Bits, Noise, and Linearity; the Imperfections of ADCs
All through these modules, we have regarded digitization as an end in itself. Of course, digitization is just a step in a measurement process. Following digitization, what happens? One may display the result (for example on an LCD panel). The number may be communicated to a computer serially (USB interface, Bluetooth wireless, Firewire, Serial Peripheral Interface, or RS-232) or in parallel (parallel ports, direct memory access). Coverage of how these interfaces work is beyond the scope of this module, but one must be aware that the data encoding as discussed in Number Representation is of great importance here. Choosing an ADC whose output format matches that of a controlling system saves much labor!