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Annex J (Informative) Bandwidth Considerations

This annex is informative only and is not part of the standard.

J.1 General

Digital equipment data rates are typically specified in Megabits per second (Mb/s). Bandwidth for cabling
and connecting hardware is typically specified in Megahertz (MHz). These terms are not the same but
interrelated. The purpose of this annex is to provide information of a tutorial nature on the definitions of
MHz and Mb/s, and their use in UTP channel performance design specifications (see informative Annex E

J.2 Sinusoidal Signals

The frequency specification in MHz is often confused with Mb/s. Hertz, abbreviated Hz, is the
international unit of measurement of frequency. Frequency is the number of times a sine-wave goes
through its complete cycle per second. A frequency of 1,000,000 Hz is typically expressed as 1 MHz.
figure I-1 illustrates a sinusoidal voltage that repeats itself every 100 nanoseconds; a frequency of 10

The average power of a sine-wave can be represented in the frequency domain as the area under the
spectral density curve plotted as a function of frequency. As shown in figure I-1 the sinusoidal voltage
has one positive frequency component.

Figure J-1 Sinusoidal Voltage: (Frequency = 10 MHz)

The attenuation and NEXT loss for cabling and connecting hardware are commonly derived from swept
frequency measurements. The specifications range from 0.1 MHz to 100 MHz. The attenuation values in
table 10-3 represent the loss of a sinusoidal voltage at the specified frequency measured at the output of
100 m (328 ft) of cable terminated in its characteristic impedance.

J.3 Digital Signals

Digital signals represent the transformation of information into discrete voltage levels. Baud rate is the
unit of signaling speed, on the physical media, equal to the number of discrete conditions or signal events
per second. Bit is an abbreviation for binary digit. Bit rate is the number of bits transferred per unit time,
usually expressed in bits per second or in millions of bits per second (Mb/s). Figure J-2 diagrams the
signaling reference points.
Figure J-2 Network Topology

The attenuation incurred when the discrete voltage levels are transmitted through a channel comprised of
cable and connecting hardware are related to the shape and repetition of the encoded signal. These
signals can be represented as a set of harmonically related sine-waves.

Figure J-3 shows the frequency spectrum of the related sine-wave components of a Manchester-Encoded
Signal. Ethernet (802.3) and Token Ring (802.5) both employ a form of Manchester Coding. The
attenuation incurred by a digital signal is not only at its fundamental frequency but also at the frequencies
of the related sine-wave components. The signal bandwidth is the range of related sine-wave
components (frequencies) which characterize the digital signal.

A Manchester encoded sequence of random bits, more representative of network signaling traffic, would
produce a continuous frequency spectra. Digital system design includes characterization of a statistical
worst-case signal bandwidth in order to specify requirements for the channel bandwidth. Proper
operation of the digital system occurs only when the channel bandwidth exceeds the signal bandwidth.
Figure J-3 Manchester Encoded Signal

J.4 UTP Channel Performance

The UTP channel performance specified in informative Annex E is determined from transmission
measurements on cables and connecting hardware. These measurements are performed in the
frequency domain, i.e. the UTP channel performance parameters are expressed as a function of
frequency in MHz (table E-1 and table E-2). The range of frequencies that can be successfully
transmitted for a given distance [e.g. 100 m (328 ft)] determines the available bandwidth in MHz for a
specified channel.

There are different criteria that can be used to determine the available bandwidth. One such criterion is
the level of minimum receive signal at the output of a channel relative to the peak noise level.
Attenuation-to-Crosstalk Ratio (ACR) excludes noise from sources external to the channel, i.e., all noise
except crosstalk noise.

To ensure an acceptable bit error rate (BER), the signal should be a reasonable replica of the transmitted
signal. Attenuation is a decrease in signal magnitude. Also, the higher frequency components of the
digital signal incur more attenuation over a given UTP channel (table E-1). The net effect is a reduction in
amplitude and a change in shape of the transmitted signal as it appears at the receiver. Additionally,
NEXT noise adds abrupt variations in the signal magnitude. The reliability of the receiver to detect
changes in the signal waveform are affected by these signal impairments.

For some digital systems a minimum ACR of 12-16 dB is considered a practical limit to ensure an
acceptable BER.
Figure J-4 Attenuation-to-Crosstalk Ratio

NOTE - The term ACR is also referred to as Near-End-Crosstalk-to-Insertion Loss Ratio (NIR) in
some application standards.