Scrambling Techniques | web4study

Scrambling Techniques

Category: Bachelor of Computer Science , Data Communications and Networking ,


Biphase schemes that are suitable for dedicated links between stations in a LAN are not suitable for long-distance communication because of their wide bandwidth requirement. The combination of block coding and NRZ line coding is not suitable for long-distance encoding either, because of the DC component. Bipolar AMI encoding, on the other hand, has a narrow bandwidth and does not create a DC component. However, a long sequence of 0s upsets the synchronization. If we can find a way to avoid a long sequence of 0s in the original stream, we can use bipolar AMI for long distances. We are looking for a technique that does not increase the number of bits and does provide synchronization. We are looking for a solution that substitutes long zero-level pulses with a combination of other levels to provide synchronization. One solution is called scrambling. We modify part of the AMI rule to include scrambling, as shown in Figure 4.18. Note that scrambling, as opposed to block coding, is done at the same time as encoding. The system needs to insert the required pulses based on the defined scrambling rules. Two common scrambling techniques are B8ZS and HDB3.

AMI used with scrambling

B8ZS ( Bipolar with 8-zero substitution):

Bipolar with 8-zero substitution (B8ZS) is commonly used in North America. In this technique, eight consecutive zero-level voltages are replaced by the sequence 000VB0VB. The V in the sequence denotes violation; this is a nonzero voltage that breaks an AMI rule of encoding (opposite polarity from the previous). The B in the sequence denotes bipolar, which means a nonzero level voltage in accordance with the AMI rule. There are two cases, as shown in Figure 4.19.

Two cases of B8ZS scrambling technique

Note that the scrambling, in this case, does not change the bit rate. Also, the technique balances the positive and negative voltage levels (two positives and two negatives), which means that the DC balance is maintained. Note that the substitution may change the polarity of a 1 because, after the substitution, AMI needs to follow its rules.

One more point is worth mentioning. The letter V (violation) or B (bipolar) here is relative. The V means the same polarity as the polarity of the previous nonzero pulse; B means the polarity opposite to the polarity of the previous nonzero pulse.

HDB3 ( High-density bipolar 3-zero ):

High-density bipolar 3-zero (HDB3) is commonly used outside of North America. In this technique, which is more conservative than B8ZS, four consecutive zero-level voltages are replaced with a sequence of 000V or B00V. The reason for two different substitutions is to maintain the even number of nonzero pulses after each substitution. The two rules can be stated as follows:

  • 1. If the number of nonzero pulses after the last substitution is odd, the substitution pattern will be 000V, which makes the total number of nonzero pulses even.
  • 2. If the number of nonzero pulses after the last substitution is even, the substitution pattern will be B00V, which makes the total number of nonzero pulses even. Figure 4.20 shows an example.
Different situations in HDB3 scrambling technique

There are several points we need to mention here. First, before the first substitution, the number of nonzero pulses is even, so the first substitution is B00V. After this substitution, the polarity of the 1 bit is changed because the AMI scheme, after each substitution, must follow its own rule. After this bit, we need another substitution, which is 000V because we have only one nonzero pulse (odd) after the last substitution. The third substitution is B00V because there are no nonzero pulses after the second substitution (even).


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