An absolute encoder maintains position information when power is removed from the encoder. Unlike an incremental encoder the position is available immediately on applying power.

More information about Absolute

The relationship between the encoder value and the physical position of the controlled machinery is set at assembly and the system does not need to return to a calibration point to maintain position accuracy.
An absolute encoder has multiple code rings with various binary coding which provide a data word representing the absolute position of the encoder within one revolution. This type of encoder is often referred to as a parallel absolute encoder.
A multi-turn absolute rotary encoder includes additional codes that record the number of whole revolutions of the shaft.

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