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Introduction to ADSL Technology. by: Wenmei Zhao May 3, 1999. ADSL — What is it? Why ADSL? ADSL Family Features ADSL vs. cable modem System Model Channel Modeling. Noise Echo Canceller Line Codes DMT CAP Frame Structure Bell Atlantic ADSL References. Outline. ADSL — What is it?.

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introduction to adsl technology
Introduction to ADSL Technology

by: Wenmei Zhao

May 3, 1999

ADSL — What is it?


ADSL Family


ADSL vs. cable modem

System Model

Channel Modeling


Echo Canceller

Line Codes



Frame Structure

Bell Atlantic ADSL


adsl what is it
ADSL — What is it?
  • ADSL — Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line
    • High speed communications over twisted pair.
    • Concurrent with POTS (plain old telephone service).
    • Secure way of Internet access.
    • Originally standardized in ANSI (American National Standards Institute) T1.231-1993.
    • Currently standardized in ANSI T1.413-1998.
    • Growing really fast.
why adsl
  • Over the past 15 years, a thousand-fold transmission rate is realized. But it still does not meet today’s need.
    • Viewing a full-motion movie requires about 5Mbps.
    • Downloading Netscape requires 10 minutes.
  • ADSL:
    • 20 fold faster
dsl family
DSL Family
  • ADSL: Asymmetric DSL
    • It allows 6Mbit/s downstream and 640kbit/s upstream to a distance of 18kft. It uses a modulated analog carrier.
  • HDSL: High-bit-rate DSL
    • It uses two twisted pairs of standard subscriber copper telephone lines. It supports 1.544Mbit/s up to 12kft. It uses 2B1Q line code.
  • VDSL: Very High-bit-rate DSL
    • It is similar to ADSL, but supports about 26 Mbit/s to 3kft and 51Mbit/s to 1.2kft.
dsl family cont
DSL Family (cont.)
  • RADSL: Rate Adaptive DSL
    • Usually refer to a proprietary modulation standard designed by Globespan Semiconductor. It uses CAP.
  • SDSL: Single line DSL
    • It’s a single-pair version of HDSL. Supports T1/E1 on a single pair to a distance of 11,000ft.
  • CDSL: Consumer DSL
    • It’s a proprietary technology from Rockwell International.
dsl family cont1
DSL Family (cont.)
  • EtherLoop: Ethernet Local Loop
    • It’s a proprietary technology from Nortel.
  • ADSL Lite
    • It’s a lower data rate version of ADSL. It is known as G.lite. Splitter is not required in the subscriber’s home. It offers up to 1.5Mbps downstream and up to 512Kbps upstream. ATM used as transport protocol.
  • Appropriate for Internet requirement
    • downstream data rate of up to 6-8Mbps
    • upstream data rate of up to 640kbps to 1Mbps
  • Convenient
    • always on
  • Parallel with voice service
    • no need to unplug telephone line
  • Secure access to Internet
    • no need to worry about your noisy neighbors
adsl vs cable modem

Secure. “Point to point connectivity” of ADSL ensures the security of the service. Cable, by contrast, is shared media and is not secure at all.

Bigger coverage area.

Cheap. ADSL uses existing twisted pair, hence is cheap in installation and also cheap in monthly payment.


Bandwidth. ADSL has about 1.1MHz BW due to loop limitations, while cable modem has about 745MHz BW.

Bridge taps, DLCs, load coils can lead to problems.

Mutual noise among different DSL lines, T1 lines.

ADSL vs. cable modem

There are three main types of noise that affect

DSL system performance:

  • NEXT (Near End Crosstalk)
  • FEXT (Far End Crosstalk)
  • Impulse Noise
  • When a transceiver sends a signal and a nearby transceiver at the same end “hears” the signal, it’s NEXT.

A simplified NEXT model for N disturbers:

  • When a transceiver sends a signal and a transceiver at the far end “hears” the signal, FEXT occurs.

A simplified FEXT model for N disturbers:

impulse noise
Impulse Noise
  • Impulse noises are large surges of noise with short duration. The sources of impulse noises are not well understood yet. It is a very devastating noise if not handled well.
  • A concatenated code, using a 2-dimensional 8-state trellis code and a 4-error-correcting Reed-Solomon code with an interleaving depth of 18 symbols, was found to be suitable for eliminating impulse noise.
multiple access
Multiple Access
  • FDM (Frequency Division Multiplexing)
  • ECH (Echo Canceller with Hybrid)
line code
Line Code

Two main contenders:

  • DMT — Discrete MultiTone
    • A multi-carrier system using Discrete Fourier Transforms to create and demodulate individual carriers.
  • CAP — Carrierless Amplitude and Phase
    • A version of suppressed carrier QAM.
  • Existing ANSI and ETSI standards
  • Consists of up to 256 sub-channels, (also called tones or bins), of 4.3125KHz
    • upstream use 25-163KHz (bins 6 to 38)
    • downstream use 142KHz-1.1MHz (bins 33 to 255)
    • bins 16 (69KHz) and 64 (276KHz) are pilot tones.
  • Outperforms CAP in field trials
  • More expensive and complex

Three Channels:

  • POTS channel
    • POTS channel is split off from the digital modem by filters, thus guaranteeing uninterrupted POTS.
  • High speed downstream channel
    • Its data rate depends on length of the copper line, its wire gauge, presence of bridged taps, cross talk, etc.
  • Medium speed upstream channel
dmt features
DMT Features
  • Discretely divides the available frequencies into 256 sub-channels or tones.
  • Incoming data is broken down into a variety of bits and distributed to a specific combination of sub-channels.
  • To rise above noise, more data resides in the lower frequencies and less in the upper frequencies.
dmt transmission parameters

symbol rate: 4KHz

FFT size: 512

Cyclic prefix: 32

Sampling rate: 2.208MHz

Transmit power: 20dBm

Highpass filter: 62.5kHz


Symbol rate: 4kHz

FFT size: 64

Cyclic prefix: 4

Sampling rate: 276kHz

Transmit Power:7dBm

Lowpass filter: 43.875kHz

DMT Transmission Parameters

PSD of DMTPSD is useful for finding received signal power, thus useful for analyzing NEXT and FEXT noises.Upstream and downstream PSD models are:

frame structure cont
Frame Structure (cont.)

A super frame is defined for every 68 IFFT/FFT

operations.The super frame has a time duration

of 68/4k=17ms for baud rate of 4kHz.

  • Initial ADSL implementations were done using CAP
  • 1996 - 90% of world-wide ADSL implementation based on CAP
  • Variant of QAM - widely understood
  • Not yet incorporated in ANSI standards T1.413 or ETSI
  • Supported by GlobeSpan Technologies
cap transmission parameters

Constellation size: 64

Baud rate: 266.67KHz

Throughput: 1.6 Mbps

Sampling rate:1.0667MHz

Transmit power: 12dBm

Signal spectrum:

170 ~ 410KHz


Constellation size: 16

Baud rate: 6KHz

Throughput: 24Kbps

Transmit power:-4.8dBm

Signal spectrum:

96 ~ 102KHz

CAP Transmission Parameters
bell atlantic adsl packets
Bell Atlantic ADSL Packets

Product Speeds Price Loop Qual.

Infospeed640k d:640 kbps $39.95 12,000ft.

u:90 kbps

Infospeed1.6M d:1.6 Mbps $59.95 8,000-12,000ft.

u:90 kbps

Infospeed7.1M d:7.1 Mbps $109.95 8,000ft.

u:680 kbps

  • ADSL Tutorial: "ADSL Application Notes", by ADSL Forum at
  • ADSL Tutorial: "Twisted Pair Access to the Information Highway", by ADSL Forum at
  • "ADSL and DSL Technologies", Walter Goralski, 1998, ISBN: 0-07-024679-3.
  • "ADSL Forum System Reference Model", by ADSL Forum at
references cont
References (cont.)
  • "Discrete Multitone vs. Carrierless Amplitude/Phase Line Codes", Aware white paper.
  • "ADSL: A New Twisted-Pair Access to the Information Highway", by Philip J.Kyees, etc., IEEE Communications Magazine, pp52-59, 1995.
  • "Evaluation of Near-End Crosstalk Noise Affecting ADSL Systems", by Marco Carbonelli,etc., TELECOM ITALIA.
references cont1
References (cont.)
  • "Comparison of Single-Carrier ad Multitone Digital Modulation for ADSL Applications, by Burton R. Saltzberg, IEEE Communications Magazine, Nov., 1998.
  • "Coded 64-CAP ADSL in an Impulse-Noise Environment --- Modeling of Impulse Noise and First Simulatin Results", by Werner Henkel,etc., IEEE Selected Areas in Comm., December, 1995.
references cont2
References (cont.)
  • "Forward Error Correction for Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Lines (ADSL)", by Kenneth J. Kerpez, Bellcore, GLOBECOM'91.
  • "Frequency Domain Echo Cancellation for Discrete Multitone Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line Transceivers", by David Jones, IEEE Trans. On Communications, April, 1995.
  • etc.