A new method for analyzing the effect of jitter in digital audio systems which can be related more easily to conventional methods of assessing clock or oscillator performance, in particular their phase noise specification, is presented. The method can be easily extended to assess the effect of dividers, synchronizers, amplifiers, and any other components involved in the sample clock chain. Firstly, current approaches to calculating the effects of jitter are reviewed. The new method is then described and how it gives a simpler way of assessing system performance is explained. The effects of digital format, sample rate, and output method are also analyzed. The paper concludes by suggesting strategies for minimizing the effect of component performance on the jitter in a digital audio system.
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