The quadrature interface was originally developed for incremental measuring systems.
In addition, optical systems usually have a reference track, which only outputs a signal once along the entire measuring distance in order to reference the incrementally determined position. This is necessary to derive an absolute position from the A/B pulses which follow.
No reference traverse is necessary for absolute measuring position and rotary sensors as, for example, is the case with magnetostrictive position measuring systems. A magnetostrictive position measuring system with a quadrature interface transfers the correct number of A/B pulses in accordance with the current absolute position on request.