Sunday, October 28, 2007

Digital electronics

Digital electronics are those electronics systems that use a digital signal instead of an analog signal. Digital electronics are the most common representation of Boolean algebra and are the basis of all digital circuits for computers, mobile phones, and numerous other consumer products.

The most common fundamental unit of digital electronics is the logic gate. By combining numerous logic gates (from tens to hundreds of thousands) more complex systems can be created. The complex system of digital electronics is collectively referred to as a digital circuit.

To most electronic engineers, the terms "digital circuit", "digital system" and "logic" are interchangeable in the context of digital circuits.

The usual advantages of digital circuits when compared to analog circuits are:

Digital systems interface well with computers and are easy to control with software. It is often possible to add new features to a digital system without changing hardware, and to do this remotely, just by uploading new software. Design errors or bugs can be worked-around with a software upgrade, after the product is in customer hands.
Information storage can be much easier in digital systems than in analog ones. In particular, the great noise-immunity of digital systems makes it possible to store data and retrieve it later without degradation. In an analog system, aging and wear and tear will degrade the information in storage, but in a digital system, as long as the wear and tear is below a certain level, the information can be recovered perfectly.


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