Digital system and analog system

Digital system and analog system refer to the two categories in which electronic circuits are classified.

Digital system is any system that can generate, process, transmit or store signals using digits and that only supports discrete values, that is, that only supports a limited set of numbers or values.

Analog system is any system whose signals are represented with continuous values, that is, that admits infinite numbers or values.

The main difference between a digital system and an analog system is that the former is much more precise and the information can be stored more efficiently and in greater quantity than in an analog system.

Digital systemAnalog system
DefinitionData manipulation system using digits (numbers).Physical data manipulation system represented in continuous values.
Signal valuesDiscrete (finite) values.Continuous (infinite) values.
  • Smaller size.
  • Efficiency.
  • Precision.
  • Design.
  • Stability
  • Instantaneity.
  • Economy.
  • Fidelity.
  • Conversion.
  • Bandwidth.
  • Disturbance.
  • Lower tolerance to noise.
  • Signal degradation.
  • Technical difficulties.
  • Computers.
  • Mobile phones.
  • Audio and video recording systems.
  • Digital precision instruments.
  • Old audio and video systems.
  • Analogic photograph.
  • Traditional precision instruments.

Digital system

A digital system is any system that allows to create, decode, transmit or save information that is represented in such restricted quantities that its input and output signals only admit discrete values.

Discrete values ​​are variables that do not accept any value, but only those that belong to their set, therefore, they are finite.

In this sense, a digital system is any device that manipulates data through digits that are almost always represented by the binary code. The binary system only supports zeros (0) and ones (1) as values, therefore these are discrete values.

Currently, digital systems are embedded in magnetic, electronic and mechanical devices.

Types of digital systems

Combinational digital systems

In this case, the transmission of the signal depends on the values ​​that the inputs admit.

For example, you cannot enter non-binary code in a binary system.

Sequential digital systems

The output of the signal depends on both the values ​​of the inputs and the overall state of the system (input, output, memory).

Examples of digital systems

  • Audio and video recordings, the information of which is saved in millions of bits that can then be stored on different types of devices.
  • Computers.
  • Mobile phones.
  • Calculators, electronic scales, and other precision digital instruments.

Advantages of digital systems

Digital systems have the following advantages:

  • Smaller : devices based on digital systems tend to get smaller and smaller.
  • Efficiency : digital information is stored quickly and in ever-increasing quantities.
  • Accuracy : Since digital systems only support discrete values, they are much more accurate.
  • Design : devices based on digital systems tend to become easier and easier to design
  • Stability : digital systems are less susceptible to noise, that is, to all possible signal disturbances.

Disadvantages of digital systems

Although digital systems have contributed greatly to technological development, they also have their drawbacks:

  • Conversion : the nature of the physical variables is analog (sound, temperature, distance, weight) therefore, it is necessary to use a converter to transform them into digital data.
  • Bandwidth : the transmission of signals in a digital system requires a much greater bandwidth than an analog system.
  • Tampering : Digital systems can be tampered with or tampered with relative to analog.

See also Types of computers

Analog system

An analog system is one whose signals can admit infinite values ​​that can vary continuously.

The data that are part of nature are of analog origin: temperature, distance, sound, voltage, images, etc. While all of these variables can be converted to digital data, they are originally analog.

Examples of analog systems

The ambient temperature is an example of an analog system, as it does not have exact values ​​but can fluctuate continuously. That is, when it is cold it is because the temperature dropped slowly and continuously, since we did not go directly from 30 degrees to 10 degrees, for example, but rather a series of values ​​ranging from 30 degrees to 10 degrees are allowed.

Another example of an analog system is digital music that is converted to analog by a process called conversion, which uses devices that convert binary data from digital information into analog signals.

Advantages of analog systems

While there is growing interest in digital transformation because it is technically superior to analog technology, it also has its advantages:

  • Instantaneity : in analog systems the signal is processed in real time, for example when we use a speaker or a microphone.
  • Economy : devices based on analog systems are cheaper than digital ones.
  • Fidelity : the quality of the signal is more faithful to reality and it is not as easy to manipulate. Audio recordings on old analog systems are an example of this.

Disadvantages of analog systems

The disadvantages of using devices based on analog systems are:

  • Noise : Analog systems are more susceptible to signal disturbances, and this can interfere with the quality of the data they transmit.
  • Degradation: as data transmission is repeated, it loses quality.
  • Technical difficulties : if there is a fault in an analog device it is much more difficult to repair. Also, analog systems cannot be repaired remotely.

See also:

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