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Several Types and Uses of Analog-to Digital-Converter



An Analog to Digital Converter (ADC) is used in data processing for theAnalog-to Digital-Converter transforming analog electrical signals (such as light entering a digital camera) into a digital signal. These data converters are used in various fields like communications, energy, healthcare, automation, aerospace/defense, etc. Analog signals could be called real world signals like temperature, pressure, voltage, current, distance, etc. and ADC converts them into digital signal can then be processed, changed, calculated, transmitted or stored.

Market for ADCs

To meet the global demandthe analog-to-digital converters market is growing at a steady pace with the compound annual growth rate of 8.7%. demand is maintained by digital fields such as communication and medical imaging which are the driving factors of the market. Due to these factors and many more the global market for ADCs was USD 2165 million last year and is expected to increase to USD 3287 million by 2021. North America holds for the biggest market share in the global ADC market due to its advanced technology and acceptance in the countries. Asia Pacific on the other hand has maximum potential for the revenue growth of ADC market.

Uses of ADCs

  • Sound Recording and Communication: ADCs are used to record sound on a worldwide level for years. They can capture the analog signals of a sound wave and convert it into digital signal, which can then be stored in a device. The music played on a mobile phone or computer uses such encoded signals. When we communicate, the phone captures our voice and converts it into digital signals before transmitting it across the distance.
  • Signal Processing: All devices like TVs, mobile phones, computers, etc. use ADCs for signal processing. They are used to process or store the data in digital form.
  • Digital instruments: Modern scientific instruments like those which record temperature, pressure, light intensity, etc. all uses ADC. Radar systems can also detect and record distance. These instruments could be used in various fields like defence, healthcare, industries, etc.

Different types of ADCs

With usage in different kinds of areas, the ADCs needed to be especially made for specific purposes, for example the ADC which measures the temperature can’t record sound or calculate the intensity of light. Hence the various kinds of ADCs and various methods of using them like-

  • Direct-conversion
  • Successive approximation
  • Ramp-compare
  • Wilkinson
  • Integrating
  • Delta-encoded
  • Pipelined
  • Sigma-delta
  • Time-interleaved
  • Intermediate FM stage

A last word

Commercially the ADCs are used as ICs or integrated circuits. Generally the most expensive part of such a device is the pins. A revolution happened in ADC industry in February 2002 when Mega- and giga-sample per second converters were made available. These converters are used in high-tech digital cameras and TV tuner cords.

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