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This module will cover the basics of sampling theory and Analog to Digital Converters (ADC).

Sampling refers to the process of converting a continuous, analog signal to discrete digital numbers. Typically, an Analog to Digital Converter (ADC) would be used to convert voltages to a digital number corresponding to a certain voltage level.

This shows the way that a given analog signal might be sampled. The frequency at which the signal is sampled is known as the sampling rate .


The number of bits used to represent a sampled, analog signal is known as the resolution of the converter. This number is also related to the total number of unique digital values that can be used to represent a signal.

For example, if a given ADC has a resolution of 12 bits, then it can represent 4,096 discrete values, since 2^12 = 4,096; if the resolution is 16 bits, it can represent 65,536 discrete values.

We may also think about resolution from an electrical standpoint, which is expressed in volts. In that case, the resolution the ADC is equal to the entire range of possible voltage measurements divided by the number of quantization levels. Voltage levels that fall outside the ADC’s possible measurement range will saturate the ADC. They will be sampled at the highest or lowest possible level the ADC can represent.

For example, ADC specifications could be as follows:

  • Full scale measurement range: -5 to 5 volts
  • ADC resolution 12 bits: 2 12 4,096 quantization levels
  • ADC voltage resolution is: 5V -5V 4096 0.0024 V 2.4 mV

Large ranges of voltages will fall into in a single quantization level, so it is beneficial to increase the resolution of the ADC in order to make the levels smaller. The accuracy of an ADC is strongly correlated with its resolution however; it is ultimately determined by the Signal to Noise Ratio (SNR) of the signal. If the noise is much greater relative to the strength in the signal, then it doesn't really matter how good or bad the ADC is. In general, adding 1 more bit of resolution is equal to a 6 dB gain in SNR.

Sampling rate

Analog signals are continuous in time. In order to convert them into their digital representation we must sampled them at discrete intervals in time. The interval at which the signal is captured is known as the sampling rate of the converter.

If the sampling rate is fast enough, then the stored, sampled data points may be used to reconstruct the original signal exactly from the discrete data by interpolating the data points. Ultimately, the accuracy of the reconstructed signal is limited by the quantization error, and is only possible if the sampling rate is higher than twice the highest frequency of the signal. This is the basis for the Shannon-Nyquist Sampling Theorem . If the signal is not sampled at baseband then it must be sampled at greater than twice the bandwidth.

Aliasing will occur if an input signal has a higher frequency than the sampling rate. The frequency of an aliased signal is the difference between the signal's frequency and the sampling rate. For example, a 5 kHz signal sampled at 2 kHz will result in a 3 kHz. This can be easily avoided by adding a low pass filter that removes all frequency higher than the sampling rate.

Questions & Answers

do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
characteristics of micro business
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
is Bucky paper clear?
so some one know about replacing silicon atom with phosphorous in semiconductors device?
s. Reply
Yeah, it is a pain to say the least. You basically have to heat the substarte up to around 1000 degrees celcius then pass phosphene gas over top of it, which is explosive and toxic by the way, under very low pressure.
Do you know which machine is used to that process?
how to fabricate graphene ink ?
for screen printed electrodes ?
What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
or in general
in general
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
On having this app for quite a bit time, Haven't realised there's a chat room in it.
what is biological synthesis of nanoparticles
Sanket Reply
what's the easiest and fastest way to the synthesize AgNP?
Damian Reply
types of nano material
abeetha Reply
I start with an easy one. carbon nanotubes woven into a long filament like a string
many many of nanotubes
what is the k.e before it land
what is the function of carbon nanotubes?
I'm interested in nanotube
what is nanomaterials​ and their applications of sensors.
Ramkumar Reply
what is nano technology
Sravani Reply
what is system testing?
preparation of nanomaterial
Victor Reply
Yes, Nanotechnology has a very fast field of applications and their is always something new to do with it...
Himanshu Reply
good afternoon madam
what is system testing
what is the application of nanotechnology?
In this morden time nanotechnology used in many field . 1-Electronics-manufacturad IC ,RAM,MRAM,solar panel etc 2-Helth and Medical-Nanomedicine,Drug Dilivery for cancer treatment etc 3- Atomobile -MEMS, Coating on car etc. and may other field for details you can check at Google
anybody can imagine what will be happen after 100 years from now in nano tech world
after 100 year this will be not nanotechnology maybe this technology name will be change . maybe aftet 100 year . we work on electron lable practically about its properties and behaviour by the different instruments
name doesn't matter , whatever it will be change... I'm taking about effect on circumstances of the microscopic world
how hard could it be to apply nanotechnology against viral infections such HIV or Ebola?
silver nanoparticles could handle the job?
not now but maybe in future only AgNP maybe any other nanomaterials
I'm interested in Nanotube
this technology will not going on for the long time , so I'm thinking about femtotechnology 10^-15
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
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Source:  OpenStax, Introduction to the texas instruments ez430. OpenStax CNX. Jun 19, 2006 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col10354/1.6
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