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I have learnt that all data transmission is analog. Is there any mediums that could transmit bits digitally?

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    $\begingroup$ The spin of a particle is discrete. $\endgroup$
    – plop
    Oct 27, 2020 at 19:51
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    $\begingroup$ You may use any granular material like sand, corn, or rocks, right? You may also use drops, although I am not sure they are more digital than electric impulses... $\endgroup$ Mar 28, 2021 at 21:22
  • $\begingroup$ I don't think one can talk about medium transmitting any kind of signals. Medium can transmit measurable physical quantities, e.g., voltage, or electro-magnetic waves (with all their properties) or light. It is up to the end-points on how to map the signal to physical properties on the sender side and then how to interpret these measured values on the receiver side - as analogue or digital or no signal at all. There can be techniques that only work if the signal can have discrete values. $\endgroup$
    – Effie
    Dec 25, 2021 at 9:42
  • $\begingroup$ also, transmitting signals is usually not error prone. The signal is subject to all sorts of noises and interferences that results in different values being received. There are a lot of different techniques to "recover" from the values, and most techniques that are used for digital signals can only work because the signals are discrete and ultimatelly representing zeroes and ones only. $\endgroup$
    – Effie
    Dec 25, 2021 at 9:57
  • $\begingroup$ All data (not just transmission) is represented by physical quantities, which are analog. But the analog signals can be modulated by digital input, and can be interpreted as digital output. For instance CMOS chips work with two non-overlapping ranges of voltages, interpreted as binary 0 or 1. $\endgroup$ Sep 22 at 18:41

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HDMI interface is one example of being able to tranmit high-speed digital data. It works using an encoding technique called TMDS (Transition Minimized Differential Signaling) which you can read more about here

Also, HDMI can only be used with older analog-only devices (using connections such as VGA, etc.) by means of a digital-to-analog converter or AV receiver, as the interface does not carry any analog signals from Wikipedia

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    $\begingroup$ In HDMI the data is ultimately converted to voltages when transmitted over the wire. Which is analog. $\endgroup$ Oct 29, 2020 at 23:58
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Yes, modern optical fibers are good enough for single-photon communication. This is essential when it comes to quantum cryptography, which works with photon pairs. These quantum systems are inherently digital; the photon polarization encodes a single bit.

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Digital vs Analog

Short comparisation:

  • Digital signals have only 2 states, 1(high) or 0(low) power.

  • Analog have a lot more detailed state, like voltage, current, signal strength, etc.

In the context of signal integraty, digital can be easliy corrected, whereas analog has bigger problems if the SNR (signal to noise ratio) is not big enough.

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    $\begingroup$ Digital signals are typically sent as modulated analog signals. $\endgroup$ Mar 29, 2021 at 12:18
  • $\begingroup$ Digital has discrete values but is not limited to binary. $\endgroup$ Mar 29, 2021 at 15:40
  • $\begingroup$ I fail to see how this comparison answers the question. The question asks whether there are any mediums that transmit bits digitally. Therefore, I would expect an answer presumably should be of the form "Yes" (and here is an example) or "No" (and here is why). General background about analog and digital does not appear to answer the question that was asked. $\endgroup$
    – D.W.
    Dec 24, 2021 at 19:00

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