Analog Vs Digital Communication Essay: A Comprehensive Analysis
Task: Write an essay in 2000 words, comparing the Analog and Digital Communication systems. Provide an in depth analysis on the two communication systems, with a brief description of each along with their advantage and dis-advantages. In this essay the students has to provide at least 10 references from peer reviewed articles.
Communication is one of the most important aspects of human civilization. Without proper communication, mankind would not have gotten to the place it is in today. Just like any other technological invention, the means of communication have evolved and developed with time. The analog vs digital communication essay offers a clear history of different communication and transmission techniques followed by people. The assignment also provides a clear description of both analog and digital communication and a comparison of the two processes.
In order to fully understand this analog vs digital communication essay, it is important to start from the basic components of any communication system. Communication, in any form, has three main components which are:
- Sender: Sender is the person who is transmitting the message to be communicated.
- Channel: A communication channel is a medium through which the message is being communicated.
- Receiver: A receiver is the endpoint of the message signal where it reaches its intended destination.
When a message or any other piece of information is transmitted from the sender to the receiver in the form of gestures, actions, sounds, etc. it can be termed as a signal. A signal is a form of energy which transfers a message through a communication channel (Bhagyaveni, Kalidoss, & Vishvaksenan, 2016). In communication systems, this energy is in the form of electromagnetic waves.
Signals can be of two types:
- Analog Signals
- Digital Signals
In this analog vs digital communication essay now understand the definition of analog communication. Analog communication is the communication which takes place with the help of analog signals. Analog signals are time-varying signals which represent a continuous physical quantity whose instantaneous values vary with time (Veretekhina, et al., 2018). The amplitude of the analog signal change with time, either periodically or occasionally. It is denoted by a sine wave. An analog signal can carry information in the form of speech, sound, voice, etc.
In analog communication, the data in the form of speech, sounds, or voice message needs to be converted into an electrical form which can be transmitted to its destination. A transducer helps in converting the message into an analog signal. The signal is then transmitted through the channel towards the output transducer which converts the analog signal back to a voice message which can be understood by humans.
Communication through analog signals is suitable only for short distances as it is prone to noise which can distort the message and make it difficult to transduce. However, with the help of modulation techniques, particularly: Amplitude Modulation and Angle Modulation, analog signals can be transmitted for longer ranges (Matin, 2018).
When using modulation techniques, there needs to be a modulator at the transmitter end and a demodulator at the receiver’s end. During modulation, an analog single is multiplied with a high-frequency carrier signal, which makes it easier for the signal to be transmitted for a larger distance. The signal then researches the demodulator through the transmitting channel, and the two signals, i.e. carrier signal and the analog signal are separated to send the original message to the receiver.
It is time to understand digital communication in order to make a better evaluation of this analog v digital communication essay. Digital communication is done with the help of digital signals. A digital signal is a signal which carries the data in a discrete and non-continuous form. The values assigned to a message in a digital signal are not based on its previous values. They are denoted by square waves and can be transmitted through longer distances. Digital signals are also less prone to noise distortions during transmission (Channi, 2016).
A digital signal is made by sampling and encrypting the analog signals to convert it into a digital signal in the form of 0s and 1s. Once the analog signal is sampled and quantized, it is then modulated through modulation techniques for digital signals and is transmitted through the channel. Once the signal reaches the destination, it is demodulated and decoded back into a form which can be understood by the person receiving the message.
The techniques involved in modulation of digital signals are Pulse Code Modulations and Delta Modulation (Sarade, 2017). The analog signals are converted into a series of the non-continuous coded pulse train in the form of 0s and 1s. It is known as Pulse code modulation or PCM. The digital signals also require repeaters which intensify the signal strength and increase their range of travel. In addition to intensifying the signals, repeaters also suppress the channel noise which the signal is subjected to.
Digital signals are easier to transmit over larger distances. They are also quite less prone to noise distortions. The small number of noise distortions that they experience does not deteriorate the signal because a digital signal is a non-continuous nature. This makes separating and retrieving the original message easier in a digital communication system (Qasim, Meziane, & R.Aspin, 2018).
Digital signals travel in a bitstream which makes it possible to break the message into packets and transmit data at great speeds. The modulation and demodulation techniques involved in digital communication enable reliability and higher efficiency of transmission.
Comparison in Analog vs Digital Communication
Let us not have a look at the key differences in this analog vs digital communication essay for different parameters such as cost, flexibility, efficiency, the power required etc.
- Cost of Equipment: Digital communication involves more complicated steps as compared to analog signals as it involves converting an analog signal into a digital signal. It increases the nature of particular equipment’s and tools required. Therefore, the overall cost of digital communication is much higher than analog communication.
- Bandwidth: Bandwidth plays a key role in the communication of analog and digital signals both. Analog signals require significant lesser bandwidth as compared digital signals because their range of transmission is lesser than that of digital communication.
- Synchronization Capabilities: Digital communication has the capability of synchronization, which is not offered by analog communication. Synchronization enhances the efficiency of transmission.
- Power Required: The equipment required for digital communication is more expensive and more complicated; however, since analog signals require a lower bandwidth, thus analog systems require much larger power as compare to digital communication systems.
- Efficiency: Analog communication systems are prone to considerable observational errors due to parallax and approximation; therefore, their efficiency is lower than that of digital signals. Analog signals are also more prone to higher noise distortions which can degrade the quality of the original signal, whereas digital signals are significantly less distorted due to noise. Therefore digital communication systems are more efficient than analog systems.
- Fidelity: Fidelity is the capability of a communication system to uphold the integrity of the original message. Digital communication systems are more effective in keeping the output coherent with the input message, which was intended from the source.
- Flexibility of Hardware: It is a major difference in analog vs digital communication essay, as the tools and equipment used for analog communication are quite heavy and larger in size. Whereas, the hardware used in digital communication is much lighter and compact. Therefore the digital communication offers more flexibility of hardware as it offers the portability of the setup.
- Transmission: The transmission of analog signals is continuous and in the form of uninterrupted waves, whereas digital signals are transmitted in the form non- continuous packets of binary information which is much easier to process. In addition, the range of transmission for analog signals is lesser than that of digital signals.
Pros and Cons of Analog Communication Systems
In order to understand each of the sides in this analog vs digital communication essay, it is necessary to have a look at the various advantaged and disadvantages of both. Let us first have a look at the various advantage and disadvantage that analog communication brings:
- Analog Communication systems use less bandwidth.
- They are most accurate in delivering the message from source to receiver.
- They are widely applicable in analog phones and deliver a richer sound quality.
- They are much cheaper to set up than digital systems.
- Because of the absence of quantization noise and aliasing distortions, analog systems perform much better than digital systems.
- It cannot transmit to longer distances.
- It is prone to channel noise
- Continuity of the signal has to maintained
- Its equipment cannot be upgraded to digital systems
- Consumes more power
Pros and Cons of Digital Communication System
The other side of this analog vs digital communication essay is digital systems. Below are the key advantage and disadvantages of digital communication systems:
- They can transmit data over longer distances.
- They are fairly easy to process
- The equipment offers flexibility
- It is widely popular and compatible with most devices today
- Channel multiplexing technique allows transmission of data in formats to be transferred through the same channel.
- Significantly lesser noise distortions.
- Digital communication systems use integrated networks, which improves efficiency.
- It increases the chances of sampling and quantization errors.
- They require much greater bandwidth to operate.
- The communication systems must be synchronized in other to detect digital signals.
- It is more expensive than analog systems.
What are some applications of Analog vs Digital Communication Systems?
The applications of analog as well as digital communication are quite varied and have enabled mankind to advance and develop in different fields (Gupta, 2018). The next segment of this analog vs digital communication essay provides some of the areas in which the technologies are being used today.
Analog Communication Systems
Analog communications are still quite relevant and play an important role in our lives. With the use of modulation techniques, namely, AM, PM, and FM, the key disadvantage of analog system, which is a shorter range, can be overcome (Mohammed & Abdullah, 2019). This offers a variety of applications for analog system which are widely in use. Here are some applications of Analog Communication systems:
- Audio transmission in AM and FM over Medium frequency ranges of the radio spectrum
- Various telephone services providers still use analog systems due to its clear quality of voice.
- Many video television services are still operative on analog signals; however, the digital platform has more popular in the last decade.
- Many navigation systems utilize analog communication systems to tracking the point of transmission of the signals.
- Emergency services are still operative and available on analog communication systems.
Digital communication Systems
Digital communication systems have become widely popular and have integrated itself in the modern-day communication infrastructure throughout the world. It is mainly because of the flexibility and range it offers. Digital communication systems offer better and more efficient transmission of data, and there are a number of applications to it (R.C.Dorf, et al., 2017). Here is some day to day use of digital communication systems:
- It is used in missile guidance systems, and other military applications because of its discreteness.
- Digital communication systems are used in digital data compressions for transmission at high speeds.
- It is widely used in audio and speech processing as it sends data in encrypted formats.
- Digital communication is used in text messages and telephoning.
- All communication by space research organizations is carried out using digital signals due to its large range and low noise distortions.
- Internet works on the transmission of digital signals. From GPs, social media to banking digital communication helps with all of that.
Analog communication has played a key role in the historic event of modern civilization. It has aided the discovery and invention of many other technological advances. Digital communication is one such technological development which was made possible due to the analog communication techniques. In this analog vs digital communication essay, we looked over the basic definition, key differences and applications of analog as well as digital communication. As digital communication takes over the world because of its advantages, it has opened so many great avenues of research. Digital communication is undoubtedly the next step in the technological development of the world, however, there are still many advantages of analog communication which are unparalleled and has kept analog communication relevant even in 2020.
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