Frequency, Spectrum and Bandwidth

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Frequency, Spectrum and Bandwidth

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2006

Ashutosh Khetan (01CS3013)

March 28, 2006

Line Waves

s(t) = Asin(2f t + )

where

A= amplitude of the wave

f= frequency of the wave

= phase angle of the wave

0.5

0.5

s(t)

s(t)

t=time

-0.5

-1

0T

-0.5

0.5 T

1T

t

1.5 T

-1

0T

2T

0.5 T

1T

t

1.5 T

2T

Infact any periodic wave can be represented as submission of sine waves. What we are really interested in is that how a square wave can be represented by sine waves and what is the frequency

range of a square wave.

We claim that a square wave can be represented as submission of sine waves. Let us justify our

claim.

1

0.4

0.3

0.5

0.2

s(t)

s(t)

0.1

-0.1

-0.5

-0.2

-0.3

-1

0T

0.5 T

1T

t

1.5 T

-0.4

0T

2T

0.5 T

1T

t

1.5 T

2T

1.5

s(t)

0.5

-0.5

-1

-1.5

0T

0.5 T

1T

t

1.5 T

2T

Two important points to be noted are: The second frequency 3f is an integral multiple of the rst frequency f . When all of the

frequency components of a signal are integral mutliples of one frequency, the latter frequency

is referred to as the fundamental frequency.

The period of the total signal is equal to the period of the fundamental frequency. The period

of the component sin(2f t) is T = 1/f , and the period of s(t) is also T .

We nd that s(t) = 4/[sin(2f t) + (1/3)sin(2(3f )t)] is much more closer to a square wave than

2

s(t) = sin(2f t) or s(t) = sin(2(3f )t). Now lets see what happens for s(t) = 4/[sin(2f t) +

(1/3)sin(2(3f )t) + (1/5)sin(2(5f )t] .

1.5

s(t)

0.5

-0.5

-1

-1.5

0T

0.5 T

1T

1.5 T

2T

We nd that in this case we move more close to square wave. In fact we can represent a square

wave with amplitude A and -A as

s(t) = A

4

sin(2kf t)

kodd,k=1

k

The spectrum of a signal is the range of the frequencies it contains. For the signal of F ig.4, the

spectrum rages from f to 5f . The absolute bandwidth of a signal is the width of the spectrum.

For F ig.4 the absolute bandwidth is 4f . Since a square wave can be represented as summation of

sine waves of various frequency (as shown above), so it has innite bandwidth. However most of

the energy in the signal is contained in relatively narrow band of frequencies. This band is referred

to as eective bandwidth, or just bandwidth.

An important issue is that, although a given waveform may contain frequencies over a broad range,

as a practical matter any transmission system will be able to accommodate only a limited band of

frequencies. This, in turn, limits the data rate that can be carried on the transmission medium.

Let us consider an example. For a square wave with frequency f Hz, two bits are tranferred for

every 1/f seconds (i.e. per cycle ). Therefore, data rate for a square wave with frequency f is 2f

bits per second. Now let us see what are the frequency components of this signal. When we use

the equation of F ig.3, we nd that the signal closely resembles a square wave. Here we use two

frequencies, f and 3f . When we use the equation of F ig.4, we nd that the signal even more closely

resembles a square wave. In this case we use three frequencies, f ,3f and 5f .

3

s(t) = A

sin(2kf t)

4

kodd,k=1

k

So a square wave has innite number of frequency components and thus an innite bandwidth.

However, the peak amplitude of the kth frequency component, kf , is only 1/k, so most of the

energy in this waveform is in the rst few frequency components.

Now lets take three cases and using it we try to nd the relationship between between data rate

and bandwidth.

Case I.If we represent a square wave by equation of F ig.4, then the bandwidth = 5f f = 4f .

When f = 1M Hz, then bandwidth = 4M Hz and data rate = 2f = 2M bps. Thus for a bandwidth

of 4M Hz, a data rate of 2M bps is achieved.

Case II.If we represent a square wave by equation of F ig.4, then the bandwidth = 5f f = 4f .

When f = 2M Hz, then bandwidth = 8M Hz and data rate = 2f = 4M bps. Thus for a bandwidth

of 4M Hz, a data rate of 2M bps is achieved. So by doubling the bandwidth, we doubled the

potential data rate.

Case III.Now we represent a square wave by equation of F ig.3,then the bandwidth = 3f f = 2f .

When f = 2M Hz, then bandwidth = 4M Hz and data rate = 2f = 4M bps. Here we have assumed

that the dierence between a positive and negative pulse in F ig.3 is suciently distinct and the

waverform can be successfully used to represent a sequence of 1s and 0s. Thus, a given bandwidth

can support dierent data rates depending upon the ability of the reciever to discern the dierence

between s0 and s1 in the presence of noise and other impairments.

From above we can say that any digital signal has innite bandwidth. If we attempt to transmit

this waveform as a signal over any medium, the transmission will limit the bandwidth that can

be transmitted. Also, greater the bandwidth transmitted, the greater the cost. So we arrive at

a contradictary situation. Economics and practical reasons dictate that digital inofrmation be

approximated by a signal of limited bandwidth., but limiting the bandwidth creates distortions,

which makes the task of interpreting the recieved signal more dicult. The more limited the

bandwidth, the more the distortion, and the gerater the potential for error by the reciever.

We can generalize that if the data rate of the digital signl is W bps, then a very good representation

can be achieved with a bandwidth of 2W Hz. However unless noise is very severe, bit pattern can

be recovered with less bandwidth than this.

So there is a direct relationship between data rate and bandwidth. The higher the data rate of the

signal, the greater is the required eective bandwidth.Other way round, the greater is the bandwidth

of the transmission system, the higher is the data rate that can be transmitted over the system.

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