High Dynamic Range – Fact or Fiction?

At least one manufacturer of data acquisition systems claims to achieve an incredibly high dynamic range (160dB) when capturing data. This is supposedly achieved by the use of dual-range data acquisition architecture. Such systems have two analog-to-digital convertors for each input channel; one of the ADCs captures the full voltage range of the input signal and the other ADC captures the input signal only when it is small. This article explains the facts behind the figures and shows that the use of Dynamic Range as a measure of precision can be misleading.


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