An analog switch (sometimes just called a "switch") is a switching device capable of switching or routing analog signals (meaning signals that can have any level within a specified legal range), based on the level of a digital control signal. Commonly implemented using a "transmission gate," an analog switch performs a function similar to that of a relay.
For example, an analog switch can turn an audio signal on or off based on a MUTE signal; or analog switches could send one of two signals to a headphone amplifier.
Most commonly implemented using CMOS technology integrated circuits. Maxim makes hundreds of examples. See the Analog Switch and Multiplexer Product Line page.
Also see What is a Transmission Gate (Analog Switch)?.
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