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Quadrature Amplitude Modulation

Forrest Sedgwick
UC Berkeley EECS Dept.
EE290F
October 2003
Analog vs Digital
Information Theory vs Signal Analysis
Discrete Levels vs Analogous Representation
Sacrifice arbitrarily precise representation of signal
Gain arbitrary degree of reproducibility of given signal
KEY BENEFIT
Discrete information can be transmitted with arbitrarily low
error rates EVEN ON A NOISY CHANNEL
Digital information content measured in units of bits,
decimals, or nats

Shannons Channel Capacity
Channel capacity C (bits/sec)
is the speed at which
information can travel over a
channel with an arbitrarily low
error rate i.e. when a system
is transmitting bits at or below
C then for any BER e>0 there
exists a code with block
length n which will provide a
BER < e.
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W N
P
W C
0
1 log
Assumes noise is thermal
Gaussian and White
www-gap.dcs.st-and.ac.uk/~history/
Mathematicians/Shannon.html
Modulation
All channels consist of some continuous parameter
Must map discrete states onto continuous property
Must have a decision circuit to map the state of the
modulated channel into a discrete state
As number of levels or states M the behavior of
the digital system does not approach that of an
analog system, due to the decision circuit
Number of Levels
Digital communications relies on a finite number of
discrete levels
Minimum number of levels is two (binary code)
Shannon Capacity helps determine optimum number
of levels for a given bandwidth, SNR, and BER
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1 log
N
E
r r
b
W
C
r =
Limits on Communication Channels
Two types of
communication channels
r<<1 Power Limited
High dimensionality
signaling schemes
Binary
r>>1 Bandwidth Limited
Low dimensionality
Multilevel
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0
1 log
N
E
r r
b
Proakis and Salehi, pp. 738
Modulation Scheme
A channel with lowpass frequency characteristics is
called baseband. Digital information is transmitted
directly
Ex. Pulse Amplitude Modulation (PAM)
A channel far removed from DC (like optical) is called
a bandpass channel
Transmission on a bandpass channel requires
modulation of a carrier
Amplitude Shift Keying (ASK)
Phase Shift Keying (PSK)
Frequency Shift Keying (FSK
Quadrature Amplitude Modulation (QAM)

Amplitude Shift Keying (ASK)
Amplitude of carrier wave is modulated
Equivalent BER vs SNR to baseband PAM
Proakis and Salehi, pp. 306
Angle Modulation (PSK and FSK)
Frequency is time derivative of phase, PSK
and FSK are somewhat equivalent
Proakis and Salehi, pp. 332
PSK: Digital Angle Modulation
Usually in digital communications PSK is chosen
over FSK
Easier to create multilevel codes
Possibility of using differential phase shift keying
(DPSK)
Uses phase shifts relative to previous bit
Eliminates need for local oscillator at receiver
Use Gray Code to minimize effect of errors
Proakis and Salehi, pp. 631
Quadrature Amplitude Modulation
Amplitude and
Phase of carrier are
modulated
Discrete amplitudes
and phases form a
constellation
Can also think of
QAM as a
complex amplitude
modulation scheme

Proakis and Salehi, pp. 653
Constellations
Different constellations
require different SNR for a
given BER
(d) is lowest power by about
1dB (for given BER)
(a) and (b) are rectangular
Rectangular constellations
offer very simple
modulation/ demodulation
schemes
ASK two quadrature
carriers - same
frequency but 90 out of
phase
Mix quadrature carriers
for output
Proakis and Salehi, pp. 653
QAM vs ASK (multilevel)
QAM has a tremendous advantage in noise performance
Energy in every bit (including zero)
Substantially more complex (coherent detection vs photodiode)
Proakis and Salehi, pp. 565 Proakis and Salehi, pp. 495
QAM vs PSK
4-QAM and 4-PSK
have same power
penalty
For k>4, k-QAM is
an improvement
over k-PSK
Proakis and Salehi, pp. 639
Applications of QAM
Used in bandwidth-limited applications
Modems: telephones have 3kHz bandwidth, excellent SNR
(20dB) => M-ary QAM
Cellular Telephones: Bandwidth is at a premium, very
expensive (However, POWER is also at a premium...)

Limitations
Almost always requires a highly stable local oscillator
In the optical domain this is very expensive
Possible (but difficult) to use differential phase keying
Performance limits still not reached for
Direct detection
Signal Dimensionality (DWDM)
Transmitter Power

References
John G. Proakis, Masoud Salehi, Communications
Systems Engineering, Prentice Hall 1994