Digital Communication

Robert W. Heath Jr. and William Bard, The University of Texas, Austin

Atul A. Salvekar, Intel, Inc.


Fundamentals of Digital Communication

Digital Communication System Overview

Processing in the Digital Domain

Key Resources: Power and Bandwidth

Measures of Performance

Important Concepts in Digital Communication


Intersymbol Interference Channels

Noise and Interference

Timing and Synchronization


A Performance Example

Connections with Security

Conclusion: Further Reading


Cross References



Digital communication is the process of conveying digital information from a transmitter to a receiver across an analog channel. The origin of the binary data is known as a source; the destination of the binary data is known as a sink. Although binary data may be derived from an analog source such as music or a digital source such as a Web page, the means by which the binary data was created has little influence on the operation of the digital communication system. Digital communication could also be defined for nonbinary sources, but this is not standard for current transmission systems.

The principles of digital communication have been recognized and rediscovered many times during the past few thousand years. Early forms of digital communication used technology such as smoke signals, torch signals, signal flares, or drums. Most of these systems were visual meaning that the message was conveyed based on sight ...

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