Digital-to-Analog Converter

What Does Digital-to-Analog Converter Mean?

A digital-to-analog converter (DAC) is a device, usually consisting of a single chip, for converting binary or digital code into an analog signal. A DAC device converts an abstract finite precise number, typically a fixed-point binary number, into a definite physical variable such as voltage or pressure.


Techopedia Explains Digital-to-Analog Converter

An example of a DAC device is a modem. A modem requires DAC to convert data to analog signals, which can be carried by a telephone wire. Another example of a DAC device is a video adapter. A video adapter requires a single chip called a random access memory digital to analog converter (RAMDAC), which converts digital data to an analog signal displayed or processed by a monitor or a display screen.

Conversion in DAC is common for digital devices and computer-based systems such as modems, video adapters and household appliances. DACs translate digital data into real-world signals such as speech, picture and videos, which are more understandable and usable by humans than 0 and 1 digital signals.


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Margaret Rouse

Margaret Rouse is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical, business audience. Over the past twenty years her explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…