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I have taken these lines from wikipedia hope it clarify your concept about resolution of adc
The resolution of the ADC indicates the number of discrete values it can produce over the range of analog values. The values are usually stored electronically in binary form, so the resolution is usually expressed in bits. In consequence, the number of discrete values available, or "levels", is a power of two. For example, an ADC with a resolution of 8 bits can encode an analog input to one in 256 different levels, since 28 = 256. The values can represent the ranges from 0 to 255
nice topic and a short question : )
i think it will be better to explain with an example
let say we may have an analog value changes between 0 and 5 Vs
and we are using 4 bit adc. then our full range (5 V) will refer to 1111. It means
when analog input become 5 V digital output of adc will be 1111 for 0V it will be
0000. For 2.5 V it will be 1000. Now you can apply to 12 bits instead of 4. If you
want I can give some formulas or you can find on the internet.