You are on page 1of 42

The Digital Deluge Lecture 2

Learning in Retirement
David Coll
Professor Emeritus Department of Systems and Computer Engineering

Winter 2009

Digital means discrete (like whole numbers) and Analog means continuous (like physical properties such as temperature, volume, etc.). The term analog comes from early computers (circa WWII) used to solve differential equations with continuous variables, as contrasted with discrete state machines (like an elevator controller) built from openor-closed switches or on-off digital circuits



Using physical representation Relating to a system, device that represents data variation by a measurable physical quality such as temperature, volume, distance, weight, pressure Which is continuous in time or space and value

Digital Representing data as numbers
Processing Operating on Storing Transmitting Displaying

Data in the form of numerical digits, as in a digital computer

Representing a physical quantity

such as sound, light, or electricity

by means of samples
taken at discrete times (or places) and given numerical values usually in the binary system as in a digital audio recording or in digital television or in digital photography

In Communications
Analog is used to refer to systems with signals that are continuous in value and time
such as AM and FM, where the electrical signals are representations of the information signals.

Amplitude Modulation (AM) A N A L O G

s(t ) Ac [1 k a m(t )] cos(2f c t )

Phase or Frequency Modulation (FM)

s (t ) Ac cos(2f c t k m(t )) s (t ) Ac cos(2f c t k f

m( )d )

In Communications
Digital is used to refer to discrete-state, discrete-time signals that can take on only specific values at specific times; such as
sampled/quantized signals, pulse modulated signals,

and to data communication signals in general.

Digital Modulation: Discrete in Time and Value

Parameters of Information Sources & Systems

Analog (continuous functions of time, space, weight, )
voice, audio, image, video, temperature Bandwidth frequency (harmonics) range Statistics amplitude distribution, power, spectrum (frequency content, harmonics)

Digital (sets of numbers):

ASCII characters, computer words, Bit Rate bps, kbps, Mbps, Gbps, Tbps, Ebps,

How does Information Become Digital?

Digital Representation
Information that is naturally discrete, such as state of a light switch (on-off), integers, or text can be represented by binary numbers in obvious ways. Text (as generated on a keyboard) is often represented by 8-bit binary numbers. Speech may be represented by a pressure wave, which is continuous in time and value and has to be sampled and quantized to be represented digitally.

Discrete Information
Some information, such as numerals and characters is discrete and can be represented digitally easily Take characters of the English Language for example The American Standard Code for Information Interchange (ASCII) is the binary representation used in teletype messaging and adopted as a universal computer character representation.

A = 11000001 a = 11100001

% = 10100101

Formatting 10001101 = CR 10001010 = LF Messaging 10000001 = SOH 10000010 = STX 10000011 = ETX 10000100 = EOT

Early minicomputers such as Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) PDP machines used teletypewriters as terminals They had
keyboards that generated ASCII code words printers that accepted ASCIII code words and punched paper tape I/O that could be used to save and replay messages.

The ASCII code set including

text formatting CR and LF and message formatting SOH, STX ETX, EOT

Became the way computer communications over leased and dial-up telephone lines started Except for a bunch of computer geeks who used Sun Microsystems workstations which had a different communications scheme built-in.

Common Sense Digitization of Analog Information

All continuous signals can be represented by a collection of numbers to any degree of accuracy by
sampling often enough and using enough quantization levels* to represent the signal value at the sampling instants. * determined by the number of digits in the representation

Analog-to-Digital Conversion
Two stage process Sample
Sampling Theorem Nyquist Rate

Precision, SNR (% average error) Note: a digital representation of an analog value always has error

The Sampling Theorem

Shannons Sampling Theorem states that
any bandlimited signal may be represented by samples taken at a rate of twice its highest frequency*, and may be reconstructed without error if the appropriate interpolation functions are used**.

Nerd Alert

* Twice the highest frequency is called the Nyquist Rate. ** Physically unrealizable sinx/x or (sinc) functions.

Impulse Sampling


All signals can be represented by a collection of numbers to any degree of accuracy by sampling often enough and using enough quantization levels to represent the signal value at the sampling instant.

Summary (for irrepressible nerds only)

Shannons Sampling Theorem states that any strictly bandlimited function may be presented by sampling at a rate that is at least twice as fast as the highest frequency in the signal, and that it may be recovered without distortion by passing the (impulse) samples through an ideal low-pass filter with a bandwidth equal to that of the signal.

For processing, storage or communication, samples with infinite precision must be quantized Such that a range, or interval, of values is represented by a single, finite precision, number For example, by a finite binary number.


6 5 5


3 1

1 -2




-3 -4

7 6 5 5 4 3 2 1 1 -2 -3 -3 -4 -2 -3 2 1 3 7 7 7 7


-2 Quantum Boundary Actual Value Reconstruction Value -3

Quantum Boundary




Quantization Error (for nerds and audiophiles)

The quantization error depends on the number of distinct quantization intervals used. If N binary digits are used, the number of distinct intervals is 2N. The signal-to-quantization-error ratio is about (6N + 1.8) dB.

Binary Representation
Once information is discretized, or sampled, a number can be assigned to represent the value of each sample. The number can be expressed as a binary number, e.g., 2009 is 1024 + 512 + 256 + 128 +64 + 32 + 8 + 4 + 1
1x 210 + 1x 29 + 1x 28 + 1x 27 + 1x 26 +1x 25 +1x 23 + 1x 22 + 1x 20


The basis of the Digital Deluge is the universal adoption of a technology that can create, process, and communicate information that is represented in digital form.

So much for Digital Representation Now, lets look at Digital Information Technologies But, first Let us pause for a short break .

Let us look at the Digital Technologies

Communications Computing

Digital Communications
We have
Sources of Information That create information Destinations for Information That use information

and we have
Communications Networks That provide connectivity between them

We also have Terminals

That interface (connect) the Sources and Destinations to the Networks.

A Taxonomy of Telecommunications
Sources Channels Destinations
T e r m

T e r m


T e r m


What are Digital Communications?

Modern Telecommunication Systems are designed to accept and deliver information made up of sequences of binary signals. These systems and the connections through them are enabled and controlled by computers.

What is Special About NOW? Why the Deluge NOW?

Realization of the Telecomm Dream
Unified Communications ubiquitous high speed, multimedia, reliable, standardized networks
The All-IP Multimedia Network The Internet and the WWW

Ubiquitous Broadband Access Wired (FTTP) Wireless(Cellular/WLAN)

More on Communications
We will discuss communications later when we look at delivering digital information.

Computers: Universal Digital Processing Machines

Computers are universal digital machines that can
accept information in digital form store it process it in many ways output it to various devices display it communicate it

All under control of a set of pre-determined steps called a program.

The Evolution of the Computer

Intelligent Information Agents
Communications, Processing, Control Programmable Powerful Hardware: speed, memory Handheld/Mobile Robotic autonomous tasks in touch with local environment

Terminals and Switches

Terminal Equipment the sources and destinations of information, are digital machines, i.e., computers, in the broadest sense. Network Switches are also computers.

Software Development
Highly evolutionary Use of complex components Standardization

Intelligent Agent: Telematics

Communications A & D I/O Processor