Analogue-to-digital converter (AID converter, ADC) An important type of electronic circuit that inputs an ANALOGUE signal and outputs a stream of bits that reproduces that input signal in the digital domain. Conversion involves sampling the strength of the input signal at very short intervals and expressing the sampled value as a binary number. ADCs are widely employed in electronic equipment of many kinds, including digital cameras and camcorders, telephones and MODEMS, and the SOUNDCARDS used in personal computers.
The two most important parameters in describing an ADC are the size (in bits) of the samples it takes, and how many samples it takes per second.
For example to digitize an analogue microphone signal at CD quality requires an ADC capable of taking 44 million 16-bit samples per second.