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Theoretical basis for data

Transmission of data

Data must be transformed to electromagnetic

signals to be transmitted.
Data : Analog or Digital
Analog data : human voice, chirping of
birds etc , converted to
Analog or digital signals

Digital : data stored in computer memory,

converted to
Analog or digital signals
Analog data as analog signal : Human voice from
our houses to the telephone exchange.
Analog data as digital signal : most of the systems
today : Say Human voice, images sent on digital
lines .. New telephone system (digital exchanges)
Digital data as analog signal : computer data sent
over internet using analog line .. Say telephone
line ( say our house to the exchange)
Digital data as digital signal : say from one digital
exchange to another
Signals : Analog or digital
Analog signal has infinitely many levels of
intensity (infinitely many values,
continuous values) over a period of time.

Digital signal has only a limited number of

defined values(discrete values) say, 0,1.
Figure 3.1 Comparison of analog and digital signals
Figure 3.2 A sine wave
Figure 3.3 Amplitude
Figure 3.4 Period and frequency
If a signal does not change at all, its
frequency is zero.

If it changes instantaneously, its frequency

is infinite.
An analog signal is best represented in the
frequency domain.
Figure 3.7 Time and frequency domains
Figure 3.7 Time and frequency domains (continued)
Figure 3.7 Time and frequency domains (continued)
Single-frequency sine wave isnot
useful for data communication
A single sine wave can carry electric energy
from one place to another. For eg., the
power company sends a single sine wave
with a frequency of say 60Hz to distribute
electric energy to our houses.
If a single sine wave was used to convey
conversation over the phone, we would
always hear just a buzz.
If we sent one sine wave to transfer data, we
would always be sending alternating 0s and
1s, which does not have any
communication value.
Composite Signals
If we want to use sine wave for communication,
we need to change one or more of its
characteristics. For eg., to send 1 bit, we send a
maximum amplitude, and to send 0, the minimum
When we change one or more characteristics of a
single-frequency signal, it becomes a composite
signal made up of many frequenies.
Figure 3.9 Three harmonics
Figure 3.10 Adding first three harmonics
Fourier Analysis
In early 1900s, French Mathematician Jean-
Baptiste Fourier showed that any composite
signal can be represented as a combination
of simple sine waves with different
frequencies, phases and amplitudes.
More is the number of components included
better is the approximation
For eg., let us consider the square wave
Time-Voltage graph
Time on x-axis in msec, Voltage on y-axis
The first trace in the above figure is the
sum of 2 sine waves with amplitudes
chosen to approximate a 3 Hz square
wave (time base is msec). One sine
wave has a frequency of 3 Hz and the
other has a frequency of 9 Hz. The
second trace starts with the first but
adds a 15 Hz sine wave and a 21 Hz
sine wave. It is clearly a better
Figure 3.8 Square wave
It can be shown (ref Kreyzsig) that this
signal consists of a series of sine waves
with frequencies f, 3f, 5f, 7f, and
amplitudes 4A/pi, 4A/3Pi, 4A/5Pi,
4A/7Pi, where f is the fundamental
frequency(1/T, T the time period) and A the
maximum amplitude. The term with
frequency f, 3f .. are called the first
harmonic, 3rd harmonic, respectively.
Frequency spectrum of a signal
The description of a signal using the
frequency domain and containing all its
components is called the frequency
spectrum of the signal.
Figure 3.11 Frequency spectrum comparison
Composite Signal and
Transmission Medium
A signal needs to pass thru a transmission
medium. A transmission medium may pass
some frequencies, may block few and
weaken others.
This means when a composite signal,
containing many frequencies, is passed thru
a transmission medium, we may not receive
the same signal at the other end.
Figure 3.12 Signal corruption
Bandwidth of a channel
The range of frequencies that a medium can
pass without loosing one-half of the power
contained in that signal is called its
Figure 3.13 Bandwidth
Representing data as Digital
1 can be encoded as a positive voltage say 5 volts,
0 as zero voltage (or negative voltage say 5 volts)
Most digital signals are aperiodic. Thus we use
Bit interval (instead of period) : time required to
send one bit = 1/ bit rate.
Bit rate (instead of frequency) :number of bits per
Figure 3.17 Bit rate and bit interval
Digital signal as Composite
Digital signal is nothing but a composite
analog signal with an infinite bandwidth.

A digital signal theoretically needs a

bandwidth between 0 and infinity. The
lower limit 0 is fixed. The upper limit may
be compromised.
Relationship b/w bit rate and
reqd. channel b/w (informal)
Imagine that our computer creates 6bps
In 1 second, the data created may be 111111, no
change in the value, best case
In another, 101010, maximum change in the
values, worst case
In another, 001010, change in between the above
two cases
We have already shown .. More the changes
higher are the frequency components
Figure 3.18 Digital versus analog
Using single harmonic just to
get the intuition
The signal 111111 (or 00000 ) can be
simulated by sending a single-frequency
signal with frequency 0.

The signal 101010 (010101) can be

simulated by sending a single-frequency
signal with frequency 3 Hz. (3 signals or
sine waves per second)
All other cases are between the best and the worst
cases. We can simulate other cases with a single
frequency of 1 0r 2 Hz (using appropriate phase).
I.e. to simulate the digital signal at data rate 6bps,
sometimes we need to send a signal of frequency
0, sometimes 1,sometimes 2 and sometimes 3. We
need that our medium should be able to pass
frequencies of 0-3 Hz.
Generalizing the example above
Bit rate = n bps
Best case ---- frequency 0 Hz
Worst case ----- frequency n/2 Hz
Hence B (bandwidth) = n/2
Using more harmonics
However, as said earlier, one harmonic does not
approximate the digital signal nicely and more
harmonics are required to approximate the digital
As shown earlier, such a signal consists of odd
When we add 3rd harmonic to the worst case, we
need B = n/2 + 3n/2 = 4n/2
When we add 5th harmonic to the worst case, we
need B = n/2 + 3n/2 + 5n/2= 9n/2 and so on.
In other words, B >= n/2 or n <= 2B
Relationship b/w bit rate and
reqd. channel b/w (informal)
Hence we conclude that bit rate and the
bandwidth of a channel are proportional to
each other.
Analog vs Digital
Low-pass channel : has a bandwidth with
frequencies between 0 and f (f could be anything
including infinity).

Band-pass channel : has a bandwidth with

frequencies between f1 (>=0) and f2

A band-pass channel is more easily available than

a low-pass channel.
Figure 3.19 Low-pass and band-pass
Digital Rate limits
Data rate depends on 3 factors:

The bandwidth available

Number of levels of signals
Quality of the channel (noise level)
Figure 3.18 Digital versus analog
Noiseless Channel: Nyquist Bit

b = 2 B log L (log is to base 2)

b : bit rate
B : Bandwidth
L : number of levels
Noisy channel : Shannon

C = B log (1 + SNR)

C = capacity of the channel in bps

B = Bandwidth
SNR = signal to noise ratio
Digital vs Analog contd
Digital signal needs a low-pass channel

Analog signal can use a band-pass channel.

Moreover, bandwidth of a signal can always be
shifted ( a property required for FDM The
bandwidth of a medium can be divided into
several band-pass channels to carry several analog
transmissions at the same time.)
Example 9
Consider an extremely noisy channel in which the value
of the signal-to-noise ratio is almost zero. In other words,
the noise is so strong that the signal is faint. For this
channel the capacity is calculated as

C = B log2 (1 + SNR) = B log2 (1 + 0)

= B log2 (1) = B 0 = 0
Example 10
We can calculate the theoretical highest bit rate of a
regular telephone line. A telephone line normally has a
bandwidth of 3000 Hz (300 Hz to 3300 Hz). The signal-
to-noise ratio is usually 3162. For this channel the
capacity is calculated as

C = B log2 (1 + SNR) = 3000 log2 (1 + 3162)

= 3000 log2 (3163)
C = 3000 11.62 = 34,860 bps
Using both the limits
In practice we use both the limits to
determine, given the channel bandwidth,
what should be the number of levels a
signal should have.
Example 11
We have a channel with a 1 MHz bandwidth. The SNR
for this channel is 63; what is the appropriate bit rate and
signal level?


First, we use the Shannon formula to find our upper

C = B log2 (1 + SNR) = 106 log2 (1 + 63) = 106 log2 (64) = 6 Mbps
Then we use the Nyquist formula to find the
number of signal levels.
4 Mbps = 2 1 MHz log2 L L = 4
I Acknowledge
Help from the following site

In preparing this lecture.