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Analog and Digital Comparison Paper

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Analog and Digital Comparison Paper
Amanda Dyer, Derick Campos, Jesse Ford, Mehran Gerami, Nicolas Monteiro, Wendell Taylor
NTC/362
October 15, 2015
Richard Swafford, Jr.

Analog and Digital Technology: A Comparison
Analog and digital are two different types of signals used to transmit audio or visual information from one place to another. Analog signals are continuous, meaning that there are no breaks or interruptions and digital signals are not continuous, they use specific values to represent information (Strickland, 2008). Analog transmissions are sent via electronic pulses of varying amplitude, while digital transmissions are converted into binary format to represent two individual amplitudes. Analog is cheap and has been used quite some time now, but the biggest issue with analog signals is the limitation of data that can be transmitted. Nowadays almost all equipment being produced is digital based.
Analog to digital conversions or A/D conversions is the process of changing a continuous variable signal to a multi-level signal without altering the vital contents or the information or data. A prime example of a telecommunication that uses this form of conversion is a telephone modem. Voice communications vary in range and are not in binary form, so these analog signals must be translated into digital signals. Digital to analog conversions or DAC is the conversion of binary code to analog signal. In order words, signals having few defined levels or states are converted into signals having a theoretically infinite number of states (Rouse, 2005). Going from digital to analog can sometimes be tricky and even cause the quality of the signal to be compromised. An example of digital to analog conversion would be the use of Internet via a modem; the modem converts computer signals (digital) using standard phone lines.
Amplitude Modulation & Frequency Modulation
Analog and Digital signals can now be understood as types of signals, or wave forms that are used to transmit the audio or visual information from one place to another. The next step is understanding how the signals (wave forms) can vary and the advantages and disadvantages of those wave forms modulation types, in either a transmitted or received signal.
Two types of modulations are Amplitude Modulation (AM) and Frequency Modulation (FM). The textbook defines ‘amplitude’ as a measure of the height of the wave (signal), which indicates the strength, or power, of the signal, and ‘frequency’ as the number of oscillations per second of an electromagnetic wave (Goleniewski, 2007). AM signals are known to modulate in amplitude by the signal that is to be transmitted. FM signals are known to modulate in frequency by the signal that is to be transmitted. Although it is cheaper, AM has poorer sound quality and in FM, it is much more reliable security wise because the signal can be encrypted (Poole, 2015).
These are just a few of the advantages and disadvantages, and depending on the transmission modulations and signals being used, meeting the endpoint can be determined from these factors, as far as clarity of signal goes for audio and video.
Phase Modulation (PM)
Phase Modulation (PM) is the modulation technique in which carrier phase varies based on analog baseband information signal to be transmitted using wireless device. Phase modulation is referred as indirect frequency modulation due to the fact that phase modulation produces frequency modulation. The advantages and disadvantages of phase modulator differ from other modulators. For example, one advantage is the phase modulation & demodulation can be easily compared to frequency modulation. In other words, if one understands frequency modulation they should have no problem understanding phase modulation. Another advantage of phase modulations is that it is used in determining velocity of moving targets by extracting Doppler information. Doppler information refers to the Doppler Effect which is the change in frequency of a wave. Doppler information needs a stable carrier, which is possible in phase modulation but not in frequency modulation. On the other hand, here are some disadvantages of phase modulation. One disadvantage of phase modulation is that phase ambiguity comes into effect if you go pass its modulation index (180 degree). This means the frequency output signal becomes inverted in relation to the input. Another disadvantage is that you need frequency multiplier to increase phase modulation index.
Quadrature Amplitude Modulation (QAM)
Quadrature Amplitude Modulation, also known as QAM is a method of combining two amplitude-modulated (AM) signals into a single channel, thereby doubling the effective bandwidth. One of its advantages is its capability to increase the efficiency of transmission due to the use of both amplitude, and phase variations in radio communications. However, its disadvantages are that in order to move the signal to a different decision point, the lower levels of noise are needed. This noise may present a problem with QAM. QAM also contains an amplitude component and a linear amplifier is needed for transmission. This is also a disadvantage because the use of linear amplifiers consumes more power thus making it less desirable for mobile applications.
Modulation Techniques
The word modem is actually an acronym that stands for Modulation/Demodulation. A modem also allows for two computers to communicate I each other. The term modulation is defined as the alteration of a carrier signal based on whether it is transmitting a 1 or zero. Modulation is required in order for the transmission of digital information to take place. Modulation methods vary, for example, the type of wire needed, the immunity to noise and the overall complexity requirements may result in incompatibility issues (Feibel, 2000).
56k Modem
56K modems modulate by utilizing ordinary telephone lines. In order for the modulation to complete successfully, the lines cannot be multiplexed. Multiplexed lines are commonly used in areas that are densely populated. If these lines were to be used, there would be too much noise on the line to successfully transmit the data and information through the line. It is also recommended that a user of the 56k modem reside within one to two miles of the phone company’s central office. Anyone who uses a 56k modem outside of this distances takes the risk of not having a clean line for the transmission of their data (Feibel, 2000).
Modems are required at both ends of a connection for 56k. When downloads are performed on a 56k modem, they cannot contain any analog to digital conversions. There would be too much noise on the line to complete the transmission. The modulation process for a 56k modem consists of the internet service provider sending a digital signal to the phone company. The digital signal at the phone company is then converted into a digital analog signal which is then relayed back to the customer. (Feibel, 2000)
ADSL
ADSL stands for Asymmetrical Digital Subscriber Line. Asymmetrical means unbalanced or one way. For our purpose it refers to modem sending data faster in one direction rather than in the direction receiving through a copper wire. Throughout time ADSL has been simply referred to as DSL which is the technology mostly used for getting high speed internet access. The line code used for ADSL interface is called the DMT code (discrete multi-tone) which was created in order to be compatible with the twisted-wire pair channel.
Asymmetrical Digital Subscriber Lines utilize existing copper-based and are capable enough to provide LAN access, on-demand video and internet access to its users. LAN also known as Local Area Network most commonly in homes and small businesses where dummy computers are hardwired or directly connected. Modulation in ADSL takes place by the use of Frequency Division Multiplexing (FDM). Frequency division multiplexing separates the frequency bands into upstream and downstream categories. Communication from the user to the telephone central office takes place within the upstream band. The downstream band is used for communication from the central office to the user. Splitters are used when making a ADSL connection. This filter separates the telephone and ADSL signals allowing for phone calls to be placed at the same time that data is being transferred through the line (Alturayef, 2007).
Wi-Fi
There are typically two primary radio transmission techniques. These are the 802.11 b and the 802.11 a and g. The 802.11 b uses the complementary coded keying also known as the (CCK). A special coding is used to process the bit stream and later modulated using the Quadrature Phase Shift Keying which is known as the (QPSK). The other system uses a 64-channel orthogonal frequency division multiplexing also referred to as (OFDM). Within this modulating system, the radio band is divided into multiple sub-channels where each channel sends a portion of the bits. The bit streams are encoded when transmitted using the Binary Phase Shift Keying known as (BPSK). Quadrature Phase Shift Keying also referred to as (QPSK) are another one of the systems used. Although some of the transmitted data is repetitive, the receiver does not need all of the sub-carriers to reconstruct the data. The 802.11 already includes an option for frequency hopping spread spectrum (FHSS) but in large that has been left behind and not too many organizations use that any longer.
In Adaptive Modulation, a WiFi uses a multiple forward error correction to optimize transmission and decrease the error possibilities. This means the transmitter automatically becomes more powerful, when radio signals losses power or interference becomes and obstacle.
SONET
SONET is the American National Standards Institute’s standard for synchronous data when dealing with optical media. It serves as a protocol to transmit speeds at an extremely high rate. Its speed ranges from base rate or OC-1, which provides a connection at 51.84 Mbps to OC-768, which holds a connection of 40 gbps.
T(X)
T(X) is a digital signal that is assigned to a carrier in hierarchy and is used to connect networks. T-1 is the first level category, holds a 1.54 mbps connection. T-2 is the 2nd level category and holds a 6.31 mbps speed. T-3 has the third level in hierarchy and it has a speed of 44 mbps. OC-x carriers replaced T-4 and T5 carriers.
In conclusion, there are so many benefits of using both analog and digital signals and transmissions via telecommunications. In today’s modern technology, telecommunication systems require large volumes of data ranging from voice, radio and television signals to be transmitted over long distances. This paper explained how analog signals are less accepting to noise and interruptions, use good bandwidth and easy to manipulate. However, when trying to convert a system from analog to digital, you may run into issues and even have to change transmitters and receivers. Digital signals are more accepting to noise and can be interrupted with the slightest presence of noise. These types of signals are better in handling standard receivers and transmitters unlike analog transmissions. So, is one better than the other?

References
Alturayef, M. (2007). ADSL Technology. Retrieved from http://ecee.colorado.edu/~ecen4242/ adsl/adsltechnology.htm Feibel, W. (2000). 56K Modem. Retrieved from http://facweb.northseattle.edu/tfiegenb/eet/
EET131/56KModem.htm
Goleniewski, L. (2007). Telecommunications essentials. (2nd ed.) Boston, MA: Pearson
Lou Frenzel Jan 23, 2012 Understanding modern Digital modulation http://electronicdesign.com/communications/understanding-modern-digital-modulation-techniques Poole, I. (2015). Frequency Modulation Advantages & Disadvantages. Retrieved from http://www.radio-electronics.com/info/rf-technology-design/fm-frequency- modulation/advantages-disadvantages.php
Poole, I. (2014). What is QAM | Quadrature Amplitude Modulation. Retrieved from http://www.radio-electronics.com/info/rf-technology-design/quadrature-amplitude-modulation-qam Proakis, J.G., Salehi M. (1994) Communications Systems Engineering, Prentice Hall
Rouse, M. (2005, April 1). What is digital-to-analog conversion (DAC)? - Definition from
WhatIs.com. Retrieved from http://whatis.techtarget.com/definition/digital-to-analog-conversion-DAC
Strickland, J. (2008, July 6). Does digital sound better than analog? Retrieved from
http://electronics.howstuffworks.com/digital-versus-analog1.htm

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