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Modulation is an electronic technique for transmitting information efficiently from one place to
Modulation makes the information signal more compatible with the medium.
Why Use Modulation
Clearly the concept of modulation can be a little tricky, especially for the people who don't like
trigonometry. Why then do we bother to use modulation at all? To answer this question, let's
consider a channel that essentially acts like a bandpass filter: both the lowest frequency
components and the highest frequency components are attenuated or unusable in some way,
with transmission only being practical over some intermediate frequency range. If we can't
send low-frequency signals, then we need to shift our signal up the frequency ladder.
Modulation allows us to send a signal over a bandpass frequency range. If every signal gets its
own frequency range, then we can transmit multiple signals simultaneously over a single
channel, all using different frequency ranges.
Another reason to modulate a signal is to allow the use of a smaller antenna. A baseband (low
frequency) signal would need a huge antenna because in order to be efficient, the antenna
needs to be about 1/10th the length of the wavelength. Modulation shifts the baseband signal
up to a much higher frequency, which has much smaller wavelengths and allows the use of a
much smaller antenna.
Think about your car radio. There are more than a dozen (or so) channels on the radio at any
time, each with a given frequency: 100.1MHz, 102.5MHz etc... Each channel gets a certain
range (usually about 0.22MHz), and the entire station gets transmitted over that range.
Modulation makes it all possible, because it allows us to send voice and music (which are
essential baseband signals) over a bandpass (or "Broadband") channel.
Types of modulation:
Analog modulation :
(Amplitude modulation (AM), Frequency modulation (FM), Phase modulation (PM)).
Digital modulation:
(Amplitude Shift Keying(ASK), Frequency Shift Keying(FSK),Phase Shift Keying(PSK)).

In analog modulation, the modulation is applied continuously in response to the analog
information signal.

In order to transmit computer data and other digitized information over a communications
channel, an analog carrier wave can be modulated to reflect the binary nature of the digital
baseband signal. The parameters of the carrier that can be modified are the amplitude, the
frequency, and the phase.

The three important digital modulation techniques are
Amplitude shift keying (ASK)
Frequency shift keying (FSK)
Phase shift keying (PSK)
For a bit stream of ones and zeros, the modulating signal is shown in Figure

Amplitude Shift Keying
Amplitude shift keying (ASK) is also known as on off keying (OOK). In ASK, two amplitudes
of the carrier represent the binary values (1 and 0). Generally, one of the amplitudes is taken as
zero. Accordingly, the ASK signal can be mathematically represented by

In amplitude shift keying (ASK), 1 and 0 are represented by two different amplitudes of the
carrier. ASK is susceptible to noise. ASK is used in optical fiber communication because the
noise is less.
The bandwidth requirement of ASK signal is given by the formula

where R is the bit rate and r is a constant between 0 and 1, related to the hardware
ASK is susceptible to noise and is not used on cable. It is used in optical fiber communication.

2 Frequency Shift Keying:
In FSK, the binary values are represented by two different frequencies close to the carrier
frequency. An FSK signal is mathematically represented by

can be f
+ f
and f
can be f
, where f
is the carrier frequency and 2f
is the
frequency deviation.
The bandwidth requirement of FSK signal is given by

where R is the data rate and r is a constant between 0 and 1.
FSK is used widely in cable communication and also in radio communication.
In frequency shift keying (FSK), 1 and 0 are represented by two different frequencies of the
carrier. FSK is used widely in cable and radio communication systems.

3 Phase Shift Keying:
The two commonly used PSK techniques are binary PSK (BPSK) and quadrature PSK (QPSK).
In PSK, the phase of the carrier represents a binary 1 or 0. In BPSK, two phases are used to
represent 1 and 0. Mathematically, a PSK signal is represented by

In BPSK, binary 1 and 0 are represented by two phases of the carrier.
The phase is measured relative to the previous bit interval. The bandwidth occupied by BPSK is
the same as that of ASK.
In quadrature PSK (QPSK), two bits in the bit stream are taken, and four phases of the carrier
frequency are used to represent the four combinations of the two bits.

In quadrature phase shift keying (QPSK), different phases of the carrier are used to represent the
four possible combinations of two bits: 00, 01, 10, and 11. QPSK is used widely in radio
communication systems.
The bandwidth required for a QPSK modulated signal is half that of the BPSK modulated signal.
Phase shift keying (BPSK and QPSK) is used extensively in radio communication systems. In
mobile communication systems also, different PSK techniques are used.

An analysis of the digital modulation technique carried out in this article reveals that the
selection of a digital modulation technique is solely dependent on the type of application. This is
because of the fact that some of the technique provide lesser complexities in the design of the
modulation and demodulation system and prove economic like the BASK, BFSK, BPSK and
DPSK techniques and can be visualized for the systems which really does not require high
amount of precisions or when economy is the major aspect and the BER performances can be
tolerated. On the other hand when the system designer has a sole consideration for the techniques
like BASK, BFSK, BPSK and designer has to think in terms of better modulation techniques like
the QPSK, MSK and GMSK, where GMSK has proved its performance over the other two in the
area of mobile communication because of the spectral efficiency. But the criterion for higher
data rate communication is taking the lead in almost every area of communication and thus the
ISI and BER realization become very important and crucial aspect for any future digital
modulation technique. Taking the above facts into consideration, the design of a digital
communication system is very trivial and is very much applications oriented, as one application
may require higher precision in data reception where as the other may compromise on this aspect
but may be rigid on the aspect of the available bandwidth or power, thus the parameters like the
modulation bandwidth, power, channel noise and the bit error rate become very important
parameters in the designing of digital/wireless communication system.