On the other hand, digital signals offer some advantages such as: (a) upgrade readability, (b) easy storage, (c) control of accuracy, and (d) reproducibility. Upgrading is easier since computers and microprocessors are involved in the system. Storage is easier since storage media such as flash drive, hard drives, and even compact disc carry large amount of data. This also results in reproducibility since recording of data is simpler. Accuracy can also be easily manipulated with the advent of advanced software such as in audio and video editing software. This has paved for the digital age. Most devices now have microprocessors that process digital signals. Even the internet is a network of digital signals being sent, received, and stored.
With these differences between analog and digital signals, it is up to the engineer and designer to choose what to use to achieve the desired objectives of the systems being installed.
Angoletta, M.E. (2014). Analog and Digital Signals. Retrieved from http://www.umiacs.umd.edu/~ramani/cmsc828d_audio/Signals.pdf (January 6, 2015)