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Digital transmission

| | Thursday, April 16, 2009

A computer network is designed to send information from one point to another. This information needs to be converted to either a digital signal or an analog signal for trans- mission. In this chapter, we discuss the first choice, conversion to digital signals. First, we discuss digital-to-digital conversion tech- niques, methods which convert digital data to digital signals. Second, we discuss analog- to-digital conversion techniques, methods which change an analog signal to a digital
signal. Finally, we discuss transmission modes.


The data can be either digital or analog. We also said that signals that represent data can also be digital or analog. In this section, we see how we can represent digital data by using digital signals. The conver- sion involves three techniques: line coding, block coding, and scrambling. Line coding is always needed; block coding and scrambling may or may not be needed.

Line Coding
Line coding is the process of converting digital data to digital signals. We assume that data, in the form of text, numbers, graphical images, audio, or video, are stored in com- puter memory as sequences of bits . Line coding converts a sequence of bits to a digital signal. At the sender, digital data are encoded into a digital signal; at the receiver, the digital data are recreated by decoding the digital signal.

Before discussing different line coding schemes, we address their common characteristics.

Signal Element Versus Data Element Let us distinguish between a data element and a signal element. In data communications, our goal is to send data elements. A data element is the smallest entity that can represent a piece of information: this is the bit. In digital data communications, a signal element carries data elements. A signal element is the shortest unit (timewise) of a digital signal. In other words, data elements are what we need to send; signal elements are what we can send. Data elements are being carried; signal elements are the carriers.

Data Rate Versus Signal Rate
The data rate defines the number of data elements (bits) sent in is. The unit is bits per second (bps). The signal rate is the number of sig- nal elements sent in Is. The unit is the baud. There are several common terminologies used in the literature. The data rate is sometimes called the bit rate; the signal rate is sometimes called the pulse rate, the modulation rate, or the baud rate.
One goal in data communications is to increase the data rate while decreasing the signal rate. Increasing the data rate increases the speed of transmission; decreasing the signal rate decreases the bandwidth requirement. In our vehicle-people analogy, we need to carry more people in fewer vehicles to prevent traffic jams. We have a limited bandwidth in our transportation system.

We now need to consider the relationship between data rate and signal rate (bit rate and baud rate). This relationship, of course, depends on the value of r. It also depends on the data pattern. If we have a data pattern of all 1 s or all Os, the signal rate may be different from a data pattern of alternating Os and 1 s. To derive a formula for the rela- tionship, we need to define three cases: the worst, best, and average. The worst case is when we need the maximum signal rate; the best case is when we need the minimum. In data communications, we are usually interested in the average case. We can formu- late the relationship between data rate and signal rate as

S=c x N x 1/r baud

where N is the data rate (bps); c is the case factor, which varies for each case; S is the
number of signal elements; and r is the previously defined factor. bandwidth with finite values. In other words, the bandwidth is theoretically infinite, but many of the components have such a small amplitude that they can be ignored. The effective bandwidth is finite. From now on, when we talk about the bandwidth of a dig- ital signal, we need to remember that we are talking about this effective bandwidth. We can say that the baud rate, not the bit rate, determines the equired bandwidth for a digital signal. If we use the transportation analogy, the number of vehicles affects the traffic, not the number of people being carried. More changes in the signal mean injecting more frequencies into the signal. (Recall that frequency means change and change means frequency.) The bandwidth reflects the range of frequencies we need. There is a relationship between the baud rate (signal rate) and the bandwidth. Band- width is a complex idea. When we talk about the bandwidth, we normally define a range of frequencies. We need to know where this range is located as well as the values of the lowest and the highest frequencies. In addition, the amplitude (if not the phase) of each component is an important issue. In other words, we need more information about the bandwidth than just its value; we need a diagram of the bandwidth. We will show the bandwidth for most schemes we discuss in the chapter. For the moment, we can say that the bandwidth (range of frequencies) is proportional to the signal rate
(baud rate).

DC Components When the voltage level in a digital signal is constant for a while, the spectrum creates very low frequencies (results of Fourier analysis). These fre- quencies around zero, called DC (direct-current) components, present problems for a system that cannot pass low frequencies or a system that uses electrical coupling (via a transformer). For example, a telephone line cannot pass frequencies below 200 Hz. Also a long-distance link may use one or more transformers to isolate different parts of the line electrically. For these systems, we need a scheme with no DC component.
Self-synchronization To correctly interpret the signals received from the sender, the receiver's bit intervals must correspond exactly to the sender's bit intervals. If the receiver clock is faster or slower, the bit intervals are not matched and the receiver might misinterpret the signals. Figure 4.3 shows a situation in which the receiver has a shorter bit duration. The sender sends 10110001, while the receiver receives 110111000011.

Of primary concern when we are considering the transmission of data from one device to another is the wiring, and of primary concern when we are considering the wiring is the data stream. Do we send 1 bit at a time; or do we group bits into larger groups and, if so, how? The transmission of binary data across a link can be accomplished in either parallel or serial mode. In parallel mode, multiple bits are sent with each clock tick. In serial mode, 1 bit is sent with each clock tick. While there is only one way to send parallel data, there are three subclasses of serial transmission: asynchronous, synchro- nous, and isochronous

Parallel Transmission
Binary data, consisting of ls and Os, may be organized into groups of n bits each. Computers produce and consume data in groups of bits much as we conceive of and use spoken language in the form of words rather than letters. By grouping, we can send data n bits at a time instead of 1. This is called parallel transmission. The mechanism for parallel transmission is a conceptually simple one: Use n wires to send n bits at one time. That way each bit has its own wire, and all n bits of one group can be transmitted with each clock tick from one device to another. The advantage of parallel transmission is speed. All else being equal, parallel transmission can increase the transfer speed by a factor of n over serial transmission.

But there is a significant disadvantage: cost. Parallel transmission requires n communi- cation lines (wires in the example) just to transmit the data stream. Because this is expensive, parallel transmission is usually limited to short distances.

Serial Transmission
In serial transmission one bit follows another, so we need only one communica- tion channel rather than n to transmit data between two communicating devices The advantage of serial over parallel transmission is that with only one communi- cation channel, serial transmission reduces the cost of transmission over parallel by roughly a factor of n. Since communication within devices is parallel, conversion devices are required at the interface between the sender and the line (parallel-to-serial) and between the line and the receiver (serial-to-parallel). Serial transmission occurs in one of three ways: asynchronous, synchronous, and isochronous.

Asynchronous Transmission
Asynchronous transmission is so named because the timing of a signal is unimportant. Instead, information is received and translated by agreed upon patterns. As long as those patterns are followed, the receiving device can retrieve the information without regard to the rhythm in which it is sent. Patterns are based on grouping the bit stream into bytes. Each group, usually 8 bits, is sent along the link as a unit. The sending system handles each group independently, relaying it to the link whenever ready, without regard to a timer. Without synchronization, the receiver cannot use timing to predict when the next group will arrive. To alert the receiver to the arrival of a new group, therefore, an extra bit is added to the beginning of each byte. This bit, usually a 0, is called the start bit. To let the receiver know that the byte is finished, 1 or more additional bits are appended to the end of the byte. These bits, usually 1 s, are called stop bits. By this method, each byte is increased in size to at least 10 bits, of which 8 bits is information and 2 bits or more are signals to the receiver. In addition, the transmission of each byte may then be followed by a gap of varying duration. This gap can be represented either by an idle channel or by a stream of additional stop bits. The start and stop bits and the gap alert the receiver to the beginning and end of each byte and allow it to synchronize with the data stream. This mechanism is called asynchronous because, at the byte level, the sender and receiver do not have to be syn- chronized. But within each byte, the receiver must still be synchronized with the
incoming bit stream. That is, some synchronization is required, but only for the dura- tion of a single byte. The receiving device resynchronizes at the onset of each new byte. When the receiver detects a start bit, it sets a timer and begins counting bits as they come in. After n bits, the receiver looks for a stop bit. As soon as it detects the stop bit, it waits until it detects the next start bit. The addition of stop and start bits and the insertion of gaps into the bit stream make asynchronous transmission slower than forms of transmission that can operate without the addition of control information. But it is cheap and effective, two advan- tages that make it an attractive choice for situations such as low-speed communication. For example, the connection of a keyboard to a computer is a natural application for asynchronous transmission. A user types only one character at a time, types extremely slowly in data processing terms, and leaves unpredictable gaps of time between each character.

Synchronous Transmission
In synchronous transmission, the bit stream is combined into longer "frames," which may contain multiple bytes. Each byte, however, is introduced onto the transmission link without a gap between it and the next one. It is left to the receiver to separate the bit stream into bytes for decoding purposes. In other words, data are transmitted as an unbroken string of 1 s and Os, and the receiver separates that string into the bytes, or characters, it needs to reconstruct the information. The advantage of synchronous transmission is speed. With no extra bits or gaps to
introduce at the sending end and remove at the receiving end, and, by extension, with fewer bits to move across the link, synchronous transmission is faster than asynchro- nous transmission. For this reason, it is more useful for high-speed applications such as the transmission of data from one computer to another. Byte synchronization is accom- plished in the data link layer.
We need to emphasize one point here. Although there is no gap between characters in synchronous serial transmission, there may be uneven gaps between frames.

In real-time audio and video, in which uneven delays between frames are not accept- able, synchronous transmission fails. For example, TV images are broadcast at the rate of 30 images per second; they must be viewed at the same rate. If each image is sent by using one or more flames, there should be no delays between frames. For this type of application, synchronization between characters is not enough; the entire stream of bits must be synchronized. The isochronous transmission guarantees that the data arrive at a fixed rate.

Analog transmission will be posted shortly. (Regards - Utsav Basu)

1 responce(s):

Anonymous said...

I dont see Behrouz A. Forouzan referenced here at all or his book Data Communications and Networking from which this is a word for word copy. I atleast hope that you have permission to reprint this on your website!!!

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