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A-law algorithm

In telecommunication, an a-law algorithm is a standard compression algorithm, used in digital communications systems of the European digital hierarchy, to optimize, i.e., modify, the dynamic range of an analog signal for digitizing. It is similar to the mu-law algorithm used in the United States.

The reason for this encoding is that the wide dynamic range of speech does not lend itself well to efficient linear digital encoding. A-law encoding effectively reduces the dynamic range of the signal, thereby increasing the coding efficiency and resulting in a signal-to-distortion ratio that is superior to that obtained by linear encoding for a given number of bits.

Source: from Federal Standard 1037C



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