Any system in which data is sampled at regular, discrete intervals is digital. This is opposite of analog systems, in which data is sampled in constant and infinite variation. Digital data is composed of distinct objects, or digits, that represent something in the real world—measurements such as speed, temperature, or time—so that counting, calculations, and other operations can be performed conveniently. For example, a speedometer might register a speed of 66.5 mph. An analog speedometer has a needle that sweeps across the dial, and can, for instance, represent an infinite degree of speeds between 60 and 70 mph.
Technipages Explains Digital
Digital systems are very defined in nature having a finite list of possible states, a digital system must be in one of these states and cannot be between them. In comparison, an analogue system can be in any position between the start and end. Digital signals are transmitted using the binary states of on and off, the state is changed at a rapid and defined rate to transfer data. While digital signals can only be 1 or 0, analogue signals can be any point between 1 or 0. Digital signals and other digital systems are not necessarily limited to using only two binary signal values, as long as the possible signal levels are rigidly defined and values in between are assumed to be drift from the nearest assigned value then the signal is digital even if there are hundreds or thousands of defined values.
This gives both types of systems distinct usages – for things like speedometers, higher intervals (that is to say, a more specific and varied set of possibilities) is the ideal, whereas for other types of systems, having the more rigid digital structure is more useful. In the case of fibre connections, there is a modem that converts digital info from the computer to analogue signals for the phone line – and vice versa.
Common Uses of Digital
- Digital data, in information theory and information systems, is the discrete, discontinuous representation of information or works.
- An advantage of digital circuits when compared to analogue circuits is that signals represented digitally can be transmitted without degradation caused by noise.
- In a digital system, a more precise representation of a signal can be obtained by using more binary digits to represent it.
Common Misuses of Digital
- Digital refers to a popular type of wristwatch.