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digital-to-analog or D/A conversion,the process of changing discrete digital data into a continuously varying signal in relation to a standard or reference. There are two types of converters: electromechanical—also called shaft- or position-to-digital—and electronic. An example of electromechanical conversion is a positioning mechanism, such as a strip-chart recorder. The most common use of an electronic converter is to present the output of a digital computercomputer,
device capable of performing a series of arithmetic or logical operations. A computer is distinguished from a calculating machine, such as an electronic calculator, by being able to store a computer program (so that it can repeat its operations and make logical
..... Click the link for more information. as a graphic display (see computer graphicscomputer graphics,
the transfer of pictorial data into and out of a computer. Using analog-to-digital conversion techniques, a variety of devices—such as curve tracers, digitizers, and light pens—connected to graphic computer terminals, computer-aided design
..... Click the link for more information. ) or as audio output, as in computer-generated music. A modemmodem
[modulator/demodulator], an external device or internal electronic circuitry used to transmit and receive digital data over a communications line normally used for analog signals.
..... Click the link for more information. , or data set, is a device that converts the digital signals produced by computers and terminals into analog signals that telephone circuits are designed to carry and then back to digital signals at the other end of the communication link. See also analog-to-digital conversionanalog-to-digital or A/D conversion,
the process of changing continuously varying data, such as voltage, current, or shaft rotation, into discrete digital quantities that represent the magnitude of the data compared to
..... Click the link for more information. .
D/A converter(Digital/Analog converter) A device that converts digital code into analog signals mostly for audio. D/A converters (DACs) convert digital audio samples into the analog waveforms sent to audio amplifiers and speakers. A D/A converter (DAC), which may be a single chip or a circuit within a chip, is found on every device that sends analog speech or music to an amplifier, speaker or headphones, including computers, smartphones, tablets and A/V receivers. See DSP, codec, PCM and ladder DAC.
Also for Video
Earlier TVs accepted only analog video, and converter boxes use DACs to convert digital TV broadcasts to analog (see TV converter box). See DTV.
Stand-Alone Audio DACs
Also called "digital audio converters" or "outboard DACs," stand-alone DACs are used by audiophiles to convert digital audio from a CD/DVD player, cable box, local computer or the Internet to analog signals for amplification. Providing higher quality sound and higher digital resolutions than the DACs built into most equipment, stand-alone DACs range in price from USD $79 to several thousand (see USB DAC and high-resolution audio). Contrast with A/D converter.
|A USB DAC|
|People like to organize their music on the computer and play it on their stereo system. The USB DAC provides a high-quality connection from the computer to the stereo (for details, see USB DAC). (Image courtesy of Firestone Audio, www.firestone-audio.com)|
|Another Kind of D/A Converter|
|Web payment services such as Square and PayPal use credit card readers that plug into the headphone jack (red arrow) in the mobile device, which accepts microphone input. When the card is slid through the reader, it converts the digital data in the magnetic stripe to analog tones similar to an analog modem for dial-up telephone lines.|