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Digital Signal Processing: A Practical Guide for Engineers and Scientists by Steven Smith

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CHAPTER 3

ADC and DAC

Most of the signals directly encountered in science and engineering are continuous: light intensity that changes with distance; voltage that varies over time; a chemical reaction rate that depends on temperature, etc. Analog-to-digital conversion (ADC) and digital-to-analog conversion (DAC) are the processes that allow digital computers to interact with these everyday signals. Digital information is different from its continuous counterpart in two important respects: it is sampled, and it is quantized. Both of these restrict how much information a digital signal can contain. This chapter is about information management: understanding what information you need to retain, and what information you can afford to lose. In ...

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