AskDefine | Define encoder

User Contributed Dictionary



-er encode


  1. A device used to encode a signal either for cryptography or compression.


a device to encode a signal



From to encode


  1. to encode


Extensive Definition

An encoder is a device used to change a signal (such as a bitstream) or data into a code. The code may serve any of a number of purposes such as compressing information for transmission or storage, encrypting or adding redundancies to the input code, or translating from one code to another. This is usually done by means of a programmed algorithm, especially if any part is digital, while most analog encoding is done with analog circuitry.

Single bit 4 to 2 Encoder

A single bit 4 to 2 encoder takes in 4 bits and outputs 2 bits. It is assumed that there are only 4 types of input signals these are : 0001, 0010, 0100, 1000.

Priority encoder

A priority encoder prioritizes more significant bits in the data stream, and once it finds a high signal will ignore all other bits. An example of a single bit 4 to 2 encoder is shown.

Connecting Priority Encoders

Priority encoders can be easily connected in arrays to make larger encoders, such as a 16 to 4 encoder made from six 4 to 2 priority encoders (four encoders having the signal source connected to their inputs, and two encoders that take the output of the first four as input).


  • A compressor encodes data (e.g., audio/video/images) into a smaller form.
  • A multiplexer combines multiple inputs into one output.
  • A rotary encoder converts rotary position to an analog (e.g., analog quadrature) or digital (e.g., digital quadrature, 32-bit parallel, or USB) electronic signal.
  • A linear encoder similarly converts linear position to an electronic signal.

External links

encoder in German: Encoder
encoder in Estonian: Enkooder
encoder in Spanish: Codificador
encoder in Indonesian: Encoder
encoder in Italian: Codificatore (circuito)
encoder in Dutch: Encoder
encoder in Finnish: Enkooderi
encoder in French: Encodeur
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