Browse Definitions :
Definition

linearity

Linearity is the behavior of a circuit, particularly an amplifier , in which the output signal strength varies in direct proportion to the input signal strength. In a linear device, the output-to-input signal amplitude ratio is always the same, no matter what the strength of the input signal (as long it is not too strong).

In an amplifier that exhibits linearity, the output-versus-input signal amplitude graph appears as a straight line. Two examples are shown below. The gain, or amplification factor, determines the slope of the line. The steeper the slope, the greater the gain. The amplifier depicted by the red line has more gain than the one depicted by the blue line. Both amplifiers are linear within the input-signal strength range shown, because both lines in the graph are straight.

 

Illustration of linearity (2292 bytes)


In analog applications such as amplitude-modulation ( AM ) wireless transmission and hi-fi audio, linearity is important. Nonlinearity in these applications results in signal distortion, because the fluctuation in gain affects the shape of an analog output waveform with respect to the analog input waveform.

Even if an amplifier exhibits linearity under normal conditions, it will become nonlinear if the input signal is too strong. This situation is called overdrive. The amplification curve bends towards a horizontal slope as the input-signal amplitude increases beyond the critical point, producing distortion in the output. An example is a hi-fi amplifier whose gain is set to the point where the VU (volume-unit) meter needles kick into the red range. The red zone indicates that the amplifier is not operating in a linear fashion. This can degrade the fidelity of the sound.

This was last updated in June 2010
SearchCompliance
  • OPSEC (operations security)

    OPSEC (operations security) is a security and risk management process and strategy that classifies information, then determines ...

  • smart contract

    A smart contract is a decentralized application that executes business logic in response to events.

  • compliance risk

    Compliance risk is an organization's potential exposure to legal penalties, financial forfeiture and material loss, resulting ...

SearchSecurity
  • What is cybersecurity?

    Cybersecurity is the protection of internet-connected systems such as hardware, software and data from cyberthreats.

  • private key

    A private key, also known as a secret key, is a variable in cryptography that is used with an algorithm to encrypt and decrypt ...

  • DOS (disk operating system)

    A DOS, or disk operating system, is an operating system that runs from a disk drive. The term can also refer to a particular ...

SearchHealthIT
SearchDisasterRecovery
  • What is risk mitigation?

    Risk mitigation is a strategy to prepare for and lessen the effects of threats faced by a business.

  • change control

    Change control is a systematic approach to managing all changes made to a product or system.

  • disaster recovery (DR)

    Disaster recovery (DR) is an organization's ability to respond to and recover from an event that affects business operations.

SearchStorage
  • RAM (Random Access Memory)

    RAM (Random Access Memory) is the hardware in a computing device where the operating system (OS), application programs and data ...

  • RAID 6

    RAID 6, also known as double-parity RAID, uses two parity stripes on each disk. It allows for two disk failures within the RAID ...

  • NOR flash memory

    NOR flash memory is one of two types of non-volatile storage technologies.

Close