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RF vs Baseband | difference between RF and Baseband

This page compares RF vs Baseband and mentions difference between RF and Baseband. The applications of RF(Radio Frequency) and Baseband are also mentioned.

RF | Radio Frequency

Following points describe RF or Radio Frequency:
• Definition: The frequencies higher in the range usually from 3KHz to 300 GHz is known as radio frequencies. This is shown in the figure-1.
• There are different bands defined under RF range viz. from ELF (Extremely Low Frequency) to EHF (Extremely High Frequency).
• Modulation is applied to RF signals before transmission.
• BPF (Band Pass Filtering) is used to extract desired RF signal and later they are downconverted to baseband signal to retrieve information.
• RF to Baseband conversion is done using heterodyne or homodyne architecture based on RF mixers.
• The various types of transmission lines and coaxial lines are used as RF channels for transmission of RF signals.
• Applications:
   • Used for transmission of information (voice/data) over the air after conversion to RF frequencies as per requirement of different wireless technologies viz. WLAN, WiMAX, GSM, CDMA, LTE, Zigbee, Z-wave, LoRa etc. Different wireless technologies use different frequency bands as per link budget requirements.
   • RF is used in numerous medical applications viz. RF ablation, Skin tightening, spectroscopy, telemetry, Wireless Body Area Network etc.
   • RF is used for home automation, automatic car parking, meter reading etc.
   • Radio frequencies are used for over the air transmission as it withstand against channel which is not possible with baseband signals.
Refer more on What is RF>>.

RF vs Baseband

Baseband Frequency | Near Zero Frequency

Following points describe Baseband Frequency:
• Definition: The signal which has non-zero magnitude near to zero frequencies and will have negligible magnitude at other frequencies is known as baseband frequency. This is shown in the figure-1.
• The bandwidth of baseband signal is equal to highest frequency component present in the signal.
• It is also named as physical layer as it exists at OSI layer-1.
• Modulation is not applied to baseband signals before transmission.
• LPF (Low Pass Filtering) is used to retrieve baseband information as they are present in the vicinity of zero frequency.
• Baseband to RF conversion is done using heterodyne or homodyne based architecture based on RF mixers.
• Serial cable and twisted pair cables used in LANs are examples of baseband channels used for transmission of baseband signals.
• Baseband signals are not suitable for over the air transmission and are mainly used for wired transmission.
• Applications:
   • Ethernet physical layer standards 10Base5, 100Base-Tx etc.
   • Baseband signal processing in DSP or FPGA, which will contain physical layer of any wired or wireless standards.
   • Usually the output of ADC (Analog to Digital Converter) will have information at baseband frequencies.

RF PHY and MAC interface diagram

The figure depicts interfacing between RF and PHY layers through ADC/DAC.
➨Refer difference between RF versus PHY >> and interfacing between RF, PHY and MAC layers >> for more information.

RF and Baseband Related Links

Following are useful links on RF and Baseband:
Difference between RF and IF
RF converter design
ADC types
Modulator vs Demodulator

Medical RF Applications Related Links

RF Skin Tightening
Medical Telemetry
RF Ablation technique
RF spectroscopy
Wireless Body Area Network

What is Difference between

difference between FDM and OFDM
Difference between SC-FDMA and OFDM
Difference between SISO and MIMO
Difference between TDD and FDD
Difference between 802.11 standards viz.11-a,11-b,11-g and 11-n
RF heterodyne versus homodyne receiver
Diplexer versus Duplexer
Sensitivity Vs. selectivity


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RF and Wireless Terminologies

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