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Lecture 1: Introduction to Data Communications

27 Sept 2005

Introduction
Data Transmission

Introduction to Data Communications

serial or parallel

Transmission Media
copper cable, fibre optic, microwave, satellite

Data Transfer Mode


synchronous or asynchronous

Signalling
analogue or digital

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Why Data Communications?


Data communications in essential in a variety day to day computer-based activities:
print a file fax a document e-mail voice mail e-commerce telemetry teleworking

Data Transmission
Parallel transmission
several bits are transmitted at the same time.

Serial transmission
one bit of information is transmitted at a time.

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Parallel Transmission
Transmits several bits of information at the same time, using separate wires. Useful: it maximises data transmission 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

Serial Transmission
Transmits one bit at a time. Benefits: only need one wire, so it is much cheaper over long distances. Transmission media link may be:
telephone cable coaxial cable fibre optic microwave satellite

Strobe

Strobe: indicates when next byte is present


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Lecture 1: Introduction to Data Communications

27 Sept 2005

Transmission Media Links


Telephone cables
pair of twisted cables susceptible to noise

Coaxial cable

Coaxial cables
single conductor wire within a protective enclosure Bundles of cables can be laid underground or undersea Transmit data faster than telephone wires and are less prone to noise.

Plastic jacket

Aluminium tubing

Polyethylene dielectric

Centre Conductor

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Transmission Media
Fibre optic
uses light to send data cables made of very thin glass fibres supports voice, picture, music, video has broad bandwidth (explained later)

Fibre Optic

Optical fibre

Sheath

Individual fibre jacket

Reinforcing material

Cladding

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Transmission Media
Microwaves
uses line of sight transmission of data signals through the atmosphere Signals cannot bend so need relay stations every 30 miles

Synchronisation of Devices
For two devices to communicate with each other, both devices must be synchronised ie. run at the same speed Sending device has clock which tells it when to transmit next bit of data Clock at receiving end signals when to check for the next bit of data The two clocks must run at the same speed.

Satellite
Radio signals are sent and received by earth stations A satellite transponder receives the signal, amplifies it, changes the frequency and re-transmits it.

CM2011 Computer Networks

CM2011 Computer Networks

Lecture 1: Introduction to Data Communications

27 Sept 2005

Synchronous Mode
Sending clock keeps receiving clock in step Needs a second wire between the communicating devices Data is sent in a continuous synchronised stream or in large blocks with a few synchronisation bits at the front of each block Less prone to distortion Usable at higher transmission speeds.

Asynchronous mode
Most common mode for connecting PCs Data may be sent at any moment with variable time gaps between characters Communications hardware is told when a character is about to be received and when the transmission stops Bits of data enclosed with start and stop bits.

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Asynchronous mode
Advantages
less connective wires best for irregular data streams, e.g. keyboard
A m p l i t u d e

Analogue signal
cycle 1 cycle 2

Disadvantages
start bits can be missed interference pulses may generate start bits slower, since there are lots of extra (control) bits transmitted.

Time
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Digital Signal
Logic Levels
1 0 1 0 0 0

Modems
Modems (modulators/demodulators) Convert a digital signal into an analogue signal for transmission through a telephone wire to the PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network) and vice versa. Transmission over the PSTN is digital, but the telephone line transmission to the PSTN exchange is analogue.

Time
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Lecture 1: Introduction to Data Communications

27 Sept 2005

Why Modems are needed


Computer A Modem Digital Signal Analogue Signal Telephone Exchange

Modulation
Various properties of the analogue signal can be used to represent digital data:
frequency amplitude phase

PSTN
(Digital Network)

Computer B

Modem Digital Signal Analogue Signal

Telephone Exchange

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Frequency modulation
cycle 1
Digital Digital

Amplitude modulation
cycle 1 cycle 2

cycle 2

Analogue

Analogue

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Phase Modulation
cycle 1 cycle 2

Bandwidth
Every communications channel is only capable of carrying data over a certain range of frequencies. The bandwidth is difference between the highest and lowest frequencies that can be transmitted over a communications channel. Usually measured in Hertz Voice needs less than 4KHz TV needs 8KHz Music needs 15 KHz

Digital

Analogue

Data transmission rate is measured in bits per second (maximum data rate that a channel can handle)

CM2011 Computer Networks

CM2011 Computer Networks

Lecture 1: Introduction to Data Communications

27 Sept 2005

Noise
Unwanted signals that exist on the communication channel Can cause corrupted messages Sources
Component noise External interference Crosstalk

Attenuation (weakening)
Signals lose their amplitude over a distance Caused by
heat dissipation frequency dependent losses

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Summary
Data transmission: serial or parallel Devices communicate using synchronous or asynchronous modes Modems are used to convert digital signals into analogue signals and vice versa Bandwidth is the difference between the highest and lowest frequencies that can be transmitted Noise is unwanted data Attenuation is loss of amplitude.

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