# Bit rate

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Bit rate
Bit rates
Decimal prefixes (SI)
Name Symbol Multiple
kilobit per second kbit/s 103
megabit per second Mbit/s 106
gigabit per second Gbit/s 109
terabit per second Tbit/s 1012
Binary prefixes (IEC 60027-2)
kibibit per second Kibit/s 210
mebibit per second Mibit/s 220
gibibit per second Gibit/s 230
tebibit per second Tibit/s 240

In telecommunications and computing, bit rate (sometimes written bitrate, data rate or as a variable R) is the number of bits that are conveyed or processed per unit of time.

The bit rate is quantified using the bits per second (bit/s or bps) unit, often in conjunction with an SI prefix such as kilo- (kbit/s or kbps), mega- (Mbit/s or Mbps), giga- (Gbit/s or Gbps) or tera- (Tbit/s or Tbps). Note that, unlike many other computer-related units, 1 kbit/s is traditionally defined as 1,000-bit/s, not 1,024-bit/s, etc., also before 1999 when SI prefixes were introduced for units of information in the standard IEC 60027-2.

The formal abbreviation for "bits per second" is "bit/s" (not "bits/s", see writing style for SI units). In less formal contexts the abbreviations "b/s" or "bps" are often used, though this risks confusion with "bytes per second" ("B/s", "Bps"). 1 Byte/s (Bps or B/s) corresponds to 8-bit/s (bps or b/s).

## Protocol layers

### 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 Rb or fb) 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 Tb as: $R_b = {1 \over T_b},$

The gross bit rate is related to, but should not be confused with, the symbol rate or modulation rate in baud, symbols/s or pulses/s. Gross bit rate can be used interchangeably with "baud" only when there are two levels or symbols, representing 0 and 1 respectively, meaning that each symbol of a data transmission system carries exactly one bit of data; something not true for modern modem modulation systems and modern LANs, for example.

For most line codes and modulation methods:

Symbol rate ≤ Gross bit rate

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

Gross bit rate = Symbol rate · 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

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

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

In case of parallel communication, the gross bit rate is given by $\sum_{i = 1}^{n} \frac{\log_2 {M_i} }{T_i}$

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

### 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 cupper-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 consecuently 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 a 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 ISDN 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 signalling rate is 160 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 Mbaud, 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 Mbaud.

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 Hartley's law. Consequently the net bit rate is sometimes called digital bandwidth capacity in bit/s.

### 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.

### 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.

### Multimedia encoding

In digital multimedia, bit rate often refers to the number of bits used per unit of playback time to represent a continuous medium such as audio or video after source coding (data compression). The encoding bit rate of a multimedia file is the size of a multimedia file in bytes divided by the playback time of the recording (in seconds), multiplied by eight.

For realtime streaming multimedia, the encoding bit rate is the goodput that is required to avoid interrupt:

Encoding bit rate = Required goodput

The term average bitrate is used in case of variable bitrate multimedia source coding schemes. In this context, the peak bit rate is the maximum number of bits required for any short-term block of compressed data.

A theoretical lower bound for the encoding bit rate for lossless data compression is the source information rate, also known as the entropy rate.

Entropy rate ≤ Multimedia bit rate

## Prefixes

When quantifying large bit rates, SI prefixes (also known as Metric prefixes or Decimal prefixes) are used, thus:

 1,000-bit/s rate = 1 kbit/s (one kilobit or one thousand bits per second) 1,000,000-bit/s rate = 1 Mbit/s (one megabit or one million bits per second) 1,000,000,000-bit/s rate = 1 Gbit/s (one gigabit or one billion bits per second)

Binary prefixes have almost never been used for bitrates, although they may occasionally be seen when data rates are expressed in bytes per second (e.g. 1 kByte/s or kBps is sometimes interpreted as 1000 Byte/s, sometimes as 1024 Byte/s). A 1999 IEC standard (IEC 60027-2) specifies different abbreviations for Binary and Decimal (SI) prefixes (e.g. 1 kiB/s = 1024 Byte/s = 8192-bit/s, and 1 MiB/s = 1024 kiB/s), but these are still not very common in the literature, and therefore sometimes it is necessary to seek clarification of the units used in a particular context.

## Progress trends

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

WAN modems Ethernet LAN WiFi WLAN Mobile data
• 1972: Acoustic coupler 300 baud
• 1977: 1200 baud Vadic and Bell 212A
• 1986: ISDN introduced with two 64 kbit/s channels (160 kbit/s gross bit rate)
• 1990: v.32bis modems: 2400 / 4800 / 9600 / 19200-bit/s
• 1994: v.34 modems with 28.8 kbit/s
• 1995: v.90 modems with 56 kbit/s downstreams, 33.6 kbit/s upstreams
• 1999: v.92 modems with 56 kbit/s downstreams, 48 kbit/s upstreams
• 1998: ADSL up to 8 Mbit/s,
• 2003: ADSL2 up to 12 Mbit/s
• 2005: ADSL2+ up to 24 Mbit/s
• 1G:
• 1981: NMT 1200-bit/s
• 2G:
• 1991: GSM CSD and D-AMPS 14.4 kbit/s
• 2003: GSM EDGE 296 kbit/s down, 118.4 kbit/s up
• 3G:
• 2001: UMTS-FDD (WCDMA) 384 kbit/s
• 2007: UMTS HSDPA 14.4 Mbit/s
• 2008: UMTS HSPA 14.4 Mbit/s down, 5.76 Mbit/s up
• 2009: HSPA+ (Without MIMO) 28 Mbit/s downstreams (56 Mbit/s with 2x2 MIMO), 22 Mbit/s upstreams
• 2010: CDMA2000 EV-DO Rev. B 14.7 Mbit/s downstreams
• Pre-4G:
• 2007: Mobile WiMAX (IEEE 802.16e) 144 Mbit/s down, 35 Mbit/s up.
• 2009: LTE 100 Mbit/s downstreams (360 Mbit/s with MIMO 2x2), 50 Mbit/s upstreams

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

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

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 listener’s perceptions, the listener's 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:

### Audio

#### MP3

• 32 kbit/s.
• 96 kbit/s.
• 100–160 kbit/s – Standard Bitrate quality; difference can sometimes be obvious (e.g. lack of low frequency quality and high frequency "swashy" effects.)[citation needed]
• 192 kbit/s is the highest level supported by most MP3 encoders when ripping from a Compact Disc.
• 224–320 kbit/s – VBR to highest MP3 quality.

#### Other audio

• 800-bit/s – minimum necessary for recognizable speech (using special-purpose FS-1015 speech codecs.)
• 2.15 kbit/s – minimum bitrate available through the open-source Speex codec.
• 8 kbit/s – telephone quality (using speech codecs.)
• 32-500 kbit/s – lossy audio as used in Ogg Vorbis.
• 256 kbit/s – Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB.) MP2 bit rate required to achieve a high quality signal.
• 400 kbit/s–1,411kbit/s – lossless audio as used in formats such as Free Lossless Audio Codec, WavPack or Monkey's Audio to compress CD audio.
• 1,411.2 kbit/s – Linear PCM sound format of Compact Disc Digital Audio.
• 5,644.8 kbit/s – DSD (A trademarked implementation of PDM) sound format of Super Audio CD.

### Video

• 16 kbit/s – videophone quality (minimum necessary for a consumer-acceptable "talking head" picture using various video compression schemes)
• 128 – 384 kbit/s – business-oriented videoconferencing quality using video compression
• 1.15 Mbit/s max – VCD quality (using MPEG1 compression)
• 3.5 Mbit/s typ - Standard-definition television quality (with bit-rate reduction from MPEG-2 compression)
• 9.8 Mbit/s max – DVD (using MPEG2 compression)
• 8 to 15 Mbit/s typ – HDTV quality (with bit-rate reduction from MPEG-4 AVC compression)
• 19 Mbit/s approximate - HDV 720p (using MPEG2 compression)
• 24 Mbit/s max - AVCHD (using MPEG4 AVC compression)
• 25 Mbit/s approximate - HDV 1080i (using MPEG2 compression)
• 29.4 Mbit/s max – HD DVD
• 40 Mbit/s max – Blu-ray Disc (using MPEG2, AVC or VC-1 compression)

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

### Look at other dictionaries:

• bit-rate — bitˈ rate noun The rate of transmission of bits, usu measured in bits per second • • • Main Entry: ↑bit …   Useful english dictionary

• BIT RATE — T&F In telecommunications and computing, bit rate (sometimes written bitrate, data rate or as a variable R) is the number of bits that are conveyed or processed per unit of time. The bit rate is quantified using the bits per second (bit/s or bps) …   Audio and video glossary

• Bit Rate — VP This a unit of measurement used to assess the transfer of data per unit over time. WikiV a) The rate at which the compressed bit stream is delivered from the storage medium to the input of a decoder. The digital equivalent of analog bandwidth …   Audio and video glossary

• Bit rate — En telecomunicación e informática, el término bit rate (en español, velocidad binaria) es la velocidad a la cual se transmiten los bit vía radio o cable. Así pues, el bit rate es la velocidad de transferencia de datos. Además de bit rate y… …   Enciclopedia Universal

• bit rate — ● ►en lof. m. ►NETATM►COMM Quantité moyenne de bits transitant sur un réseau. C est une mesure de son débit. Les quatre variantes ABR (Available Bit Rate), UBR (Unspecified Bit Rate), CBR (Constant Bit Rate) et VBR (Variable Bit Rate) sont… …   Dictionnaire d'informatique francophone

• Bit rate — Débit binaire Pour les articles homonymes, voir bps. Le débit binaire mesure une quantité de données numériques transmises en bits par seconde (bit/s, b/s ou bps). Ses principaux multiples sont : le kilobit par seconde (symbole kbit/s)… …   Wikipédia en Français

• bit rate — pralaidumas statusas T sritis informatika apibrėžtis Ryšio linijos arba kanalo pajėgumas praleisti tam tikrą duomenų kiekį per laiko vienetą. Matuojamas bitais (kilobitais, megabitais) per sekundę (b/s, Kb/s, Mb/s), kartais baitais (kilobaitais,… …   Enciklopedinis kompiuterijos žodynas

• Bit Rate — Die Datenübertragungsrate (auch Datentransferrate, Datenrate oder umgangssprachlich Verbindungsgeschwindigkeit, Übertragungsgeschwindigkeit, und nicht ganz zutreffend auch „Kapazität“, „Bandbreite“ genannt) bezeichnet die digitale Datenmenge, die …   Deutsch Wikipedia

• bit rate —    The rate at which bits are transmitted over a communications channel, described in terms of bits per second (bps).    See also baud rate …   Dictionary of networking

• bit rate — noun The transmission rate of binary symbols (‘0’ and ‘1’), equal to the total number of bits transmitted in one second sent or received across a network or communications channel, abbreviated as bps (bits per second), a measure of data… …   Wiktionary