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Transmitting digital signals

How do we encode digital signals for


transmission?
How can we interpret those signals?

Baseband transmission
Signal is sent without conversion to an analog
signal.
Requires a transmission channel with bandwidth
that starts at 0Hz (a low-pass channel).
For perfect preservation, requires a dedicated
channel with infinite bandwidth.
Usually, we just approximate
Wide bandwidth channel: Ignore frequencies at the borders
Narrow bandwidth: Use an analog signal and adjust frequency
and phase to create an approximate match.

Figure 3.21 Rough approximation of a digital signal using the first harmonic
for worst case

Figure 3.22 Simulating a digital signal with first three harmonics

Broadband transmission
First convert digital signal to analog signal.
Uses a bandpass channel - one whose
bandwidth starts anywhere.
The signal is modulated, which means we
manipulate the frequency or amplitude to
represent different components of digital
data.

Transmission problems
There are three major roadblocks that we
need to be concerned about when exploring
the physical level:
Attenuation: How rapidly does the signal fade
as it propagates.
Distortion: How does the signal change as it is
transmitted across the medium?
Noise: How do extraneous factors interfere
with the signal being sent?

Converting digital data to a


digital signal
Data element: A bit is a data element - the shortest
piece of data that can be sent
Data rate is the number of data elements sent in one
second (bits per second)

Signal element: A signal element is the shortest


signal segment.
Signal rate is the number of signal elements sent in one
second (baud).

r is defined as the ratio of data elements to signal


elements - i.e., how many bits are sent in each
signal element.

Maximizing throughput
High signal rates are obtained by using a broader
range of frequencies, thus allowing for a broader
range of possible signals
Therefore, higher signal rates require higher
bandwidths.
Ideally, we want to maximize data rate and
minimize signal rate.
Increasing r, though, reduces reliability by
requiring more sophisticated hardware on both the
sending and receiving ends.

Bandwidth requirements
The bandwidth required is related to the
signal rate, since that determines how many
frequencies are needed:
Bmin = c N 1/r

Issues to be aware of
Baseline wandering
Self-synchronization
Error Detection

Complexity

Line Coding
Line coding is the primary way we encode
digital data in digital signals. There are five
primary groups of line coding schemes:

Unipolar
Polar
Bipolar
Multilevel
Multitransition

Unipolar line coding


Either all signals levels are positive or they
are all negative
Non-Return-to-Zero (NRZ):

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Polar line coding


Voltages can be both positive and negative.
Typically positive voltages are 0 and negative
voltages are 1.
NRZ-L: Level of voltage determines bit value
NRZ-I: Inversion of signal determines bit value

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Return to Zero (RZ): Use


three values - positive,
negative, and 0. Signal
goes to 0 in the middle of
each bit.
Biphase:
Manchester: Transition in
middle of bit - voltage value
of start of bit determines bit
value (like RZ and NRZ-L)
Differential Manchester:
Transition in the middle of
each bit whether there is a
transition at beginning of bit
determines value (like RZ
and NRZ-I)

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Bipolar Line Coding


Always have three voltage levels - positive, 0, and
negative. 0 volts is typically the 0 bit, while the 1
bit alternates between positive and negative.
Long-distance lines

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Multilevel line coding

2B1Q: (2 bit, 1
quaternary) 2-bit
combinations are
associated with
specific changes in
the input according
to a transition table.

DSL

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8B6T (8 Bits, 6 Ternary): Groups of 8 bits


are represented as sets of six signal
elements with three possible levels.
100Base-4T cable.

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4D-PAM5 (4 Dimensional five-level pulse


amplitude modulation):For situations where
multiple wires are available for
simultaneous communication.
Uses four wires and four voltage levels
8 bits can be sent simultaneously using one
signal element

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Multitransition line coding

MLT-3 (MultiLine
Transmission, three level)

Similar to NRZ-I and


differential Manchester in
that transitions define bits.
Uses three voltage levels
and three transition rules:
1. No transition means next bit
is 0.
2. If the current level is nonzero, a transition to 0 means
the next bit is 1.
3. If the current level is zero, a
transition to the opposite of
the last non-zero level is a 1.

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Which is best?
Well, none of them are great.
Most dont provide synchronization. The ones that
do either require high bandwidth (Biphase, 8B6T)
or multiple wires (4D-PAM5).
None of these can inherently provide for any sort
of error detection.
To accomplish synchronization and, especially,
error detection, there need to be redundant
elements to the signal.

Block Coding
Block coding tries to provide this
redundancy.
In block coding, we take a set of m bits and
recode them as a longer group of n bits.
i.e., 4B/5B coding converts groups of four bits
into groups of 5 bits.

Isnt this bad? Doesnt it increase the size of


the data stream we need to send?

The benefits of redundancy


Representing 4 bits requires 16 data patterns.
Having 5 bits available gives us 32 possible
patterns. Among the benefits of this are:
Eliminate baseline drift by eliminating long strings of
0s.
This also improves synchronization.
Some sequences can be used as control sequences for
further synchronization.
What happens if the receiver gets a sequence that does
not correspond to a valid one?

Typically used with simpler line-coding schemes


like NRZ

Long-distance transmission
NRZ, even with block coding, still has the
problem of DC components.
Biphase schemes require too much
bandwith for high-capacity long-distance
transmission.
Bipolar AMI coding avoids both these
problems, but can generate long strings of
0s, which affects synchronization.

Scrambling
Scrambling those long strings of 0s is the solution.
Recall that bipolar encoding requires the voltage to
alternate between high and low. With a long string of 0s,
we can use a violation signal (one that doesnt alternate) as
a substitute for a 0.
B8ZS (Bipolar with 8 Zero Substitution) - North America
HDB3 (High-Density Bipolar 3-zero) - outside NA

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