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Definition: A/D converter

(Analog/Digital converter) A device that converts continuously varying analog signals from instruments and sensors that monitor conditions, such as sound, movement and temperature into binary code for the computer. The A/D converter may be contained on a single chip or can be one circuit within a chip. See codec and sampling.

A/D Converters Are Everywhere
Every digital desk phone and cellphone has an A/D converter that turns electronic sound waves into digital PCM code. Every digital camera, camcorder and scanner uses A/D converters to transform the variable charges captured in CCD and CMOS chips into the binary pixel data that make up a digital image. See modem, DSP, CCD sensor, CMOS sensor, PCM and codec. Contrast with D/A converter.

A/D Converter
Widely used in consumer electronics, as well as industrial machinery, the A/D converter can be a chip or a circuit within a chip.