In electronics, a data converter is a device capable of converting Analog to digital and digital to Analog. An A/D converter can convert the analog signals from the environment into a digital format. It alters the analog signals into a series of digital numbers that represent the signal at various points. This conversion includes several steps like sampling, quantization, and coding. The signals converted into digital signals can be converted back into Analog with the help of a D/A converter, also known as a DAC converter.
Types of Data Converters
The electronic circuits operated by analog signals are known as analog circuits. At the same time, the circuits that are run by some digital signals are known as digital circuits. A data converter is then an electronic circuit that can convert electronic data from one format to another. We mainly have two types of data converters.
- Analog to Digital Converters (A/D)
- Digital to Analog Converters (D/A)
To replace the output of an analog circuit with the input of a digital circuit, you must place an interfacing circuit between them. The interfacing circuit that converts the analog signal into a digital signal is known as the Analog-digital converter.
Similarly, for connecting the output of a digital circuit with the input of an analog circuit, you must place an interfacing circuit between them. An interfacing circuit that effectively converts a digital signal to an analog signal is a Digital-Analog Converter.
Types of ADCs
The most popular ADC architectures are successive approximation register or SAR, integrating, pipelines, flash, and two-step.
How to Choose an ADC for Your Application?
Choosing the correct type of ADC that will best suit your application requires the consideration of a few things. These include resolution, channel count, size, conversion time, power consumption, dynamic performance, static performance, and price. If you need an ADC for low-speed applications, then a sigma-delta ADC is considered the most suitable option. SAR ADC or pipeline ADC is the most appropriate for faster signal requirements.
How to Choose a DAC for Your Application?
Choosing DAC also involves looking at some critical parameters that will help you choose the best DAC for your application. These parameters include resolution, linearity, accuracy, and speed. It would be best to keep in mind some other choices with resolution or number of bits, serial Vs. Parallel interface, voltage or current output, and several input channels.
Resolution is the least amount of change required in an analog input voltage to be represented in binary or digital output form. This also majorly depends on the number of bits utilized in the digital output. There exists an inverse relationship between resolution and the number of bits. Therefore, as the number of bits increases, the resolution will decrease, and as the number of bits decreases, the resolution will increase. Resolution is also defined as the maximum input voltage ratio indicated through binary and equivalent binary numbers.
Conversion time is the time taken by the digital converters to convert the data from one form into another form. There are two types of converters; therefore, there are two types of conversion times. One is known as Analog to digital conversion time, while the other is known as digital to analog conversion time. It is always better to know such basics when working with the converters.