Introduction of Encoder

  • The Encoder is an essential component in various electronic and communication systems, where they play a crucial role in converting and processing information accurately and efficiently.


  • An encoder is a digital electronic circuit or device used to convert data from one format or representation to another.


  • This logic circuit is a digital circuit that converts multiple input lines into a smaller number of output lines hence it is called a Multiple Input and Multiple Output circuit.
  • The most common type of encoder is the binary encoder, which encodes “n” input lines into “m” binary output lines.

Structure & Working Principle

  • It takes multiple input lines, often labeled as D0, D1, D2, …, Dn, and converts them into a binary or other code on a smaller number of output lines, often labeled as Y0, Y1, …, Ym.
  • The number of input lines (n) and the number of output lines (m) depend on the specific type of encoder and the desired code. In other words, the input lines(2n) of the encoder depend on the number of output lines(n). Thus, an encoder may be 4×2, 8×3, 16×4 etc encoders.
  • A (4×2) binary encoder has four input lines (D0,D1,D2,D3) and two output lines (Y0 and Y1).

Types of Encoder

  • The choice of encoder type depends on the specific application and the requirements for accuracy, resolution, and reliability.
  • There are different types of encoders designed for doing specific jobs. These are –

Digital Encoder:

      • These are used to convert analog signals or data into digital form.
      • They are commonly found in analog-to-digital converters (ADCs), which convert continuous analog signals into discrete digital values.

Gray Code Encoder:

      • Gray code encoders use a binary code sequence where only one-bit changes at a time as we move from one position to the next.
      • This minimizes errors when reading the code.

Bar Code Encoder:

      • Bar code encoders convert alphanumeric data into a series of bars and spaces that can be read by bar code scanners. Bar codes are commonly used for product identification and tracking.

Parallel-to-Serial Encoder:

      • Parallel-to-serial encoders convert a parallel data input into a serial data output.
      • They are used in communication systems to transmit data serially.

Priority Encoder:

      • Priority encoders are used in digital systems to encode multiple inputs into a binary code based on priority.
      • They are often used in interrupt handling and control systems.

Video Encoder:

      • Video encoders convert analog video signals into digital formats.
      • They are used in video surveillance systems and video streaming applications.

Audio Encoder:

      • Audio encoders convert analog audio signals into digital formats (e.g., MP3, AAC) for storage, transmission, or streaming.


  • These are commonly used in various applications of digital electronics for tasks like data compression, data transmission, data storage, and control systems & signal processing.



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