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# Noise figure - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noise_figure

Noise figure

Noise figure (NF) and noise factor (F) are measures of degradation of the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR), caused by components in a radio frequency (RF) signal chain. It is a number by which the performance of a radio receiver can be specified. The noise factor is defined as the ratio of the output noise power of a device to the portion thereof attributable to thermal noise in the input termination at standard noise temperature T0 (usually 290 K). The noise factor is thus the ratio of actual output noise to that which would remain if the device itself did not introduce noise, or the ratio of input SNR to output SNR. The noise figure is simply the noise factor expressed in decibels (dB).[1]

Contents

General

Definition
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6/11/2013 11:50 PM

## Noise figure - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noise_figure

## The noise factor F of a system is defined as:[3]

where SNRin and SNRout are the input and output signal-to-noise ratios, respectively. The SNR quantities are power ratios. The noise figure NF is defined as:

where SNRin, dB and SNRout, dB are in decibels (dB). The noise figure is the noise factor, given in dB:

These formulae are only valid when the input termination is at standard noise temperature T0, although in practice small differences in temperature do not significantly affect the values. The noise factor of a device is related to its noise temperature Te:[4]

Attenuators have a noise factor F equal to their attenuation ratio L when their physical temperature equals T0. More generally, for an attenuator at a physical temperature T, the noise temperature is , giving a noise factor of:

If several devices are cascaded, the total noise factor can be found with Friis' Formula:[5]

where Fn is the noise factor for the n-th device and Gn is the power gain (linear, not in dB) of the n-th device. In a well designed receive chain, only the noise factor of the first amplifier should be significant.

Noise Noise (electronic) Noise figure meter Noise level Thermal noise Signal-to-noise ratio Y-factor

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6/11/2013 11:50 PM

## Noise figure - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noise_figure

References
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. ^ http://www.satsig.net/noise.htm ^ Agilent 2010, p. 7 ^ Agilent 2010, p. 5 ^ Agilent 2010, p. 7 with some rearrangement from Te=T0(F-1). ^ Agilent 2010, p. 8

Agilent (August 5, 2010), Fundamentals of RF and Microwave Noise Figure Measurements (http://cp.literature.agilent.com/litweb/pdf/5952-8255E.pdf), Application Note, 57-1