Physical Layer Methods

Lecturer (assistant)
Duration4 SWS
TermSommersemester 2024
Language of instructionGerman
Position within curriculaSee TUMonline
DatesSee TUMonline

Admission information


At the end of the module, the students gained profound knowledge about current methods of communication technology over wired media (two-wire-circuit, coaxial cable, optical fibers). They gained excellence in applying physical and system-theoretical methods to model transmitter, channel, receiver, equalizer, and detector of realistic communication systems, to analyze degradations and Bit Error Ratio, and finally assess their performance. With the acquired knowledge they have the expertise to design reliable communication systems over a given infrastructure.


Communication networks over wires and fibers. Digital signals and their power spectra. Line-coding. Transmission properties of various wave-guiding channels: copper-wires, coaxial cable, optical fibers. Digital transmission over linear channels: inter-symbol-interference, eye-pattern, eye-aperture, additive noise. Bit Error Ratio. Optical Systems with direct detection, differential detection, coherent detection. Linear equalization: Zero-Forcing- and Minimum-Mean-Square-Error (MMSE-) Equalization, Nyquist-systems. Nonlinear equalization: Decision feedback, Tomlinson-Harashima-precoding. Optimal receivers: Matched filter, Maximum-Likelihood detection, Viterbi-detection, Trellis-Coded Modulation. State-of-the-art communication systems over copper cables and fibers: xDSL,, selected electrical and optical Ethernet-systems from 10Mbit/s to 100Gbit/s.


Profound Knowledge on linear algebra and analysis, signal representation in time- and frequency-domain, modulation schemes, statistical methods in communications. Knowledge about wave propagation is a plus.

Teaching and learning methods

The module consists of a lecture (2SWS) and a tutorial (2SWS). During the lectures, students are instructed in a teacher-centered style, i.e., via slide presentations that are supported by chalk-board explanations. The tutorial is held in a student-centered way, with concrete problems being presented and solved on the chalk-board. Teaching material, including slides, are available from a web page. In addition to the individual methods of the students, consolidated knowledge is aspired by repeated lessons in exercises and tutorials. The following kinds of media are used: Presentations Lecture notes Exercises with solutions


A written exam (75 minutes) is held at the end of the semester to assess the students’ knowledge to apply the discussed models and methods of the Physical Layer of digital communications to concrete transmission systems and components and to analyze and assess the performance of these systems. One problem could e. g. be to calculate the Bit Error Probability of a transmission system at a given data rate and signal format over copper-wires or optical fiber, and propose and evaluate methods to increase the performance. Beyond that the students prove, by solving specified problems, their expertise to dimension communication systems and components according to given boundary conditions or required targets. Example: design of an optical transmission system at a given data rate and reach while keeping a predefined system margin.

Recommended literature

K.-D. Kammeyer: Nachrichtenübertragung, Vieweg + Teubner J. Reich: Ethernet. Technologien und Protokolle für die Computervernetzung, Heise Verlag J. Proakis: Digital Communications, McGraw-Hill