Browse Definitions:
Definition

nonlinearity

Nonlinearity is the behavior of a circuit, particularly an amplifier, in which the output signal strength does not vary in direct proportion to the input signal strength. In a nonlinear device, the output-to-input amplitude ratio (also called the gain) depends on the strength of the input signal.

In an amplifier that exhibits nonlinearity, the output-versus-input signal amplitude graph appears as a curved line over part or all of the input amplitude range. Two examples are shown below. The amplifier depicted by the red curve has gain that increases as the input signal strength increases; the amplifier depicted by the blue curve has gain that decreases as the input signal strength increases.

 

Illustration of nonlinearity (2568 bytes)

Nonlinearity can be tolerated in devices and systems that use digital modulation, and also in frequency modulation (FM) wireless transmitters. These signals are either full-on or full-off; the amplitude waveforms are not analog, so analog distortion cannot occur. In analog devices and systems, however, linearity is important. Nonlinear circuits generally cause distortion in applications such as amplitude-modulation (AM) wireless transmission and hi-fi audio.

This was last updated in May 2008

Join the conversation

1 comment

Send me notifications when other members comment.

By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy

Please create a username to comment.

But why is there distortion in non-linear system?
Cancel

-ADS BY GOOGLE

File Extensions and File Formats

Powered by:

SearchCompliance

SearchSecurity

  • copyright

    Copyright is a legal term describing ownership of control of the rights to the use and distribution of certain works of creative ...

  • keylogger (keystroke logger or system monitor)

    A keylogger, sometimes called a keystroke logger or system monitor, is a type of surveillance technology used to monitor and ...

  • password

    A password is an unspaced sequence of characters used to determine that a computer user requesting access to a computer system is...

SearchHealthIT

SearchDisasterRecovery

  • call tree

    A call tree -- sometimes referred to as a phone tree -- is a telecommunications chain for notifying specific individuals of an ...

  • mass notification system (MNS)

    A mass notification system is a platform that sends one-way messages to inform employees and the public of an emergency.

  • disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS)

    One approach to a strong disaster recovery plan is DRaaS, where companies offload data replication and restoration ...

SearchStorage

  • RAID (redundant array of independent disks)

    RAID (redundant array of independent disks) is a way of storing the same data in different places on multiple hard disks to ...

  • data migration

    Data migration is the process of transferring data between data storage systems, data formats or computer systems.

  • compact disc (CD)

    A compact disc is a portable storage medium that can be used for recording, storing and playing back audio, video and other data ...

SearchSolidStateStorage

  • SSD RAID (solid-state drive RAID)

    SSD RAID (solid-state drive RAID) is a methodology commonly used to protect data by distributing redundant data blocks across ...

  • Tier 0

    Tier 0 (tier zero) is a level of data storage that is faster, and perhaps more expensive, than any other level in the storage ...

  • PCIe SSD (PCIe solid-state drive)

    A PCIe SSD (PCIe solid-state drive) is a high-speed expansion card that attaches a computer to its peripherals.

SearchCloudStorage

  • RESTful API

    A RESTful application program interface breaks down a transaction to create a series of small modules, each of which addresses an...

  • cloud storage infrastructure

    Cloud storage infrastructure is the hardware and software framework that supports the computing requirements of a private or ...

  • Zadara VPSA and ZIOS

    Zadara Storage provides block, file or object storage with varying levels of compute and capacity through its ZIOS and VPSA ...

Close