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Written By:
Sonali7
5 minute read
AnalogDigitalSignal

Analog Vs Digital Signal

Posted in Facts   LAST UPDATED: SEPTEMBER 4, 2021

Are you also confused between Analog and Digital and are wondering what is the difference between them? If yes, then don't worry because this article is for you. In this article, we will discuss what is an analog signal, what is a digital signal, what is the difference between these two, and many more.

So, let's get started.

What is a Signal?

A signal is an entity that represents information. This could be electric current, voltage, electromagnetic waves that are used for wireless communication, sound, etc. Basically, it is a function that conveys information about a phenomenon.

What is Analog Signal?

An analog signal is defined as a continuous signal in which one time-varying quantity (such as voltage, pressure, etc.) represents another time-based variable. In simple terms, we can say that in an analog signal one variable is analog over the other. Examples of analog signals are analog phones, human voice, etc.

Analog Signal

What is a Digital Signal?

A digital signal is defined as a signal that is used to represent data as a sequence of discrete values at any given time. It can only take on, at most, one of a finite number of values. Examples of digital signals are computers, digital phones, etc.

Digital Signal

Characteristics of an Analog Signal

These are the following characteristics of an analog signal:

  • It works on continuous data.
  • It helps you to live natural or physical values.
  • It is either periodic or non-periodic.
  • The minimum and maximum values are either positive or negative.
  • These sorts of electronic signals are time-varying.
  • It has low accuracy.
  • It helps to measure natural or physical values.

Characteristics of a Digital Signal

These are the following characteristics of digital signal:

  • These are continuous signals.
  • As digital signals are versatile, so it is widely used.
  • These signals are often processed and transmitted better compared to analog signals.
  • It has higher accuracy.

Advantages of Analog Signal

These are the following benefits of an analog signal:

  • It is best suited for audio and video transmission.
  • It is low cost and portable.
  • It uses less bandwidth than digital sounds.
  • These signals are easier to process.
  • It posses a higher density.
  • It offers a more accurate representation of a sound.
  • It is the natural form of a sound.
  • These systems are less sensitive in terms of electrical tolerance.

Advantages of Digital Signal

These are the following benefits of digital signal:

  • Digital signals convey information with less noise, distortion, and interference.
  • These signals can be transmitted over long distances.
  • These signals can be compressed easily.
  • Equipment that uses digital signals is more common and less expensive.
  • It can be reproduced easily in mass quantities at comparatively low costs.
  • These signals are easily encrypted.
  • Digital signal processing is more flexible.
  • The probability of error occurrence is often reduced by employing error detection and correction codes.
  • It makes running instruments free from errors.
  • It offers a lot of editing tools.

Disadvantages of Analog Signal

These are the following drawbacks of an analog signal:

  • It possesses a lower quality signal than digital.
  • The analog wires are quite expensive and are not easily portable.
  • It has low availability of models with digital interfaces.
  • It offers limitations in editing.
  • Recording analog sound on the tape becomes expensive if the tape is broken.
  • Tape is becoming hard to find.
  • There is a chance of data corruption.
  • It offers poor multi-user interfaces.
  • It is difficult to synchronize analog sound.
  • The cables are sensitive to external influences.

Disadvantages of Digital Signal:

These are the following drawbacks of digital signal:

  • Sampling causes loss of information.
  • Processor speed is limited.
  • Digital systems and processing are more complex.
  • Higher bandwidth is required for data communication.
  • A/D and D/A demand mixed-signal hardware.
  • Develop quantization and round-off errors.

Difference Between Analog Signal and Digital Signal

These are the following difference between analog and digital signals:

  • Analog signals are continuous signals whereas digital signals are time-separated signals.
  • Analog signal uses a continuous range of values whereas digital signals use discrete 0 and 1 to represent information.
  • Analog signals are suited for audio and video transmission while Digital signals are suited for Computing and digital electronics.
  • Analog signal is denoted by sine waves whereas digital signals are denoted by square waves.
  • Observational errors are common in analog signal instruments whereas digital instruments never cause any kind of observational errors.
  • Digital hardware offers flexibility in implementation whereas analog signals never offer flexibility in implementation.
  • Analog signals provide low bandwidth whereas digital signals provide high bandwidth.
  • Analog signals produce lots of noise whereas digital signals do not produce any noise.
  • Analog signals are less accurate whereas digital signals are very accurate.
  • Examples of analog signals are analog phones, human voice, etc whereas examples of digital signals are computers, digital phones, etc.

Comparison Chart:

Let us summarize the above-discussed points in a tabular form:

Analog Signals Digital Signals
Analog signals are continuous signals. Digital signals are time-separated signals.
Analog signal uses a continuous range of values. Digital signals use discrete 0 and 1 to represent information.
Examples of analog signals are analog phones, human voice, etc Examples of digital signals are computers, digital phones, etc.
Analog signals are less accurate. Digital signals are very accurate.
Analog signals produce lots of noise. Digital signals do not produce any noise.
Analog signals provide low bandwidth Digital signals provide high bandwidth.
Analog signal is denoted by sine waves. Digital signals are denoted by square waves.
Observational errors are common in analog signal instruments. Digital instruments never cause any kind of observational errors.
Analog signals are suited for audio and video transmission. Digital signals are suited for Computing and digital electronics.
Analog signals never offer flexibility in implementation. Digital hardware offers flexibility in implementation.

Conclusion:

I hope from the above discussion it is clear what an analog signal is, what a digital signal is, what are the characteristics of analog and digital signals, the advantages of analog and digital signals, disadvantages of analog and digital signals, and the difference between these two signals.

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