Data communication refers to the transmission of electronic information over shared communication mediums. This transmission can be generated from electronic sources such as computers, phones, cameras and even audio sources such as speakers. Due to the various types of sources from which data is derived, each source requires a mechanism that gathers and prepares the data for transmission. This may include digitizing data, or encoding to ensure the privacy of the data during transmission. This data is then passed along a communications channel to the destination, or receiver, in the form of an analog or digital signal and mixed with other multiple pieces of data through a shared channel. In order to avoid confusion, mechanisms must be in place that can identify each source and ensure that the data sent from those sources arrive at the intended destination and not become lost and confused with other data in the same channel. (Comer, 2014).
The propagation of data is accomplished by conducting energy in the form of electromagnetic waves called signals. Depending on the source and the devices that operate in the communication channels, analog and digital are the two types of signals transmitted to the receiver. Signals travel along different types of media including copper wire, fiber optics, and space. (Cao, n.d.).
Analog signals can be found in audio sources including voices, telephones, and cameras. They are continuously variable and potentially infinite in the number of value in any given range. Analog signals are measured in amplitude (strength, or loudness), frequency (rate of vibration), and phase (changes to data due to environmental interruptions across a medium). Typically, analog are composite signals that contain of combination of different frequencies, phases and amplitudes. This requires mathematical analysis to determine the characteristics of a composite signal. Fourier Analysis and Angular Frequency are good examples of how the frequency, amplitude or phase or a composite signal is determined. (Brown, 2010).
Digital Signals are a sequence of voltage pulses transmitted over a medium. These signals have a fixed set of levels, and are...