# Why ADCs Use Integer Math

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### Two's Complement Coding of Bipolar Quantities

We face the same scaling issues with bipolar (plus or minus) data that we do with unipolar (unsigned) data, but we have an anchor that avoids a lot of the ambiguity. We know that 0 numerically and 0 encoded have to represent the same idea. For consistency, we want the positive encoding for a bipolar converter and the unsigned encoding for a unipolar converter to give the same numbers for the same input. Thus if we have an M-bit bipolar converter (with one bit used to indicate sign), that should give the same result for unsigned values as an M-1 bit unipolar converter.