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A Comparison of Digital and Analog Technologies

In: Computers and Technology

Submitted By kiki54
Words 1049
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Introduction
Analog-to-Digital and Digital-to-Analog Conversions
Telecommunications relies on the transmission of data through different mediums such as a telephone, radio, television, among others. These transmissions are done through two signal types, which are analog and digital. Analog is the first type of transmission type because it is the older and has been around for a lot longer than digital. On the other hand, even though digital transmission is a younger generation, it is currently use in more devices than analog. Each signal has its advantages and disadvantages, but in most scenarios, both need to work together to create an effective transmission. Technologies that convert analog into digital and vice-versa have been created for this purpose. Converting the signals allows for a more cohesive environment because each can be adjusted to work on devices or mediums not made for them originally. The next part of this paper covers the technologies use to convert these signals.
Analog to Digital Conversion
In order for this conversion to take place, an analog-to-digital converter (ADC) is necessary. This component is essential because it is responsible for receiving the analog signal as input and sending a digital signal as output. The ADC receives an analog signal such as sound, voice, or voltage and transforms that signal into a binary output. This output is the digital signal that has a state of either on, which is represented by 1 or an off state represented by 0. ADC is used in more occasions than people think. For example, whenever music is transmitted through the radio, the signal is sent in as analog and then through ADC changed into digital. Another example is the use of phones. Voice is analog, so a conversion needs to take place at the switch to convert it into digital. Analog is an older technology that is still widely used, so it is important to know how to convert it.

Digital to Analog Conversion
The use of ADC only deals with transforming from analog-to-digital, but a need for the opposite conversion is also a must to make an effective use of telecommunication mediums. In order to convert a signal from digital to analog, a digital-to-analog converter (DAC) is necessary. The method for this conversion deals with receiving input in the form of a digital signal and outputting analog as a result. This conversion also happens more commonly than people tend to think. When listening to music or watching the television, the information is sent in a digital format, but then through DAC we can hear sound, which is analog in nature. Digital signals have become vital to telecommunications because it removes the noise that was a common occurrence in analog transmissions. Both ADC and DAC work together to make effective use of telecommunication mediums. Transforming these signals according to the need for it makes these technologies vital for everyday living.
Comparison and Contrast of the Different Modulations
An amplitude modulated signal (AM) is created when the amplitude of the signal is varied in line with the variation intensity of the sound wave. An advantage to using this particular format is that it is the simplest of the modulations to implement. The most common issue with AM is the signal detects multiple levels of noise due to the detectors not being smart enough to cancel the noise during transmission. Even though amplitude modulation is simple to implement and is cheaper in cost, compared to other modulations it is not very effective and other modulations are preferred. It is however still used in communications such as broadcasting, two-way radio, and aircraft.
Frequency Modulation (FM) transmits information over a carrier wave by varying its instantaneous frequency. In comparison to the amplitude modulation, the amplitude of the carrier is varied while its frequency remains constant. (Radio-Electronics, n.d.). One advantage of using this format is frequency modulation is resilient to noise. As noise is amplitude based, with a frequency modulation, the noise is reduced and only the frequency variations appear. The Frequency modulation is still an ideal format for many analogue applications. Most radio communications still use frequency modulation which is why there is still a demand for frequency modulation. A disadvantage to this modulation is it requires a more complicated demodulator that is more expensive than that of the AM. In Phase Modulation (PM) the information varies in the instantaneous phase of a carrier wave. This modulation does not come highly recommended because of the complexity with the hardware and the potential problems in the signal transmission. For example the single can change in the degrees from phase to phase during the transmission. This modulation is very similar to the frequency modulation. An advantage is this particular modulation can be combined with other modules. According to Radio-Electronics (n.d.), “Quadrature Amplitude Modulation, QAM is a signal in which two carriers shifted in phase by 90 degrees are modulated and the resultant output consists of both amplitude and phase variations”. This modulation can be used in an analogue or digital format, whichever is more cost effective for the company. The QAM format utilizes both amplitude and phase variations. As part of the combination many issues are present. The first is that it makes this modulation more pronged to higher levels of noise. In both the phase and frequency modulations, they can limit the amplifiers and remove the amplitude noise to correct it, whereas this does not occur when using QAM.
Analog Modulation Techniques in 56K modem, Asymmetrical Digital Subscriber Line, and Wi-Fi

T(X) Synchronous Optical Network (SONET) Digital Hierarchy

Conclusion

References http://www.allaboutcircuits.com/vol_4/chpt_13/1.html http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/317
Radio-Electronics. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.radio-electronics.com/info/rf-technology- design/am-amplitude-modulation/what-is-am-tutorial.php
Radio-Electronics. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.radio-electronics.com/info/rf-technology- design/pm-phase-modulation/what-is-psk-phase-shift-keying-tutorial.php
Radio-Electronics. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.radio-electronics.com/info/rf-technology- design/fm-frequency-modulation/advantages-disadvantages.php
Radio-Electronics. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.radio-electronics.com/info/rf-technology- design/pm-phase-modulation/what-is-qam-quadrature-amplitude-modulation-tutorial.php

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