This layer is involved in physically carrying information from one node in the network to the next.

Fig.1 Position of the Physical Layer
DATA LINK LAYER Gives services to Physical Layer
TELEPHONE Bit Signal Transformation Bit Signal Transformation Bit-Rate Control HIGH-SPEED


Circuit Switching



Controls Transmission Media

The physical layer has complex tasks to perform. One major task is to provide services for the data link layer. The data in the data link layer consists of 0 s and 1 s organized into frames that are ready to be sent across the transmission medium. The physical layer must also take care of the physical network, the transmission medium. The transmission medium is a passive entity; it has no internal program or logic for control like other layers. The physical layer decides on the directions of data flow. Physical Layer
Duties of physical layer


Bit Signal Transformation

Bit-Rate Control

Bit Synchronization


Circuit Switching

ANALOG & DIGITAL Both data and the signals that represent them can take either analog or digital form. The logical pipe under the physical layer is the transmission media (cable or air). This can be captured by a microphone and converted to an analog signal and converted to a digital signal. the physical layer is the controller. BIT SYNCHRONIZATION. BIT RATE CONTROL. SWITCHING. We have circuit switching. is data stored in the memory of a computer in the form of 0 s & 1 s. We need to represent the bits by a signal. SIGNALS One of the major concerns of the physical layer lies in moving data in the form of electromagnetic signals across a transmission medium. Although the transmission medium determines the upper limit of the data rate. y . packet switching. and message switching. It can be converted to a digital signal when it is transferred from one position to another inside or outside the computer or modulated into an analog signal. an analog wave is created in the air.y y y y y BIT SIGNAL TRANSFORMATION. y Analog data. An example of analog data is the human voice. Transmission media work by conducting energy along a physical path. Digital data. the physical medium into logical channels for better efficiency. Is the process of dividing a link. Switching in data communications can be done in several layers. So a data stream of 1 s and 0 s must be turned into energy in the from of electromagnetic signals. MULTIPLEXING. The PL governs the synchronization of the bits by providing clocking mechanism that controls both the sender and receiver. When someone speaks.

sine wave is the most fundamental form of a periodic analog signal. 3. and repeats that pattern over subsequent identical periods. SINE WAVE. often as simple as 1 Fig. Each cycle consists of a single arc above the time axis followed by a single arc below it. An APERIODIC SIGNAL changes without exhibiting pattern or cycle that repeats over time.ANALOG SIGNALS has infinite many levels of intensity over a period of time. ANALOG SIGNALS can be classified as simple or composite. A simple analog signal.1 Comparison of Analog & digital signals value value time Analog Signal Digital signal time Both analog and digital signals can take one of two forms: periodic & aperiodic (nonperiodic). VALUE TIME . cannot be decomposed into simpler signals. a SINE WAVE. The completion of one full pattern is called a cycle. can have only a limited number of defined values. called a period. A PERIODIC SIGNAL completes a pattern within a measurable time frame. A COMPOSITE ANALOG signal is composed of multiple sine waves. DIGITAL SIGNAL & 0.

it becomes a composite signal made of many frequencies.PEAK AMPLITUDE The peak amplitude of a signal represents the absolute value of its highest intensity. its frequency is zero. Phase . If the signal changes instantaneously. proportional to the energy it carries. Frequency is the rate of change with respect to time. Amplitude PEAK AMPLITUDE TIME PERIOD & FREQUENCY Period refers to the amount of time. A mere change in the amplitude. Frequency refers to the number of periods in one second. the French mathematician Jean Baptiste showed that any composite signal is a sum of a set of sine waves of different frequencies. .the term phase describe the position of the wave form relative to time zero. FOURIER ANALYSIS In the early 1900s. phases and amplitudes. its frequency is infinite. Change over a long span of time means low frequency. Frequency Spectrum the description of a signal using the frequency domain and containing all its components is called the frequency spectrum of that signal. COMPOSITE SIGNALS made of many simple sine waves. Change in a short span of time means high frequency. and frequency is the inverse of period. a signal needs to complete one cycle. or phase creates a new set of frequencies. When we change one or more characteristics of a single frequency signal. in seconds. frequency. Period is the inverse of frequency. If the signal does not change at all.

In other words. The bandwidth is a property of a medium. usually expresses in bits per second (bps. The Bit rate is the number of bit intervals per second.) DIGITAL SIGNAL as a COMPOSITE Analog Signal It should be clear so far that the digital signal. . or 4000.The bit interval is the time required to send one single bit. The bandwidth is a range and is normally referred to as a difference between two numbers. This means that bit rate is the number of bits sent in 1 s. it is the difference between the highest and the lowest frequencies that the medium can satisfactorily pass. is actually a composite signal having an infinite number of frequencies. Amplitude 1 0 1 0 1 Time BITE INTERVAL & BIT RATE. A 1 can be encoded as a positive voltage and a 0 as a zero voltage. BANDWIDTH The range of frequencies that the medium can pass is called its bandwidth. For example: If a medium can pass frequencies between 1000 and 5000 without losing most of the power contained in this range. the bandwidth normally refers to the range of frequencies that a medium can pass without losing one-half of the power contained in that signal. Because medium can pass or block all frequencies. data can be represented by a digital signal. with all its sudden changes. the bandwidth of a digital signal is infinite. its bandwidth is 5000-1000.DIGITAL SIGNALS In addition to being represented by an analog signal.

That is why a wire carrying electrical signals gets warm. One wire acts as a sending antenna and the other as a receiving antenna. This means that the signal at the beginning and end of the medium are not the same. Each signal component has its own propagation speed through a medium and therefore. The imperfections cause impairment in the signal. after a while. NOISE Noise is another problem. simple or composite. made of different frequencies. . Crosstalk is the effect of one wire on the other. What is sent is not what is received.means loss of energy. crosstalk and impulse noise may corrupt the signal. its own delay in arriving at the final destination. Some of the electrical energy in the signal is converted to heat. Impairment Attenuation Distortion Noise ATTENUATION. Impulse noise is a spike (a signal with high energy in a very short period of time) that comes from power lines. distortion.Distortion means that the signal changes its form or shape. The decibel (dB) measures the relative strength of two signals or a signal at two different points. Induced noise comes from sources such as motors and appliances. Three types of impairment usually occur: attenuation. amplifiers are used to amplify the signal. engineers use the concept of the decibel. When a signal. Distortion occurs in a composite signal. DISTORTION. lightning and so on. Thermal noise is the random motion of electrons in a wire which creates an extra signal not originally sent by the transmitter. it loses some of its energy so that it can overcome the resistance of the medium. which are not perfect. DECIBEL.TRANSMISSION IMPAIRMENT Signals travel through transmission media. induced noise. Several types of noise such as a thermal noise. To compensate for this loss. if not hot. noise.To show that a signal has lost or gained strength. Note that the decibel is negative if a signal is attenuated and positive if a signal is amplified. These devices act as a sending antenna and the transmission medium acts as a receiving antenna. travels through a medium.

while the frequency of a signal is independent of the medium. The propagation time is calculated by dividing the distance by the propagation speed. if we consider this entity as a wall through which bit pass. THROUGHPUT is the measurement of how fast data can pass through an entity (such as a point or a network). propagation speed. the wavelength depends on both the frequency and the medium. WAVELENGTH is another characteristic of a signal travelling through a transmission medium. propagation time and wavelength. In other words. speed. PROPAGATION SPEED measure the distance a signal of a bit can travel through a medium in one second. Wavelength binds the period or the frequency of a simple sine wave to the propagation speed of the medium. throughput is the number of bits that can pass this wall in one second. . PROPAGATION TIME measures the time required for a signal (or a bit) to travel from one point of the transmission medium to another.MORE ABOUT SIGNALS Four other measurements used in data communications are throughput. In other words. The propagation of speed of electromagnetic signals depends on the medium and on the frequency of the signal.

we refer to the number of values used to represent data as the number of data levels. We refer to the umber of values allowed in a particular signal as the number of signal levels. DATA LEVEL. the pulse rate and the bit rate are the same. A pulse is the minimum amount of time required to transmit a symbol. BIT RATE The pulse rate defines the number of pulses per second. This can be achieved if there are transitions in the signal that alert the receiver to the beginning. Line coding converts a sequence of bits to a digital signal. text. the rest are used for other purposes. However. SELF-SYNCHRONIZATION digital signals include timing information in the data being transmitted. data. this component is extra energy residing on the line and is useless. if the signal is to pass through a system (such as a transformer) that does not allow the passage of a DC component.A digital signal can have a limited number of values. a sequence of bits. numbers. If a pulse carries only 1 bit. First. Second. BIT RATE DC COMPONENTS SELF SYNCHRONIZATION SIGNAL LEVEL vs. For example. audio and video that are stored in the computer memory are all sequences of bits. If the pulse carries more than 1 bit. PULSE RATE vs. middle or end of the pulse . DATA LEVEL PULSE RATE VS. to a digital signal. The bit rate defines the number of bits per second. graphical images. In designing a network. we have two choices: convert information to either a digital signal or an analog signal. This component is undesirable for two reasons. CHARACTERISTICS OF LINE CODING y y y y SIGNAL LEVEL vs.DIGITAL TRANSMISSION A computer network is designed to send information from one point in the network to another. LINE CODING is the process of converting binary data. DC COMPONENTS Some line coding schemes leave a residual direct-current (dc) component (zero-frequency). then the bit rate is greater than the pulse rate. the signal is distorted and may create errors in the output. only some of these values can be used to represent data.

one voltage level stands for binary 0. POLAR ENCODING Uses two voltage levels. one positive and one negative. usually the 0. By using two levels. its simplicity provides an easy introduction to the concepts developed with the more complex encoding systems and allows us to examine the kinds of problems that any digital transmission system must overcome. is represented by zero voltage. in most polar encoding methods the average voltage level on the line is reduces and the DC component problem seen in unipolar encoding is alleviated. Line Coding UNIPOLAR POLAR BIPOLAR UNIPOLAR ENCODING Is a very simple and very primitive. This polarity is assigned to one of the two binary states. POLAR NRZ RZ MANCHESTER DIFFERENTIAL MANCHESTER . Although it is almost obsolete today. The other state. The polarity of the pulse refers to whether it is positive or negative. and another level stands for binary 1. Unipolar encoding is so named because it uses only one polarity. usually the 1. In many types of encoding.LINE CODING SCHEMES We can divide line coding schemes into three broad categories.

A neutral. DIFFERENTIAL MANCHESTER the inversion at the middle of the bit interval is used for synchronization. the transition at the middle of the bit is used for both synchronization and bit representation. A common bipolar encoding scheme is called Alternate mark Inversion (AMI) means alternate 1 inversion. positive. BIPOLAR Like RZ. NRZ-L (NRZ level) encoding the level of the signal depends on the type of bit it represents. something like the solution provided by the NRZ-I. In Manchester. RZ. however.NRZ. . the zero level in bipolar encoding is used to represent binary 0. Manchester encoding achieves the same level of synchronization as RZ but with only two levels of amplitude. NRZ-I (NRZ-Invert) encoding is an inversion of the voltage level represents a 1 bit. and no transition means binary 1. negative and zero. but the presence or absence of an additional transition at the beginning of the interval is used to identify the bit. A solution is somehow include synchronization in the encoded signal. anytime the original data contain strings of consecutive 1 s & 0 s.(Return to Zero) As you can see. uses three voltage levels. the receiver can lose its place. zero voltage represents binary 0. MANCHESTER ENCODING uses an inversion at the middle of each bit interval for both synchronization and bit representation. but one capable of handling strings of 0s as well as 1s. Binary 1 are represented by alternating positive and negative voltages. Unlike RZ. It requires two signal changes to represent binary 0 but only one to represent binary 1.(Non-return to zero) the value of the signal is always either positive or negative. The transition means binary 0. It is the transition between a positive and a negative voltage.