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Table of Bit Error Rates
for PCM Receivers

The Bit Error Rate (BER) is defined as the percentage of received bits in a particular time interval that have been altered through transmission because of interference, noise, bit synchronization errors, or fading, distortion, or attenuation, to name a few of the most common causes. The rate is a ratio of the number of bit errors divided by the total number of bits received. The BER is an approximate estimate of the bit error probability, but it is pretty accurate over lengthy time intervals. For a detailed explanation and lots more information on BER, refer to the Wikipedia article on this topic.

The Table below lists some common Bit Error Rates (BER) and Eb/No Requirements for Baseband PCM Receivers. These Eb/No numbers are the BEST that can be achieved with IDEAL baseband filtering and NRZ coding. To apply these numbers to BPSK or other modulation systems requires that an "implementation factor" be added in. For instance, Ideal BPSK requires 8.4 dB for a BER of 1E-4. Please consult the appropriate communication theory textbooks for further details, or check out some of the related links given below. Typical modulations used for Spread Spectrum Systems will always require a higher Eb/No for a given BER than listed here!

Ideal PCM BER & Eb/N0 Table

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Revised February 16, 2012