What is an Analog Multiplexor?

Analog Multiplexor

An analog multiplexer or a data selector is designed to select an analog or digital input signal and transmit the selected input across a single line. Multiplexers are typically used to increase the amount of data that can be sent over a network within a certain amount of time and bandwidth. In general, electronic multiplexors make it easy to share one device but use multiple signals. Here’s what designers need to understand if they are in the market for analog multiplexers.

Characteristics of Analog Multiplexors
Multiplexors are flexible and can be used with a variety of other devices including a demultiplexer. A demultiplexer or a demux is a device that requires transforming a single input signal to multiple data output lines. Electronic multiplexers are easily identified by an isosceles trapezoid. The longer parallel side tells how the input pins should be arranged. The short parallel side will contain the output pins.

Uses of Analog Multiplexers
A home stereo unit uses an analog multiplexer as the source control for a home stereo unit. Users can choose between a compact disc (CD) player and DVD player through an analog multiplexer. Designers can also use the multiplexers to convert to a cable television line additionally. Multiplexers are often chosen to build digital semiconductors, which can be used in graphics controllers and central processing units (CPUs).

In most of these applications, designers should know that the number of inputs will, generally, come in multiples of two. The number of outputs, however, usually does not exceed a few multiples of two. In fact, it’s most often one multiple of two.

Telephone networks are another example of large multiplexers that have been built from smaller and more discrete ones. There should be a connection from a telephone to every other telephone in the network. Since a direct connection is not possible, network muxes are used to help accomplish this goal.

Types of Multiplexers
Time-division multiplexors are known for alternating between all possible inputs at the precise time intervals. This is how multiple inputs can share a single output. Long distance phone lines most commonly take advantage of this type of multiplexer design.

Code-division multiplexors are even more complex. They were used during World War II for cryptographic purposes and have been found in modern-day CDMA or code division multiple access cellular networks. Unique mathematical codes are assigned to the semiconductor devices to ensure proper assignment of the input signal.

Determine How Multiplexers Can Improve Your Design
There are many implications for the uses of multiplexers in the telecommunications world. Designers have to decide how they are going to use the multiplexers and ensure that they work properly. It’s not always easy to select the best multiplexer for your design, but with some research and effort, it’s possible to choose the one that will work best for your design. Multiplexers make designs more efficient and offer more functionality than obvious designs might provide. An expert or professional can help you with your design if you inquire with enough lead-time.

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