Analog signals and Digital signals are the two categories of signals. These signals are utilized in order to broadcast different types of information. Analog signals are the ones that observe analog methodology to broadcast information in such a fashion that they can be analyzed at any instant of time while Digital signals can be characterized by discrete values which are actually a whole number.
When it is a concern to measure an analog signal, it can be measured at any instant of time such as at 0 seconds, 0.2 seconds, 0.8 seconds, 1.7 seconds and any value which can be represented in decimal. When the signal is digital in nature, it can be measured only at discrete values like 1, 2, 3, 4,5,6 and any value which can be represented in non-decimal form.
Another distinguishing factor between analog and digital signals is the limitation of signal amplitude. Analog signals can have as much as amplitude without any boundary. The amplitude primarily depends on the signal strength. In digital signals, amplitude possesses two states only such as ON and OFF states. At ON state, the signal amplitude is high which means that it contains certain information whereas at OF state, the signal amplitude is low which means that it does not contain any information. Both the signal methodologies have their own merits and demerits and are utilized in various electrical and electronic applications.
Difference between Analog and Digital Signal in Tabular Form
|Characteristics||Analog Signal||Digital Signal|
|Adaptability ||Are less adaptable to variety of use||Are more adaptable to variety of use|
|Continuity ||Takes on continuous range of amplitude values||Takes on finite set of discrete values at uniform spaced points in the time|
|Type of Data||Continuous in nature||Discrete in nature|
|Wave types||Sine waves||Square wave|
|Medium of transmission ||Wire/wireless||Wire|
|Type of values||Positive/negative (sine wave half cycles)||Positive values only|
|Hardware||Analog hardware is not flexible||Digital hardware is flexible in implementation|
|Data storage||Stores data in the form of wave signal||Stores data in the form of binary bits|
|Portability ||It is of low cost and easily portable like thermometer||It is expensive and not easily portable like computers|
|Data transmission||Signal deterioration because of noise during transmission||Signal can be noise immune during transmission without any deterioration|
|Impedance||Low||High (in the order of 100 Mega-Ohm)|
|Power consumption ||Analog istruments consume large amount of power||Digital instruments consume very small amount of power|
|Recording data||Records sound wave as they are||Converts into a binary waveform|
|Use ||Can be used in analog devices solely||Suitable for digital electronic devices such as computers and cell phones|
|Rate of data transmission||Slower when compared to digital||Much faster with better productivity|
|Examples||Human Voice in air, vidoe, radio/TV transmission waves||Text, integers, images, computer format files (CD, HDD)|