Pulse-amplitude modulation (PAM), is a form of signal modulation
where the message information is encoded in the amplitude
of a series of signal pulses. It is an analog pulse modulation scheme in which the amplitudes of a train
of carrier pulses are varied according to the sample value of the message signal. Demodulation is performed by detecting the amplitude level of the carrier at every single period.
There are two types of pulse amplitude modulation:
* In ''single polarity PAM'', a suitable fixed DC bias
is added to the signal to ensure that all the pulses are positive.
* In ''double polarity PAM'', the pulses are both positive and negative.
Pulse-amplitude modulation is widely used in modulating signal
transmission of digital data, with non-baseband
applications having been largely replaced by pulse-code modulation
, and, more recently, by pulse-position modulation
The number of possible pulse amplitudes in analog PAM is theoretically infinite. Digital PAM reduces the number of pulse amplitudes to some power of two. For example, in 4-level PAM there are
possible discrete pulse amplitudes; in 8-level PAM there are
possible discrete pulse amplitudes; and in 16-level PAM there are
possible discrete pulse amplitudes.
Some versions of the Ethernet
communication standard are an example of PAM usage. In particular, 100BASE-T4
and BroadR-Reach Ethernet standard
, use three-level PAM modulation (PAM-3), 1000BASE-T
Gigabit Ethernet uses five-level PAM-5 modulation and 10GBASE-T
10 Gigabit Ethernet uses a Tomlinson-Harashima Precoded (THP) version of pulse-amplitude modulation with 16 discrete levels (PAM-16), encoded in a two-dimensional checkerboard pattern known as DSQ128. 25 Gigabit Ethernet
and some copper variants of 100 Gigabit Ethernet
and 200 Gigabit Ethernet
use PAM-4 modulation.
, developed by Micron and Nvidia and first used in the Nvidia RTX 3080 and 3090
graphics cards, uses PAM4 signaling to transmit 2 bits per clock cycle without having to resort to higher frequencies or two channels or lanes with associated transmitters and receivers, which may increase power or space consumption and cost. Higher frequencies require higher bandwidth, which is a significant problem beyond 28 GHz when trying to transmit through copper. PAM4 costs more to implement than earlier NRZ (non return to zero, PAM2) coding partly because it requires more space in integrated circuits, and is more susceptible to SNR (signal to noise ratio) problems.
The concept is also used for the study of photosynthesis
using a specialized instrument that involves a spectrofluorometric
measurement of the kinetics of fluorescence rise and decay in the light-harvesting antenna of thylakoid
membranes, thus querying various aspects of the state of the photosystems under different environmental conditions. Unlike the traditional dark-adapted chlorophyll fluorescence
measurements, pulse amplitude fluorescence devices allow measuring under ambient light conditions, which made measurements significantly more versatile.
Electronic drivers for LED lighting
Pulse-amplitude modulation has also been developed for the control of light-emitting diode
s (LEDs), especially for lighting applications. LED drivers based on the PAM technique offer improved energy efficiency over systems based upon other common driver modulation techniques such as pulse-width modulation
(PWM) as the forward current passing through an LED is relative to the intensity of the light output and the LED efficiency increases as the forward current is reduced.
Pulse-amplitude modulation LED drivers are able to synchronize pulses across multiple LED channels to enable perfect color matching. Due to the inherent nature of PAM in conjunction with the rapid switching speed of LEDs, it is possible to use LED lighting as a means of wireless data transmission at high speed.
The North American Advanced Television Systems Committee standards
for digital television
uses a form of PAM to broadcast the data that makes up the television signal. This system, known as 8VSB
, is based on an eight-level PAM.
It uses additional processing to suppress one sideband
and thus make more efficient use of limited bandwidth
. Using a single 6 MHz channel allocation, as defined in the previous NTSC
analog standard, 8VSB is capable of transmitting 32 Mbit/s. After accounting for error-correcting codes and other overhead, the data rate in the signal is 19.39 Mbit/s.
* Amplitude-shift keying
* Carrier Sense Multiple Access
* Pulse-density modulation
* Pulse forming network
* Quadrature amplitude modulation
Category:Quantized radio modulation modes