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Shot Noise

Shot noise is a type of electronic noise which originates from the discrete nature of electric charge. The term also applies to photon counting in optical devices, where shot noise is associated with the particle nature of light -- Wiki

Shot noise is a form of noise that arises because of the discrete nature of the charges carried by charge carriers, electrons or holes. It is particularly manifest in areas where current levels are low. Shot noise is particularly noticeable in semiconductor devices, such as tunnel junctions, Schottky barrier diodes and p-n junctions. The first understanding of shot noise was developed by Walter Schottky. While working on vacuum tubes he noted that even when all external sources of noise had been eliminated two types of noise remained. One he determined was a result of the temperature and this is now referred to as Johnson-Nyquist or thermal noise. The other was shot noise. Signal to Noise ratio The signal to noise ratio, or SNR as it is often termed is a measure of the sensitivity performance of a receiver. There are a number of ways in which the noise performance, and hence the sensitivity of a radio receiver can be measured. The most obvious method is to compare the signal and noise levels for a known signal level, i.e. the signal to noise (S/N) ratio or SNR. Obviously the greater the difference between the signal and the unwanted noise, i.e. the greater the S/N ratio or SNR, the better the radio receiver sensitivity performance. As the noise introduced by the first RF amplifier will be amplified the most, this RF amplifier becomes the most critical in terms of radio receiver sensitivity performance. Thus the first amplifier of any radio receiver should be a low noise amplifier. Although there are many ways of measuring the sensitivity performance of a radio receiver, the S/N ratio or SNR is one of the most straightforward and it is used in a variety of applications. However it has a number of limitations, and although it is widely used, other methods including noise figure are often used as well. Nevertheless the S/N ratio or SNR is an important specification, and is widely used as a measure of receiver sensitivity

Signal to noise ratio formula


The signal to noise ratio is the ratio between the wanted signal and the unwanted background noise.

It is more usual to see a signal to noise ratio expressed in a logarithmic basis using decibels:

If all levels are expressed in decibels, then the formula can be simplified to:

The power levels may be expressed in levels such as dBm (decibels relative to a milliwatt, or to some other standard by which the levels can be compared.
dBm decibel referenced to a milliwatt Effect of Bandwidth of SNR

As the noise spreads out over all frequencies it is found that the wider the bandwidth of the receiver, the greater the level of the noise. Accordingly the receiver bandwidth needs to be stated. Receiver sensitivity - Receive sensitivity indicates how faint an RF signal can be successfully received by the receiver. The lower the power level that the receiver can successfully process, the better the receive sensitivity.
Points to note down when measuring the signal to noise ratio

S/N and (S+N)/N When measuring signal to noise ratio there are two basic elements to the measurement. One is the noise level and the other is the signal. As a result of the way measurements are made, often the signal measurement also includes noise as well, i.e. it is a signal plus noise measurement. This is not normally too much of a problem because the signal level is assumed to be much larger than the noise. In view of this some receiver manufacturers will specify a slightly different ratio: namely signal plus noise to noise (S+N/N). In practice the difference is not large, but the S+N/N ratio is more correct.

Bandwidth - In radio communication Bandwidth is the width of the frequency band used to transmit the data. The bandwidth of a system is the difference between the highest and lowest frequencies which the system can carry. e.g. If a system can carry frequencies between 200Hz and 4kHz, its bandwidth (the difference between those two frequencies) is 3.8kHz. A system which can carry frequencies between, say, 10MHz and 100MHz, has a bandwidth of 90MHz.

Bandwidth of a traditional telephone line

A tradition phone line has a sampling rate of 2400 baud but a baud is not a bit. A traditional phone line can transmit at close to 100 kbit/sec. To cleanly transmit a voice takes about 10 kbit/sec.

Difference between the baud rate and the bit rate


Both bit rate and baud rate are parameters of measuring the speed of data transfer. Although bit rate and baud rate can be of the same value, in some cases, these two terms have different meanings. Bit rate is the amount of bits being transferred within a unit time, where baud rate is the amount of symbols being transferred. A symbol may contain one or more bits. Boud rate In communication, baud rate is the amount of symbols being transferred. Symbols carry different amount of information in different technologies. For example, in the technique known as 64QAM, there are 64 levels that can be represented in a single 6 symbol. Since 64 = 2 , we need 6 bits to represent 64 levels from 000000 (0) to 111111 (63). Therefore, a symbol representing one of the 64 levels is equivalent to representing 6 bits. Hence, transferring 1 symbol is equal to transferring 6 bits. Therefore, it can be derived that bit rate = 6 x baud rate for 64QAM.