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analog filter vs digital filter | Difference between analog filter and digital filter

This page compares analog filter vs digital filter and describes difference between analog filter and digital filter. Both the filters are used for one common purpose, to filter out unwanted frequencies of the spectrum and pass the desired frequencies. Depending upon the filtering action, there are different types of filters. In general they are referred as low-pass, high-pass, band-pass or band-stop filters.
LPF vs HPF vs BPF vs BSF>>


Analog filter

Analog filter is used to filter out signals before conversion to the digital form, meaning they are used before ADC in the circuit mainly in the analog part of the system. Analog filters are designed using discrete components such as R (resistor), L (inductor) and C (capacitor). RF/Microwave based analog filters are designed based on microstrip,strip line circuits or waveguides etc.
Examples: RF Filter based on Microstrip line, READ MORE>>


Digital filter

Digital filter is used to filter out signals after conversion of the analog signal to the digital form , meaning they are used after ADC in the circuit mainly in the digital processing part of the system. They are referred mainly as FIR or IIR filter, mainly designed in the form of software ported either on FPGA/DSP.
Examples: FIR and IIR filters developed using C or assembly code or using any other languages. These are ported on FPGA/DSP processor.
Refer FIR vs IIR Filters>> and FIR MATLAB Code>>.

Following table mentions comparison between analog filter and digital filter based on their respective advantages and disadvantages.


Specifications Analog Filter Digital Filter
Programmable coefficients No Yes
Complexity Higher, usually seen in high performance based analog filters. Lower
Latency Lower Higher
Cost Higher, it depends on analog components used in the design. Lower
Drift Error, multichannel matching error and aging YES NO
Protection feature for ADC input Available Not available
Additive noise introduction It adds component based thermal noise in the bands It adds digital noise due to quantization process

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