ⓘ Line rate. In telecommunications and computing, bit rate is the number of bits that are conveyed or processed per unit of time. The bit rate is quantified using ..


ⓘ Line rate

In telecommunications and computing, bit rate is the number of bits that are conveyed or processed per unit of time.

The bit rate is quantified using the bits per second unit symbol: bit/s ", often in conjunction with an SI prefix such as "kilo" 1 kbit/s = 1.000 bit/s, "mega" 1 Mbit/s = 1.000 kbit/s, "giga" 1 Gbit/s = 1.000 Mbit/s or "tera" 1 Tbit/s = 1000 Gbit/s. The non-standard abbreviation "bps" is often used to replace the standard symbol "bit/s", so that, for example, "1 Mbps" is used to mean one million bits per second.

In most environments, one byte per second 1 B/s corresponds to 8 bit/s.


1. Prefixes

When quantifying large bit rates, SI prefixes also known as metric prefixes or decimal prefixes are used, thus:

Binary prefixes are sometimes used for bit rates. The International Standard IEC 80000-13 specifies different abbreviations for binary and decimal SI prefixes e.g. 1 KiB/s = 1024 B/s = 8192 bit/s, and 1 MiB/s = 1024 KiB/s.


2.1. In data communications Gross bit rate

In digital communication systems, the physical layer gross bitrate, raw bitrate, data signaling rate, gross data transfer rate or uncoded transmission rate sometimes written as a variable R b or f b is the total number of physically transferred bits per second over a communication link, including useful data as well as protocol overhead.

In case of serial communications, the gross bit rate is related to the bit transmission time T b {\displaystyle T_{b}} as:

R b = 1 T b, {\displaystyle R_{b}={1 \over T_{b}},}

The gross bit rate is related to the symbol rate or modulation rate, which is expressed in bauds or symbols per second. However, the gross bit rate and the baud value are equal only when there are only two levels per symbol, representing 0 and 1, meaning that each symbol of a data transmission system carries exactly one bit of data; for example, this is not the case for modern modulation systems used in modems and LAN equipment.

For most line codes and modulation methods:

Symbol rate ≤ Gross bit rate {\displaystyle {\text{Symbol rate}}\leq {\text{Gross bit rate}}}

More specifically, a line code or baseband transmission scheme representing the data using pulse-amplitude modulation with 2 N {\displaystyle 2^{N}} different voltage levels, can transfer N bit/pulse {\displaystyle N{\text{ bit/pulse}}}. A digital modulation method or passband transmission scheme using 2 N {\displaystyle 2^{N}} different symbols, for example 2 N {\displaystyle 2^{N}} amplitudes, phases or frequencies, can transfer N bit/symbol {\displaystyle N{\text{ bit/symbol}}}. This results in:

Gross bit rate = Symbol rate × N {\displaystyle {\text{Gross bit rate}}={\text{Symbol rate}}\times N}

An exception from the above is some self-synchronizing line codes, for example Manchester coding and return-to-zero RTZ coding, where each bit is represented by two pulses signal states, resulting in:

Gross bit rate = Symbol rate/2 {\displaystyle {\text{Gross bit rate = Symbol rate/2}}}

A theoretical upper bound for the symbol rate in baud, symbols/s or pulses/s for a certain spectral bandwidth in hertz is given by the Nyquist law:

Symbol rate ≤ Nyquist rate = 2 × bandwidth {\displaystyle {\text{Symbol rate}}\leq {\text{Nyquist rate}}=2\times {\text{bandwidth}}}

In practice this upper bound can only be approached for line coding schemes and for so-called vestigal sideband digital modulation. Most other digital carrier-modulated schemes, for example ASK, PSK, QAM and OFDM, can be characterized as double sideband modulation, resulting in the following relation:

Symbol rate ≤ Bandwidth {\displaystyle {\text{Symbol rate}}\leq {\text{Bandwidth}}}

In case of parallel communication, the gross bit rate is given by

∑ i = 1 n log 2 ⁡ M i T i {\displaystyle \sum _{i=1}^{n}{\frac {\log _{2}{M_{i}}}{T_{i}}}}

where n is the number of parallel channels, M i is the number of symbols or levels of the modulation in the i -th channel, and T i is the symbol duration time, expressed in seconds, for the i -th channel.


2.2. In data communications Information rate

The physical layer net bitrate, information rate, useful bit rate, payload rate, net data transfer rate, coded transmission rate, effective data rate or wire speed informal language of a digital communication channel is the capacity excluding the physical layer protocol overhead, for example time division multiplex TDM framing bits, redundant forward error correction FEC codes, equalizer training symbols and other channel coding. Error-correcting codes are common especially in wireless communication systems, broadband modem standards and modern copper-based high-speed LANs. The physical layer net bitrate is the datarate measured at a reference point in the interface between the datalink layer and physical layer, and may consequently include data link and higher layer overhead.

In modems and wireless systems, link adaptation automatic adaption of the data rate and the modulation and/or error coding scheme to the signal quality is often applied. In that context, the term peak bitrate denotes the net bitrate of the fastest and least robust transmission mode, used for example when the distance is very short between sender and transmitter. Some operating systems and network equipment may detect the connection speed informal language of a network access technology or communication device, implying the current net bit rate. Note that the term line rate in some textbooks is defined as gross bit rate, in others as net bit rate.

The relationship between the gross bit rate and net bit rate is affected by the FEC code rate according to the following.

Net bit rate ≤ Gross bit rate code rate

The connection speed of a technology that involves forward error correction typically refers to the physical layer net bit rate in accordance with the above definition.

For example, the net bitrate and thus the "connection speed" of an IEEE 802.11a wireless network is the net bit rate of between 6 and 54 Mbit/s, while the gross bit rate is between 12 and 72 Mbit/s inclusive of error-correcting codes.

The net bit rate of ISDN2 Basic Rate Interface 2 B-channels + 1 D-channel of 64+64+16 = 144 kbit/s also refers to the payload data rates, while the D channel signalling rate is 16 kbit/s.

The net bit rate of the Ethernet 100Base-TX physical layer standard is 100 Mbit/s, while the gross bitrate is 125 Mbit/second, due to the 4B5B four bit over five bit encoding. In this case, the gross bit rate is equal to the symbol rate or pulse rate of 125 megabaud, due to the NRZI line code.

In communications technologies without forward error correction and other physical layer protocol overhead, there is no distinction between gross bit rate and physical layer net bit rate. For example, the net as well as gross bit rate of Ethernet 10Base-T is 10 Mbit/s. Due to the Manchester line code, each bit is represented by two pulses, resulting in a pulse rate of 20 megabaud.

The "connection speed" of a V.92 voiceband modem typically refers to the gross bit rate, since there is no additional error-correction code. It can be up to 56.000 bit/s downstreams and 48.000 bit/s upstreams. A lower bit rate may be chosen during the connection establishment phase due to adaptive modulation – slower but more robust modulation schemes are chosen in case of poor signal-to-noise ratio. Due to data compression, the actual data transmission rate or throughput see below may be higher.

The channel capacity, also known as the Shannon capacity, is a theoretical upper bound for the maximum net bitrate, exclusive of forward error correction coding, that is possible without bit errors for a certain physical analog node-to-node communication link.

net bit rate ≤ channel capacity

The channel capacity is proportional to the analog bandwidth in hertz. This proportionality is called Hartleys law. Consequently, the net bit rate is sometimes called digital bandwidth capacity in bit/s.


2.3. In data communications Network throughput

The term throughput, essentially the same thing as digital bandwidth consumption, denotes the achieved average useful bit rate in a computer network over a logical or physical communication link or through a network node, typically measured at a reference point above the datalink layer. This implies that the throughput often excludes data link layer protocol overhead. The throughput is affected by the traffic load from the data source in question, as well as from other sources sharing the same network resources. See also measuring network throughput.


2.4. In data communications Goodput data transfer rate

Goodput or data transfer rate refers to the achieved average net bit rate that is delivered to the application layer, exclusive of all protocol overhead, data packets retransmissions, etc. For example, in the case of file transfer, the goodput corresponds to the achieved file transfer rate. The file transfer rate in bit/s can be calculated as the file size in bytes divided by the file transfer time in seconds and multiplied by eight.

As an example, the goodput or data transfer rate of a V.92 voiceband modem is affected by the modem physical layer and data link layer protocols. It is sometimes higher than the physical layer data rate due to V.44 data compression, and sometimes lower due to bit-errors and automatic repeat request retransmissions.

If no data compression is provided by the network equipment or protocols, we have the following relation:

goodput ≤ throughput ≤ maximum throughput ≤ net bit rate

for a certain communication path.


2.5. In data communications Progress trends

These are examples of physical layer net bit rates in proposed communication standard interfaces and devices:

For more examples, see list of device bit rates, spectral efficiency comparison table and OFDM system comparison table.


3. Multimedia

In digital multimedia, bitrate represents the amount of information, or detail, that is stored per unit of time of a recording. The bitrate depends on several factors:

  • The data may be encoded by different schemes.
  • The original material may be sampled at different frequencies.
  • The information may be digitally compressed by different algorithms or to different degrees.
  • The samples may use different numbers of bits.

Generally, choices are made about the above factors in order to achieve the desired trade-off between minimizing the bitrate and maximizing the quality of the material when it is played.

If lossy data compression is used on audio or visual data, differences from the original signal will be introduced; if the compression is substantial, or lossy data is decompressed and recompressed, this may become noticeable in the form of compression artifacts. Whether these affect the perceived quality, and if so how much, depends on the compression scheme, encoder power, the characteristics of the input data, the listeners perceptions, the listeners familiarity with artifacts, and the listening or viewing environment.

The bitrates in this section are approximately the minimum that the average listener in a typical listening or viewing environment, when using the best available compression, would perceive as not significantly worse than the reference standard:

  • signal or a line code. The symbol rate is measured in baud Bd or symbols per second. In the case of a line code, the symbol rate is the pulse rate in pulses
  • High - bit - rate digital subscriber line HDSL is a telecommunications protocol standardized in 1994. It was the first digital subscriber line DSL technology
  • used to categorise sailing warships, a first rate was the designation for the largest ships of the line equivalent to the super - dreadnought of more
  • In the rating system of the British Royal Navy, a third rate was a ship of the line which from the 1720s mounted between 64 and 80 guns, typically built
  • Rate - adaptive digital subscriber line RADSL is a pre - standard asymmetric digital subscriber line ADSL solution. RADSL was introduced as proprietary
  • second - rate was a ship of the line which by the start of the 18th century mounted 90 to 98 guns on three gun decks earlier 17th - century second rates had
  • end - to - end signaling rate is the lowest signaling rate among the component channels. Bit rate Bandwidth computing Baud Line rate Transfer rate This article
  • High bit rate digital subscriber line 2 HDSL2 is a standard developed by the American National Standards Institute ANSI Committee T1E1.4 and published
  • sustained rate and is only used in emergency final defensive line situations. The rapid rate is not sustainable for long periods because it eats up a great
  • In finance, an exchange rate is the rate at which one currency will be exchanged for another. It is also regarded as the value of one country s currency
  • the 18th century, a fourth - rate was a ship of the line with 46 to 60 guns mounted. They were phased out of ship of the line service during the French Revolutionary