Did you know that analog electronics are a necessary part of PCBs? That is why it is imperative to learn more about these units. If you are ready to upgrade your knowledge on the topic, you come to the right place!
In this article, we are focusing on establishing what analog electronics are. We will also compare it with the digital alternative, and emphasize the advantages of analog technology.
What Are Analog Electronics?
The main characteristics of analog electronics are that it uses analog circuitry. The crucial feature of this circuitry is that its signaling method is continuous current or voltage.
The essential parts of this circuitry include capacitors, resistors, inductors, diodes, operational amplifiers, and transistors. Additionally, modern circuits may feature intelligent components like microcontrollers.
What Is the Difference Between Analog and Digital Electronics?
The best way to explain the difference between these two types is to use an example. The easiest one for users to understand is a clock. Let’s imagine that you have an old-style watch with a dial that spins around in circles. At the same time, you also have another digital clock that shows the current time by using digits.
Now, if your analog clock has markings every five minutes, you may not be able to tell the exact time. You can’t be 100% sure if it is 11:07 or 11:08 at the moment, but you will know that it is somewhere around that point. The digital clock, however, will show that it is 11:08.
It is the same with analog and digital circuitry. Analog circuitry measures voltage or current, and digital chip counts it. In theory, the digital approach is more precise, but the problem is that digital electronics have fixed levels of measuring voltage. Most of these can record zero or full power voltage. If you use a thermometer, a digital one will show you 99.1 degrees, but an analog thermometer might be able to measure 99.16 degrees, which is a bit more precise.
How You Can Use Analog Electronics
Digital electronics might be more advanced than their analog counterparts, but if you dig deeper, you will realize that analog electronics are a necessity sometimes.
The main application of analog electronics is to identify and capture the signal received from the outside world. It is only at that point that the message can be converted into a digitized form.
In layman’s terms, the “real world” is analog, and that is why analog electronics are a necessity. They are inevitable whenever a physical medium is the location of an electronic signal. If you want to send a digital message via a physical medium, you will need to convert it to an analog signal. Those who want to do this use frequency, phase, amplitude, and other analog modulations.
What Are the Analog Electronic Devices?
Many products that you now see in digital forms have started as analog devices. We already mentioned the mechanical clocks and watches. They are quite popular in rooms designed in traditional décor, and many still prefer mechanical watches over their digital counterparts.
The thermometers that contain mercury are usually analog, and you can also find barometers and thermostats that use the same approach.
The car industry contains multiple analog electronic devices. Everything starts with a speedometer and the gauge that measures the remaining fuel in the tank. You probably use a needle gauge to measure oil temperature.
You can also find analog electronics in voltmeters, ohmmeters. Even compasses are useful to navigate your way around when you don’t have your smartphone.
Have you noticed that record players are making a comeback? Millions throughout the world are still listening to music this way, and they prefer the sound from a record player. Cassette type players and recorders are also analogs, as well as the old 35mm film cameras.
Reliable Learning Methods and Resources for Analog Electronics
An excellent way to learn more about analog electronics is by reading useful articles like this one. You can find specialized electronic websites that contain hundreds of interesting electronics-related articles. If you are looking to upgrade your knowledge regarding analog electronics, here are several books that you should consider reading:
• A Text Book on Analog Electronics – it is a useful book that students use for UPSC, PSUs, and GATE exams. By focusing on the basics, it allows you to learn without having much prior knowledge.
• Foundations of Analog and Digital Electronic Circuits – the book is written by a team of authors. It provides an excellent explanation of how both analog and digital circuits work and why both of them are important.
• Fundamentals of Microelectronics – Behzad Razavi wrote a book that has the goal of providing a strong foundation in the analysis and design of electronic circuits. This book is to adapt to the modern era and use examples that are typical for the 21st century.
Learning the Importance of Analog Electronics
It is hard to discuss the particular benefits of analog electronics because they largely depend on their application. At the same time, we can’t deny that digital electronics have taken over the top spot. However, the importance of analog electronics lies in the fact that the entire world is analog.
Analog devices perform better in any area where you measure natural signals. For example, let’s say that you want to measure your body temperature or radiation level inside a mine. Mechanical devices are capable of delivering reliable results in this area.
Many people think that analog electronics are a thing of the past, but that couldn’t be more wrong. Although their use might not be as frequent as it used to be, they are still an integral component of many devices, and that includes a printed circuit board.
We hope that the article provided necessary information about analog electronic devices. As you can see, there are multiple benefits of utilizing analog electronics. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Also, feel free to browse our website and check out other useful articles.