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Digital Modulation – Lecture 02
Digital Modulation Techniques
Objectives
• To be able to compute the bit rate and symbol rate for
a given system.
• To be able to determine the bandwidth requirements
• To be able to describe the various popular forms of
digital modulation and implement them on simple data
inputs
Communication Systems 143.332 - Digital Modulation
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References
• Digital and Analog Communication Systems – 6 th
Edition, Leon W. Couch II (Prentice Hall)
• Digital Modulation in Communication Systems – An
Introduction (Hewlett Packard Application Note 1298)
• Principles of Digital Modulation, by Dr Mike Fitton,
mike.fitton@toshiba-trel.com Telecommunications
Research Lab Toshiba Research Europe Limited
Communication Systems 143.332 - Digital Modulation
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Presentation Outline
• Bit and Symbol Rates
• Bandwidth requirements
• Symbol clock
• Overview of Binary Keying
• Description of the popular forms of digital modulation
– BPSK, QPSK
– FSK, MSK
– DPSK
Communication Systems 143.332 - Digital Modulation
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Bit Rate and Symbol Rate - 1
To understand and compare different modulation format efficiencies, it is
important to first understand the difference between bit rate and symbol
rate. The signal bandwidth for the communications channel needed
depends on the symbol rate, not on the bit rate. (Ignore sync and error…)
Bit Rate
Symbol rate = Number of bits transmitted per symbol
• Bit Rate
• Symbol Rate:
– Bit rate is the frequency of a system
bit stream.
– Take, for example, a radio with an 8
bit sampler, sampling at 10 kHz for
voice.
– If symbols are generated at a rate of r
per second to create a baseband
signal with a bandwidth of W Hz, then
Nyquist has shown that r ≤ 2W.
– The bit rate, the basic bit stream
rate in the radio, would be eight bits
multiplied by 10K samples per
second, or 80 Kbits per second.
– For a double-sideband modulated
wave whose transmission bandwidth
is B T Hz, B T = 2W so that r ≤ B T .
Communication Systems 143.332 - Digital Modulation
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Bit Rate and Symbol Rate - 2
01
00
• The state diagram opposite represents QPSK (more
details later).
• Notice that for each constellation point two bits are
transmitted.
11
10
• If only one bit was being transmitted per symbol, then
in the previous example the symbol and bit rates would
be identical at 80Kbits per second.
QPSK State Diagram
• For the QPSK example, the symbol rate will be 40Kbits
per second.
• Symbol rate is sometimes called the baud rate. Note
that the baud rate is not the same as bit rate. (These
terms are often confused.)
• If more bits can be sent with each symbol, then the
same amount of data can be sent in a narrower
spectrum.
• This is why modulation formats that are more complex
and use a higher number of states can send the same
information over a narrower piece of the RF spectrum.
Communication Systems 143.332 - Digital Modulation
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Bandwidth Requirements
• Consider the two modulation schemes depicted in the
figures below:
BPSK
One bit per symbol
Bit rate = Symbol rate
8PSK
3 bits per symbol
Symbol rate = 1/3 Bit rate
• An example of how symbol rate influences spectrum requirements can be seen in
eight-state Phase Shift Keying (8PSK) as shown on the right. It is a variation of
PSK. There are eight possible states that the signal can transition to at any time.
• The phase of the signal can take any of eight values at any symbol time. Since 2 3 =
8, there are three bits per symbol. This means the symbol rate is one third of the
bit rate.
Communication Systems 143.332 - Digital Modulation
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Digital Modulation Basics
• The bit rate defines the rate at which information is
passed.
• The baud (or signalling) rate defines the number of
symbols per second.
• Each symbol represents n bits, and has M signal
states, where M = 2 n .
– This is called M-ary signalling.
• The maximum rate of information transfer through a
baseband channel is given by:
– Capacity f b = 2 W log 2 M bits per second
• where W = bandwidth of modulating baseband signal
Communication Systems 143.332 - Digital Modulation
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The Symbol Clock
• The symbol clock represents the frequency and exact
timing of the transmission of the individual symbols.
• At the symbol clock transitions, the transmitted carrier
is at the correct I/Q (or magnitude/phase) value to
represent a specific symbol (a specific point in the
constellation).
Communication Systems 143.332 - Digital Modulation
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Signalling Examples
• The diagram to the right shows a
Bandpass signalling examples that
will be considered further in the
coming lectures.
• Unipolar and bipolar modulation are
shown for reference.
• OOK
– On-off keying or Amplitude Shift
• PSK and BPSK
– Binary Phase Shift Keying
• DSB-SC
– Double Side Band – Suppressed
carrier
Communication Systems 143.332 - Digital Modulation
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Binary Keying
• Binary Keying definition:
– The bits in a message stream switch the modulation
parameters (amplitude, frequency and phase) from one state
to another. This process is called binary keying.
– Binary keying is a process that makes the values of amplitude,
phase or frequency of the carrier signal change in sympathy
with the values of the bits in the binary signal stream.
• Basic actions can be classified as:
– ASK – Amplitude Shift Keying
– PSK – Phase Shift Keying
– FSK – Frequency Shift Keying
Communication Systems 143.332 - Digital Modulation
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Binary Amplitude Shift Keying
• As shown in the diagram in the following slides, the transmitted
signal for BASK is a sinusoid whose amplitude is changed by on-
off keying (OOK) so that a 1 is represented by the presence of a
signal and a 0 is represented by the absence of a signal.
• The modulated pulse can be described mathematically when signal
‘1’ is present as:
⎧ A
cos 2
π
ft
, when 0
<
t
T
c
b
p t
( )
= ⎨
1
0 otherwise
• where T b is the bit duration (in sec). When signal ‘0’ is present we
have
p
( )
t =
0
0
Communication Systems 143.332 - Digital Modulation
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Double Side Band - Suppressed
Carrier
• The Double Side Band - Suppressed Carrier (DSB-SC)
signal is essentially an AM signal that has a
suppressed discrete carrier.
• This signal is given by the following equation:
s t = Amt
( )
( )cos
ω t
c
c
• where m(t) is assumed to have a zero dc level for the
suppressed carrier case.
• The complex envelope for this is given by:
g t = Amt
()
()
c
Communication Systems 143.332 - Digital Modulation
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On-off Keying - OOK
p 1 (t)
2.5
2
1.5
1
0.5
0
-0.5
-1
-1.5
-2
-2.5
OOK
– On-off keying is also known as Amplitude Shift Keying (ASK)
– The above graph shows a time domain representation of Binary
Amplitude Shift Keying
Communication Systems 143.332 - Digital Modulation
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Binary or Bi-Phase Shift Keying
• One of the simplest forms of digital
modulation is Binary or Bi-Phase Shift
Keying (BPSK).
• One application where this is used is for
deep space telemetry.
• The phase of a constant amplitude carrier
signal moves between zero and 180
degrees.
• On an I and Q diagram, the I state has two
different values.
• There are two possible locations in the state
diagram, so a binary one or zero can be
sent.
BPSK
One bit per symbol
Bit rate = Symbol rate
Communication Systems 143.332 - Digital Modulation
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Binary Phase-Shift Keying – 2
p
1 (t)
1
0
1
1
0.5
0
p1(t)
-0.5
-1
This is illustrated in the chart above. Notice the 180 o phase shifts
indicated by the arrow.
A
cos 2
π
f t
when 0 <
t
T
c
b
p
(
t
) =
1
0
otherwise
⎧ −
A
cos 2
π
f t
when 0
<
t
T
c
b
p
(
t
) =
0
0
otherwise
Communication Systems 143.332 - Digital Modulation
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Binary Phase-Shift Keying – 3
• The above equations describe the waveforms for
BPSK. Note that it can also be referred to as phase-
reversal keying or PRK.
• Let
s (t )
=
A cos[
ω
t
+
D m (t )]
c
c
p
• Where m(t) is given in the figure below:
Communication Systems 143.332 - Digital Modulation
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Binary Phase-Shift Keying - 4
• Typically, m(t) has peak values of ±1 and D p = π/2 radians, thus
s t
( ) = −
A m t
( ) sin ω
t
c
c
• BPSK is equivalent to DSB-SC with polar data waveform.
• The complex envelope is given by
g (t )
=
jA m (t )
c
Communication Systems 143.332 - Digital Modulation
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QPSK - 1
• A more common type of phase modulation is
01
00
• QPSK is used extensively in applications
including:
11
10
– CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access) cellular
service,
QPSK State Diagram
– Wireless local loop,
– Iridium (a voice/data satellite system) and
– DVB-S (Digital Video Broadcasting - Satellite).
• QPSK is effectively two independent BPSK
systems (I and Q), and therefore exhibits the
same performance but twice the bandwidth
efficiency.
Communication Systems 143.332 - Digital Modulation
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QPSK - 2
• Quadrature Phase Shift Keying can be filtered using
raised cosine filters (see later for details) to achieve
excellent out of band suppression.
• Large envelope variations occur during phase
transitions, thus requiring linear amplification.
Communication Systems 143.332 - Digital Modulation
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Nyquist & Root-Raised Cosine
Filters
• The Nyquist bandwidth is the
minimum bandwidth that can be
used to represent a signal.
• It is important to limit the spectral
occupancy of a signal, to improve
bandwidth efficiency and remove
• Root raised cosine filters allow an
approximation to this minimum
bandwidth.
– More discussion on the details of
these filters later.
Communication Systems 143.332 - Digital Modulation
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Keying
Q
Q
(-1,1)
(1,1)
Q
(1,1)
(-1,1)
(1,1)
(-1,1)
I
I
I
(1,-1)
(-1,-1)
(1,-1)
(-1,-1)
(-1,-1)
(1,-1)
Conventional QPSK
Offset QPSK
π/4 QPSK
• Conventional QPSK has transitions through zero (ie. 180 o phase
transitions). A highly linear amplifier is required.
• In Offset QPSK, the transitions on the I and Q channels are
staggered. Phase transitions are therefore limited to 90 o .
• In π/4-QPSK the set of constellation points are toggled for each
symbol, so transitions through zero cannot occur. This scheme
produces the lowest envelope variations.
• All QPSK schemes require linear power amplifiers.
Communication Systems 143.332 - Digital Modulation
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• Quadrature means that the signal shifts between
phase states that are separated by 90 degrees (π/2
radians). The signal shifts in increments of 90 degrees
from 45 to 135, –45, or –135 degrees.
• These points are chosen as they can be easily
implemented using an I/Q modulator.
• Only two I values and two Q values are needed and
this gives two bits per symbol.
• There are four states because 2 2 = 4. It is therefore a
more bandwidth-efficient type of modulation than
BPSK - potentially twice as efficient.
Communication Systems 143.332 - Digital Modulation
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Frequency Shift Keying
• Frequency Modulation and Phase Modulation are
closely related.
• A static frequency shift of +1 Hz means that the phase
is constantly advancing at the rate of 360 degrees per
second (2π rad/sec), relative to the phase of the
unshifted signal.
Communication Systems 143.332 - Digital Modulation
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Frequency Shift Keying – 1
Frequency Shift Keying
– Discontinuous phase FSK
– Where f 1 = mark frequency; f 2 = space frequency
⎧ A
cos(
ω
t +
θ
) for sending a 1
c
1
1
s t
( )
= ⎨
A
cos(
ω
t +
θ
) for sending a 0
c
2
2
Communication Systems 143.332 - Digital Modulation
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Frequency Shift Keying – 2
Electronic
Switch
Oscillator
Freq = f 1
Oscillator
Freq = f 2
Binary data input
Control
m(t)
line
Communication Systems 143.332 - Digital Modulation
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Frequency Shift Keying – 3
Continuous phase FSK
Binary data input
m(t)
Frequency
Modulator
(Carrier freq = f c )
FSK Output
t
st
( )
=
A
cos
ω
t + D
m
(
λ
)
d
λ
c
cf
⎢ ⎣
−∞
⎥ ⎦
j
ω
t
= Re{
gte
( )
c
}
Where
j
θ
(
t
)
g t
( ) =
Ae
c
t
θ
()
tD
=
md
(
λ
)
λ
f
−∞
Communication Systems 143.332 - Digital Modulation
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Frequency Shift Keying - 4
• In FSK, the frequency of the carrier is changed as a function of the
modulating signal (data) being transmitted. The amplitude is unchanged.
• In Binary FSK (BFSK or 2FSK), a “1” is represented by one frequency
and a “0” is represented by another frequency.
• The bandwidth occupancy of FSK depends on the spacing of the two
symbols. A frequency spacing of 0.5 times the symbol period is typically
used.
• FSK can be expanded to a M-ary scheme, employing multiple
frequencies as different states.
Communication Systems 143.332 - Digital Modulation
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Applications for FSK
• FSK (Frequency Shift Keying) is used
in many applications including
cordless and paging systems.
• Some of the cordless systems include
– DECT (Digital Enhanced Cordless
Telephone)
and
– CT-2: Cordless Telephone 2
DECT Phone
• CT-2 is a second generation cordless
telephone system that allows users to
roam away from their home base
stations and receive service in public
places. Away from the home base
station, the service is one way outbound
from the phone to a telepoint that is
within range.
Communication Systems 143.332 - Digital Modulation
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Binary Frequency-Shift Keying - 1
• Here the modulated wave is a sinusoid of constant amplitude
whose presence at one frequency means a 1 is present and if
another frequency is present then this means a 0 is present.
• When signal 1 is present, the pulse can be described as:
⎧ A
cos 2
π
f t
, when 0
<
tT
m
b
p t
( )
= ⎨
1
0, otherwise
• When signal 0 is present, the pulse can be described as:
⎧ A
cos 2
π
f t
, when 0
<
tT
n
b
p t
( )
= ⎨
0
0, otherwise
Communication Systems 143.332 - Digital Modulation
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Binary Frequency-Shift Keying - 2
p 1 (t)
1
0.5
0
p1(t)
-0.5
-1
Communication Systems 143.332 - Digital Modulation
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Minimum Shift Keying - 1
• Since a frequency shift produces an advancing or
retarding phase, frequency shifts can be detected by
sampling the phase at each symbol period.
• Phase shifts of (2N + 1) π/2 radians are easily detected
with an I/Q demodulator.
– At even numbered symbols, the polarity of the I channel
conveys the transmitted data,
– At odd numbered symbols the polarity of the Q channel
conveys the data.
• This orthogonality between I and Q simplifies
detection algorithms and hence reduces power
Communication Systems 143.332 - Digital Modulation
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Minimum Shift Keying - 2
• The minimum frequency shift which yields
orthogonality of I and Q is that which results in a
phase shift of ± π/2 radians per symbol (90 degrees
per symbol).
• FSK with this deviation is called MSK (Minimum
Shift Keying). The deviation must be accurate in
order to generate repeatable 90 degree phase
shifts.
• MSK is used in the GSM (Global System for Mobile
Communications) cellular standard.
• A phase shift of +90 degrees represents a data bit
equal to “1”, while –90 degrees represents a “0”.
• The peak-to-peak frequency shift of an MSK signal
is equal to half of the bit rate.
Communication Systems 143.332 - Digital Modulation
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Comments on FSK and MSK - 1
• FSK and MSK produce constant envelope carrier
signals, which have no amplitude variations.
– This is a desirable characteristic for improving the power
efficiency of transmitters.
• Amplitude variations can exercise nonlinearities in an amplifier’s
amplitude-transfer function, generating spectral re-growth, a
– Therefore, more efficient amplifiers (which tend to be less
linear) can be used with constant-envelope signals, reducing
power consumption.
Communication Systems 143.332 - Digital Modulation
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Comments on FSK and MSK - 2
• MSK has a narrower spectrum than wider deviation forms of FSK.
• The width of the spectrum is also influenced by the waveforms
causing the frequency shift.
– If those waveforms have fast transitions or a high slew rate, then the
spectrum of the transmitter will be broad.
• In practice, the waveforms are filtered with a Gaussian filter,
resulting in a narrow spectrum.
– In addition, the Gaussian filter has no time-domain overshoot, which
would broaden the spectrum by increasing the peak deviation.
• MSK with a Gaussian filter is termed GMSK (Gaussian MSK).
Communication Systems 143.332 - Digital Modulation
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DPSK – 1
Recovery of the data stream from a PSK modulated
wave requires synchronous demodulation
– The receiver must reconstruct the carrier exactly so that it
can detect changes in the phase of the received signal.
Differential PSK eliminates the need for the
synchronous carrier in the demodulation process and
this has the effect of simplifying the receiver.
At the transmitter, we process the data stream to give
a modulated wave where the phase changes by π
radians whenever a 1 appears in the stream.
It remains constant whenever a 0 appears in the
stream.
Communication Systems 143.332 - Digital Modulation
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DPSK - 2
• Differential Phase-Shift Keying
– Binary data are first differentially encoded and then passed to
the BPSK modulator.
• Example 1:
Note: if
d
=
1,
ee
n
nn − 1
if
d
=
0,
ee
=
n
nn − 1
Communication Systems 143.332 - Digital Modulation
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DPSK - 3
Thus we see that the receiver only needs to detect
phase changes. It does not need to search for specific
phase values.
180° phase shifts
p
1 (t)
1
01
1
0.5
0
p1(t)
-0.5
-1
Communication Systems 143.332 - Digital Modulation
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DPSK - 4
Original datastream
0
1
0
0
1
1
0
0
0
1
1
1
0
0
0
Relative Phase Angle
0
+2π
+3π
+3π
+3π
+3π +4π +5π +6π +6π +6π +6π
Processed datastream
0
1
1
1
0
1
1
1
1
0
1
0
0
0
0
Demodulated Datastream
0
1
0
0
1
1
0
0
0
1
1
1
0
0
0
• A further example showing how the phase changes
and is processed and finally demodulated.
Communication Systems 143.332 - Digital Modulation
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