High C/N ratios provide good quality of reception, for example low bit error rate (BER) of a digital message signal, or high SNR of an analogue message signal.
C and N may be measured in watts or in volts squared.
where and are the root mean square voltage levels in volts of the carrier signal and noise respectively. Engineers often specify the C/N ratio in decibels (dB) between the power in the carrier of the desired signal and the total received noise power, according to the following:
The C/N ratio is measured in a manner similar to the way the signal-to-noise ratio (S/N) is measured, and both specifications give an indication of the quality of a communications channel.
In the famous Shannon–Hartley theorem, the C/N ratio is equivalently to the S/N ratio.
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