Unipolar encoding

Unipolar encoding is a line code. A positive voltage represents a binary 1, and zero volts indicates a binary 0.

Its drawbacks are that it is not self-clocking and it has a significant DC component component, which can be halved by using return-to-zero, where the signal returns to zero in the middle of the bit period. With a 50% duty cycle each rectangular pulse is only at a positive voltage for half of the bit period. This is ideal if one symbol is sent much more often than the other and power considerations are necessary, and also makes the signal self-clocking.

Traditionally, a unipolar scheme was designed as a non-return-to-zero scheme, in which the positive voltage defines bit 1 and the zero voltage defines bit 0. It is called NRZ because the signal does not return to zero at the middle of the bit.

Compared with its polar counterpart, Polar NRZ, this scheme is very expensive. The normalized power (power required to send 1 bit per unit lne resistance) is double that for polar NRZ. For this reason, this scheme is not normally used in data communications today.

ee also

* Bipolar encoding
* Bipolar violation


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