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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

Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
what school?
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
sciencedirect big data base
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
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
for teaching engĺish at school how nano technology help us
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
there is no specific books for beginners but there is book called principle of nanotechnology
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?
carbon nanotubes has various application in fuel cells membrane, current research on cancer drug,and in electronics MEMS and NEMS etc
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
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
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