Definition of Data Encoder?

1. <algorithm, hardware> Any program, circuit or algorithm which encodes.

Example usages: "MPEG encoder", "NTSC encoder", "RealAudio encoder".

2. <hardware> A sensor or transducer for converting rotary motion or position to a series of electronic pulses.

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.

* A compressor is used to encode data into a smaller form.

* A multiplexer combines multiple inputs into one output.

* A rotary encoder is a sensor, transducer for converting rotary motion or position to a code of electronic pulses.

* A linear encoder is a sensor, transducer or readhead paired with a scale that encodes position. The sensor reads the scale in order to convert the encoded position into an analog or digital signal, which can then be decoded into position by a digital readout (DRO). Motion can be determined by change in position over time. Linear encoder technologies include capacitive, inductive, eddy current, magnetic, and optical. Optical technologies include shadow, self imaging and interferometric. Linear encoders are used in metrology instruments and high precision machining tools ranging from digital calipers to coordinate measuring machines.

In digital audio technology, an encoder is a program that converts an audio WAV file into an MP3 file, a highly-compressed sound file that preserves the quality of a CD recording. (The program that gets the sound selection from a CD and stores it as a WAV file on a hard drive is called a ripper.) An MP3 encoder compresses the WAV file so that it is about one-twelfth the size of the original digital sound file. The quality is maintained by an algorithm that optimizes for audio perception, losing data that will not contribute to perception. The program that plays the MP3 file is called a player. Some audio products provide all three programs together as a package.

In computer technology, encoding is the process of putting a sequence of characters into a special format for transmission or storage purposes.