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What is quantization error and how does signal to noise relate to this?

Question :

What is quantization error and how does signal to noise relate to this?

Answer :

Quantization error is the difference between the analog signal and the closest available digital value at each sampling instant from the A/D converter. Quantization error also introduces noise, called quantization noise, to the sample signal. The higher the resolution of the A/D converter, the lower the quantization error and the smaller the quantization noise. The relationship between resolution (in bits) and quantization noise for an ideal A/D converter can be expressed as Signal to Noise (S/N) = -20*log (1/2^n) where n is the resolution of the A/D converter in bits. S/N is the signal to noise and is expressed in dB. This relationship can also be approximated as S/N = 6*n. Typical S/N ratios for ideal A/D converters are 96dB for 16 bits, 72dB for 12 bits, and 48dB for 8 bits.


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