You are here

Digital Signals

2 June, 2016 - 15:17

The word "digital" means discrete-valued and implies the signal has an integer-valued independent variable. Digital information includes numbers and symbols (characters typed on the keyboard, for example). Computers rely on the digital representation of information to manipulate and transform information. Symbols do not have a numeric value, and each is represented by a unique number. The ASCII character code has the upper-and lowercase characters, the numbers, punctuation marks, and various other symbols represented by a seven-bit integer. For example, the ASCII code represents the letter a as the number 97 and the letter A as 65. Figure 1.3 shows the international convention on associating characters with integers.

Figure 1.3 ASCII Table
The ASCII translation table shows how standard keyboard characters are represented by integers. In pairs of columns, this table displays first the so-called 7-bit code (how many characters in a seven-bit code?), then the character the number represents. The numeric codes are represented in hexadecimal (base-16) notation. Mnemonic characters correspond to control characters, some of which may be familiar (like cr for carriage return) and some not (bel means a "bell").