# What Is The Difference In Linear Quantization And Non-linear Quantization?

There are various types of quantization techniques which are there like linear quantization, non linear quantization, differential quantization and some others. In the linear quantization the step size is fixed while in the non linear quantization the step size is not fixed. In multimedia the fixed step size is used regardless of the size of the amplitude while this is not the case in the non linear quantization.  For complete explanation click on the link:
Quantization
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Errors occur on every sample except where the sample size exactly coincides the mid-point of the decision level.
If smaller steps are taken the quantization error will be less. However, increasing the steps will complicate the coding operation and increase bandwidth requirements.
Quantizing noise depends on step size and not on signal amplitude

The quantizing intervals are of equal size.
Quantization noise: the difference between the input signal and the quantized output signal
Signal-to-quantized-noise ratio
S/N= 6n+1.76 dB
n=8, S/N=49.76 dB
In other words, every added binary digit increases the ratio by 6dBs
Example

Consider sample 2, the actual amplitude of the signal is +1.7V.
This is assigned level 2 (same for any voltage between 1 & 2), which is transmitted as line code 101.
At the receiving end 101 is converted to a pulse of +1.5V (the middle value of the decision level at the encoder)
This produces an error of 0.2V between original input and output signals.

Non-Linear Quantization
With linear quantization, the signal to noise ratio is large for high levels but small for low level signals.

Therefore, non-linear quantization is used.

The quantizing intervals are not of equal size.
Small quantizing intervals are allocated to small signal values (samples) and large quantization intervals to large samples so that the signal-to-quantization distortion ratio is nearly independent of the signal level.
S/N ratios for weak signals are much better but are slightly less for the stronger signals.
Commanding: a process in which compression is followed by expansion.
Two separate laws are used
A-Law adopted by ITU-T for 30 channel PCM.
µ-law used mainly in USA,Canada and Japan.
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