Bit Rate vs Baud 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.
Bit is the basic unit of measuring information. Value of a bit can be ‘0’ or ‘1’ (or ‘true’ or ‘false’). For example, to represent the decimal number 6 in binary, we need 3 bits, as six is 110 in binary.
Bit rate is the amount of bits being transferred within a second, which is called as bits per second or bps. Since modern communication can transfer a large amount of data within a second, we find bit rates in kbps, Mbps, or Gbps. For example, ‘Gigabit Ethernet’ connections can transfer 109 bits per second.
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 symbol. Since 64 = 26, 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.
What is the difference between bit rate and baud rate?
1. Bit rate is the amount of bits being transferred within a second, whereas baud rate is the amount of symbols transferred within a second.
2. A bit can represent only two levels, and a symbol can represent two or more levels. Therefore, bit rate is always greater than or equal to baud rate.
3. In most of the current technologies, bit rate is much higher than the baud rate.