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Emphasis (telecommunications)
Typically, prior to some process, such as transmission over cable, or recording to phonograph record or tape, the input frequency range most susceptible to noise is boosted. This is referred to as "pre-emphasis" "pre-" the process the signal will undergo. Later, when the signal is received, or retrieved from recording, the reverse transformation is applied ("de-emphasis") so that the output accurately reproduces the original input. Any noise added by transmission or record/playback, to the frequency range previously boosted, is now attenuated in the de-emphasis stage.
In telecommunication, de-emphasis is the complement of pre-emphasis, in the antinoise system called emphasis. De-emphasis is a system process designed to decrease, (within a band of frequencies), the magnitude of some (usually higher) frequencies with respect to the magnitude of other (usually lower) frequencies in order to improve the overall signal-to-noise ratio by minimizing the adverse effects of such phenomena as attenuation distortion or saturation of recording media in subsequent parts of the system.
Special time constants dictate the frequency response curve, from which one can calculate the cutoff frequency.
In serial data transmission, de-emphasis has a different meaning, which is to reduce the level of all bits except the first one after a transition. That causes the high frequency content due to the transition to be emphasized compared to the low frequency content which is de-emphasized. This is a form of transmitter equalization; it compensates for losses over the channel which are larger at higher frequencies. Well known serial data standards such as PCI Express, SATA and SAS require transmitted signals to use de-emphasis.
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