Analog to Digital Converter

A circuit that converts an analog signal, having a continuously varying amplitude, to a digitally quantized representation using binary output signals. The sampling frequency must be at least twice as high as the highest frequency present in the signal to prevent aliasing errors.

Delta-Sigma Modulating ADC

A high-accuracy circuit that samples at a higher rate and lower resolution than is needed and pushes the quantization noise above the frequency range of interest. This out-of-band noise is typically removed by digital filters.

Effective Number of Bits

Figure of merit for an A/D converter describing how many bits of effective resolution, this is below the actual A/D word size. This is due to limitations in noise and distortion performance.

Integrating ADC

An ADC whose output code represents the average value of the input voltage over a given time interval.


Term used to describe input signals exceeding the full scale range. It produces the equivalent of a digital code consisting of all 1s.

Successive Approximation Register

Uses a digital-to-analog converter to determine the output word successively, bit by bit.

See also: Anti-Aliasing Filter, Data Acquisition, Digital-to-Analogue Converter, Digitization, Quantization Error, Sample and Hold, Sampling Frequency.

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Subjects: Electronics