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Difference Between Analogue and Digital System

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What is Analogue System and Digital System: Introduction

To differentiate between analogue and digital system: Signals containing information often come in the form of analogue and digital signals. The primary distinction between the two signals is that analogue signals have continuously varying electrical signals, but digital signals do not. With the use of examples of various types of waves, the distinction between analogue and digital signals can be seen.

Signals that carry or transmit information are the fundamental purpose of analogue and digital signals, respectively. The main topic of discussion and the key difference between the two is that while digital signals differ from their analogue counterparts in that they are characterised by electrical signals that are not continuous in nature, analogue signals are distinguished by their continuous electrical impulses.

Last updated date: 26th Sep 2023
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What is a Signal?

An electromagnetic current known as a signal is used to transfer data from one system or network to another. It can be characterised as a feature that disseminates information about a phenomenon.

It alludes to an illustration of a time-varying voltage that is distinguished by an electromagnetic wave that is in charge of transmitting data in electronics and telecommunications. A change in observable quality can also be referred to as a signal. Based on a variety of factors, analogue and digital systems can be compared. 

What is Analogue System?

Many systems produced information-carrying signals using analogue signals. Both in terms of values and timing, these signals are continuous. With the introduction of digital transmissions, the use of analogue signals has decreased. To put it simply, analogue signals are any signals that are generated organically or occur in nature.

A digital signal employs a discrete magnitude. When it comes to data representation, analogue systems, on the other hand, are typified by a continuous range of values.  Although the majority of this data is discrete, it nevertheless includes both discrete and continuous data.Any continuous signal that has a time-varying variable that is described by another time-varying quantity, or is equal to another time-varying signal, is said to be analogue. In terms of meaningful minuscule fluctuations in the signal, it differs from its digital counterpart.

What is Digital System?

Digital signals, in contrast to analogue signals, are discrete in both value and time. These signals, which are made up of various voltage values, are represented by binary numbers.

  • A digital signal encodes data as a sequence of discrete values.

  • A digital signal can only have one value from a finite set of possible values at any given time.

  • Many physical quantities can be used to represent information in digital signals like variable electric current or voltage.

Characteristics of Analog and Digital Signals:

  1. Digital systems are more accurate, store data more effectively, and handle larger amounts of data than analogue systems.

  2. Different signal kinds, such as analogue and digital, are primarily used to transfer data from one device to another.

  3. Analog Digital signals are discrete in nature, whereas the signals are continuous wave signals that change over time.

  4. The primary distinction between analogue and digital signals is that square waves are used to represent digital signals whereas sinusoidal waves are used to represent analogue signals.

  5. Compared to digital signals, analogue signals have a number of advantages.

  6. Digital transmissions are more secure and are not impacted by background noise.

  7. Although microcontrollers are typically digital devices, their internal circuitry frequently has the ability to interface with analogue devices. A micro-controller can connect an analogue sensor to read voltage using an analog-to-digital converter (ADC).

  8. Because they deal with analogue and digital signals, inputs, and outputs, electrons are the finest analogue and digital example. In a sense, digital signals communicate with computers, microprocessors, and logical units while electrical projects primarily deal with the real analogue environment.

  9. These two signal kinds resemble separate electronic languages. Like several other languages, I can only speak and understand one of them. 

Difference Between Analogue and Digital System

In order to summarise, we have provided a table below that differentiate between analogue and digital system. In electronic communication systems, both of these signals are employed to transmit data from one location to another.






Type of Signal

The analogue system uses continuous, variable-amplitude signals.

In a digital system, discrete signals that are on or off reflect the binary code. On equals 1, whereas off equals 0.



Analogue systems record waveforms produced by actual objects.

Prior to being recorded as digital square waves, the digital technique converts the analogue waves to a limited set of integers.



Analogue systems are negatively impacted by gearbox noise.

Digital transmission is simple.



Flexibility is not impressive.

Flexibility is impressive.



A narrower bandwidth is required for analogue broadcasting.

Digital transmission needs more capacity to transmit the same quantity of data.



Analogue systems need more electricity.

Digital systems need less electricity.



Analogue technology makes use of natural signals like human speech. Digital technology allows for the recording and preservation of this human voice in a computer. Digital technology thus broadens the scope to encompass an endless array of potential uses.

Digital technology has proven to be the most effective in the cell phone industry. Although analogue phones had excellent sound clarity and quality, they are no longer used.

This tabular comparison provides a clear overview of the main differences between  analogue and digital system, including their definitions, technology, transmission, flexibility, power, bandwidth etc. 


Analogue signals have discrete values and flow continuously, but digital signals only have two values, zero and one. Numerous devices feature built-in analog-to-digital conversion functions. Both speakers and microphones are top-notch examples of analogue equipment. Although analogue technology is less expensive, there is a limit to how much data can be transmitted at once. Thanks to advancements in digital technology, the bulk of equipment today functions in a digitally upgraded way. Data is converted to binary code at the point of receipt before being assembled back into its original form. These have a wider range of options because they can be easily modified. The cost of analogue equipment is lower than that of digital technology.

FAQs on Difference Between Analogue and Digital System

1. How can analogue signals be transformed into digital signals?

There are two stages that must be taken for an analogue signal to be converted into a digital signal. Taking samples is the first step. Continuous electrical signals with varied times are taken into consideration in this step. Both the x-axis and the y-axis are taken into consideration. Sampling is often performed along the x-axis and can be divided into two types: sampling and downsampling. Quantization is the term for the second stage. The image is processed using quantization along the y-axis, which separates the continuous signals into overlapping and non-overlapping signals.

2. What is the primary distinction between analogue and digital?

The difference between analogue and digital technology is that information is turned into electric pulses of variable amplitude in analogue technology. Information is converted into binary format for use in digital technology, where each bit corresponds to two distinct amplitudes. Nowadays, users prefer digital equipment over analogue ones since they are simpler to use and comprehend.The term "signal" refers to an electrical or electromagnetic quantity (such as current, voltage, radio wave, microwave, etc.) that transports data or information from one system (or network) to another. Analogue and digital transmissions are the two fundamental signal kinds that are utilised to transport data.

There are several ways in which analogue and digital signals differ from one another. An important distinction between the two signals is that although a digital signal is a discrete function of time, an analogue signal is a continuous function of time.

3. What are some examples of digital signals?

Examples of digital signals include:

  1. Transmitters functions on pulse width modulation

  2. Digital watches.

  3. Digital video signals.

  4. Devices like CD’s, DVD’s

4. What are the examples of analog signals?

Examples of digital signals include:

  1. Audio signal

  2. Video signal

  3. Radio signal

5. Is WiFi an analogue or digital technology?

Signals are neither analogue or digital because they are simply information waves. They are either digital or analogue depending on how they are encrypted. As a result, data is transmitted over WiFi technology digitally. WiFi is therefore a form of digital technology.