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
  • ISO 31000 Risk Management

    The ISO 31000 Risk Management framework is an international standard that provides businesses with guidelines and principles for ...

  • pure risk

    Pure risk refers to risks that are beyond human control and result in a loss or no loss with no possibility of financial gain.

  • risk reporting

    Risk reporting is a method of identifying risks tied to or potentially impacting an organization's business processes.

SearchSecurity
  • Twofish

    Twofish is a symmetric-key block cipher with a block size of 128 bits and variable-length key of size 128, 192 or 256 bits.

  • walled garden

    On the internet, a walled garden is an environment that controls the user's access to network-based content and services.

  • potentially unwanted program (PUP)

    A potentially unwanted program (PUP) is a program that may be unwanted, despite the possibility that users consented to download ...

SearchHealthIT
SearchDisasterRecovery
  • What is risk mitigation?

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

  • fault-tolerant

    Fault-tolerant technology is a capability of a computer system, electronic system or network to deliver uninterrupted service, ...

  • synchronous replication

    Synchronous replication is the process of copying data over a storage area network, local area network or wide area network so ...

SearchStorage
  • Remote Direct Memory Access (RDMA)

    Remote Direct Memory Access (RDMA) is a technology that enables two networked computers to exchange data in main memory without ...

  • storage (computer storage)

    Data storage is the collective methods and technologies that capture and retain digital information on electromagnetic, optical ...

  • storage medium (storage media)

    In computers, a storage medium is a physical device that receives and retains electronic data for applications and users and ...

Close