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Optimising Analog Signals to Serve Our Digital World

Author: Mark Patrick, Mouser Electronics

We live in an analog world, but our experience of it is increasingly mediated by digital technology. If you look at the sky, you’ll see it is one of an infinite number of colours. If you look at a digital image of the sky, it can only be shown as one of a relatively limited number of fixed shades. And if you look at a compressed digital image of the sky, for example in an online video, you will often see the colour banding that reveals the gap between analog reality and digital representation.

We can usually live with such shortcomings in digital media. But when an analog signal forms the key input to a digital control system, we need to take more care of it. After all, no-one would drive a car whose brake sensors could only report that the brakes are ‘fully on’ or ‘fully off’. It just isn’t safe.

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Mouser Electronics

Mouser Electronics, a Berkshire Hathaway company, is an award-winning, authorized semiconductor and electronic component distributor focused on rapid New Product Introductions from its manufacturing partners for electronic design engineers and buyers. The global distributor’s website,, is available in multiple languages and currencies and features more than 5 million products from over 750 manufacturers. Mouser offers 23 support locations around the world to provide best-in-class customer service and ships globally to over 600,000 customers in more than 220 countries/territories from its 750,000 sq. ft. state-of-the-art facility south of Dallas, Texas.

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