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9_AtoD

# 9_AtoD

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05/15/2014

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1-Analogue-to-Digital Conversion
1.1 Basic concepts
ADC is the conversion of Analogue signals into binary signals.
ADC involves sampling, quantisation and coding.
Sampling is the discretisation of signals in the time domain. Samples are takenat regular intervals.
Sampling frequency
is the rate at which samples aretaken, it is expressed in Hz. For example a sampling frequency of 10 kHzmeans 10,000 samples are taken every second.
Quantisation involves discretisation of the signal in the “voltage domain”, theaim is to have a finite number of levels to enable coding with binary. Number of levels is often expressed as the number of bits needed to represent them.For example 256 levels is equivalent to “8 bit”.
Coding is the representation of each quantisation level with a unique binarycode.
ADC often result in loss (or error) of information from the original signal. Themain errors are sampling (aliasing) and quantisation errors. These are naturalresult from the discretisation of continuous signals.
Nyquist rate is the sampling frequency at which the sampling error can beavoided. Nyquist rate is defined as double the highest frequency component(harmonic) in the signal. Frequency components can be obtained via Fourier analysis of the signal. E.g. audio signals range between 20-20,000HZ, theoptimal sampling frequency should be double the maximum frequencycomponent, i.e. 2x 20kHz, therefore 40,000Hz or 40kHz.
Examples of applications include ADCs and DACs used in most computer sound cards, mobile phones and embedded systems of all types.
ADCs are often specified by voltage range, bit and/or voltage resolution.Voltage range refers to the difference between the minimum and maximum analogueinput values of the ADC.
Bit resolution is the number of bits used for the digital output and depends on thenumber of quantisation levels. E.g. In simple binary coding ADC 4 bit will beSamplingQuantisationCodingAnalogueDigital

used for 16 levels, 5 for 32 etc. as a general rule number of level = 2
n
, n being the bit resolution.
Voltage resolution results from voltage range and n. It is the voltage incrementthat corresponds to digital output increment of “1”. Voltage variations smaller than the voltage resolution cannot be accurately measured/converted. It alsodetermines the largest quantisation error possible.
Voltage resolution = Voltage range/number of levels
This is a sample of the large number of analogue-to-digital conversion methods. The basic principle of operation is to use the comparator principle to determine whether or not to turn on a particular bit of the binary number output. It is typical for an ADC touse a digital-to-analogue converter (DAC) to determine one of the inputs to thecomparator.