Difference between Baud Rate and Bit Rate (With Table)

As technology grows a lot of things have to be invented to enhance efficient use of the system. In many fields, technology has really improved.

For people to be able to communicate over long distances there was a need for the internet and hence modems were developed.

Both baud rate and bit rate are used in the field of data communication. The two are used differently although if one does not have knowledge about the two may think it is one. They are both used to transmit signals.

So, what is the main difference between baud rate and bit rate? Baud rate is the number of signal units per second while bit rate is the transmission of the number of bits per second.

For information about the differences between baud rate and bit rate in tabular form continue reading the article. You will also get to learn of the similarities between the two.

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Comparison Table (Baud Rate vs Bit Rate)

Basic TermsBaud RateBit Rate
DefinitionIs the number of signal units per second.Is the transmission of a number of bits per second.
UsesIt is used to decide the requirement of bandwidth for the transmission of signals.It is not used to decide the requirement of bandwidth for the transmission of signals.
FormulaeIt is bit rate/the number of bits per baud.It is baud rate *the number of bits per baud.
EmphasisIt is emphasized on data transmission.It is emphasized on computer efficiency.

What is Baud Rate?

Baud rate is the number of signal units per second. The term baud originated from French Engineer Emile Baudot who invented the 5-bit teletype code.

A symbol of baud rate is one of several voltages, frequency of phase changes. The baud or symbol rate becomes the same as the bit rate if the NRZ binary has two symbols.

However, there can be various symbols per transmission interval where each symbol represents multiple bits. When the symbols are more than two, data is transmitted using modulation techniques.

If the medium of transmission cannot handle the baseband data modulation enters the picture. Baseband binary signals cannot be transmitted directly hence the data is modulated onto a radio carrier for transmission.

When multiple symbols are used, multiple bits can be transmitted per symbol. The number of symbols is normally some power of two.

What is Bit Rate?

Bit rate is the transmission of a number of bits per second to represent a continuous medium such as audio or video after source coding.

It is expressed in a unit bit per second. The non-standard abbreviation bps is often used to replace the standard symbol bit/s.

When quantifying large or small bit rates SI prefixes are used. Binary prefixes are sometimes used for bit rates.

The Gross data transfer rate is the total number of physically transferred bits per second over a communication link.

The gross bit rate is related to the modulation rate which is expressed in bauds. However, the gross bit rate and baud are the same if there are only two levels per symbol representing 0 and 1 respectively.

Bit rate is not used to decide the requirement of bandwidth for transmission of signals hence it functions oppositely with baud rate.

Main Difference between Baud Rate and Bit Rate

  1. Baud rate is used to decide the requirement of bandwidth for transmission of signals while bit rate is not used to decide the requirement of bandwidth for transmission of signals.
  2. Baud rate is the number of signal units per second while bit rate is the number of bits per second.
  3. Baud rate is calculated by bit rate / the number of bits per baud while bit rate is calculated by baud rate * the number of bits per baud.
  4. Baud rate emphasizes data transmission while bit rate emphasizes computer efficiency.

Similarities between Baud Rate and Bit Rate

  1. They both transmit signals.
  2. Both are used in data communication.

Conclusion

Baud rate and bit rate are both used in data communication. They enable signals to be transmitted from one area to another.

When there are only two levels per symbol representing 0 and 1 then the gross bit rate and baud rate are the same at this point.

However, the two are different. The main difference between baud rate and bit rate is that a baud rate is the number of signal units per second while a bit rate is the number of bits per second.

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