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Definition: ladder DAC

(ladder Digital to Analog Converter) Circuitry used to convert digital sound back into analog form for amplification. An individual resistor is associated with each bit of the digital sample, typically 16 bits. The resistors are weighted to the mathematical value of the bit they represent. The 16-bit sample is read and passed to all 16 resistors at the same time, and the sum total of the current passing through the resistors represents the analog value of the digital sample.

Ladder DACs represent a parallel conversion of the sample. See 1-bit DAC.