WELLOG                         ANALOG TO DIGITAL






Analog to digital conversion is done in a number of different ways.


Single slope conversion


Dual slope conversion


Flash conversion


Successive approximation Conversion




Successive Approximation Registers (SAR) are the most common type of analog to digital converters. Successive approximation is similar to the process of using weights on a balance scale to determine an unknown weight.


Successive Approximation example:


We have an unknown weight and eight known weights. We can use successive approximation to determine the amount of the unknown weight.


The process is as follows;


We place the unknown weight on the left side of the scale.


We place a known 128 ounce weight on the right side of the scale.


We decide if the 128 ounce weight is greater than the unknown weight. If it is, we take it “off”.  Else we keep it “on”.


We continue the process using weights each having one half of the previous weights.


When finished, we add the weights that remain “on” the scale. That is our approximation of the unknown weight.



Actual case:


We have an unknown weight of 84 ounces.


Which weights will remain on the scale and what are their binary equivalents?




128 ounce “off” = 0


64 ounce “on” = 1


32 ounce “off” = 0


16 ounce “on” = 1


8 ounce” off” = 0


4 ounce “off”  = 0


2 ounce “on” = 1


1 ounce “off” = 0


The result is:


LSB      MSB




A/D in microcontrollers:


Successive approximation Analog to digital Converters are found in many microcontrollers. Microchip Technologies produces a line of PIC Microcontrollers

that include A/D conversion. Many of the available microcontrollers operate at speeds of 10 million instructions per second. The A/D converter can perform

one million conversions per second.



Revised 11-07-2016 © 2007-2016 WELLOG All Rights Reserved