Digitalised - Process

Process

The term digitization is often used when diverse forms of information, such as text, sound, image or voice, are converted into a single binary code. Digital information exists as one of two digits, either 0 or 1. These are known as bits (a contraction of binary digits) and the sequences of 0s and 1s that constitute information are called bytes.

Analog signals are continuously variable, both in the number of possible values of the signal at a given time, as well as in the number of points in the signal in a given period of time. However, digital signals are discrete in both of those respects – generally a finite sequence of integers – therefore a digitization can, in practical terms, only ever be an approximation of the signal it represents.

Digitization occurs in two parts:

Discretization
The reading of an analog signal A, and, at regular time intervals (frequency), sampling the value of the signal at the point. Each such reading is called a sample and may be considered to have infinite precision at this stage;
Quantization
Samples are rounded to a fixed set of numbers (such as integers), a process known as quantization.

In general, these can occur at the same time, though they are conceptually distinct.

A series of digital integers can be transformed into an analog output that approximates the original analog signal. Such a transformation is called a DA conversion. The sampling rate and the number of bits used to represent the integers combine to determine how close such an approximation to the analog signal a digitization will be.

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