Explain AM, FM and PM in Data Communication and Network

Digital-to-analog conversion is the process of changing one of the characteristics of an analog signal based on the information in digital data.

Degita to analog conversion

Analog-to-analog conversion, or analog modulation, is the representation of analog information by an analog signal. One may ask why we need to modulate an analog signal; it is already analog.

Modulation is needed if the medium is band pass in nature or if only a band pass channel is available to us. An example is radio. The government assigns a narrow bandwidth to each radio station.

The analog signal produced by each station is a low-pass signal, all in the same range. To be able to listen to different stations, the low-pass signals need to be shifted, each to a different range.

Analog-to-analog conversion can be accomplished in three ways: amplitude modulation (AM), frequency modulation (FM), and phase modulation (PM).

Analog-to-analog conversion

Amplitude Modulation(AM)


In AM transmission, the carrier signal is modulated so that its amplitude varies with the changing amplitudes of the modulating signal.

The frequency and phase of the carrier remain the same; only the amplitude changes to follow variations in the information.

Below Figure shows how this concept works. The modulating signal is the envelope of the carrier.

Amplitude Modulation

Frequency Modulation(FM)


In FM transmission, the frequency of the carrier signal is modulated to follow the changing voltage level (amplitude) of the modulating signal.

The peak amplitude and phase of the carrier signal remain constant, but as the amplitude of the information signal changes, the frequency of the carrier changes correspondingly.

Frequency Modulation

Phase Modulation(PM)


In PM transmission, the phase of the carrier signal is modulated to follow the changing voltage level (amplitude) of the modulating signal.

The peak amplitude and frequency of the carrier signal remain constant, but as the amplitude of the information signal changes, the phase of the carrier changes correspondingly.

In FM, the instantaneous change in the carrier frequency is proportional to the amplitude of the modulating signal; in PM the instantaneous change in the carrier frequency is proportional to the derivative of the amplitude of the modulating signal.

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