Delta modulation (DM or Δ-modulation)is an analog-to-digital and digital-to-analog signal conversion technique used for transmission of voice information where quality is not of primary importance. DM is the simplest form of differential pulse-code modulation (DPCM) where the difference between successive samples are encoded into n-bit data streams. In delta modulation, the transmitted data is reduced to a 1-bit data stream. Its main features are:
- the analog signal is approximated with a series of segments
- each segment of the approximated signal is compared to the original analog wave to determine the increase or decrease in relative amplitude
- the decision process for establishing the state of successive bits is determined by this comparison
- only the change of information is sent, that is, only an increase or decrease of the signal amplitude from the previous sample is sent whereas a no-change condition causes the modulated signal to remain at the same 0 or 1 state of the previous sample.