Manchester encoding (first published in 1949) is a synchronous clock-encoding technique used by the physical layer to encode the clock and data of a synchronous bit stream. In this technique, the actual binary data to be transmitted over the cable are not sent as a sequence of logic 1s and 0s (known technically as Non Return to Zero (NRZ)). Instead, the bits are translated into a slightly different format that has a number of advantages over using straight binary encoding (i.e. NRZ).
In Manchester encoding (as defined by IEEE 802.3 standards for 10 Mbps), a logic zero is indicated by a 1 to 0 transition at the centre of the bit and a logic one is indicated by a 0 to 1 transition at the centre of the bit. The signal transitions do not always occur at the bit boundaries (the division between one bit and another), but that there is always a transition at the centre of each bit. The Manchester encoding rules are summarised below:
|Original Data||Value Sent|
|Logic 0||1 to 0 (downward transition at bit centre)|
|Logic 1||0 to 1 (upward transition at bit centre)|
Note that in some cases you will see the encoding reversed, with 0 being represented as a 0 to 1 transition. The two definitions have co-existed for many years. Because many physical layers employ an inverting line driver to convert the binary digits into an electrical signal, the signal on the wire is the exact opposite of that output by the encoder. Differential physical layer transmission, (e.g. 10BT) does not suffer this inversion ambiguity.
The following diagram shows a typical Manchester encoded signal with the corresponding binary representation of the data (0,0,1,0,1,1) being sent.
Note that signal transitions do not always occur at the 'bit boundaries' (the division between one bit and another), but that there is always a transition at the centre of each bit.The encoding may be alternatively viewed as a phase encoding where each bit is encoded by a postive 90 degree phase transition, or a negative 90 degree phase transition. The Manchester code is therefore sometimes also known as a Biphase Code.
A Manchester encoded signal contains frequent level transitions that allow a receiver to extract the clock signal using a Digital Phase Locked Loop (DPLL) and then correctly decode the value of each bit. To allow reliable operation using a DPLL, the transmitted bit stream must contain a high density of bit transitions. Manchester encoding ensures this, allowing the receiving DPLL to correctly extract the clock signal.
Manchester encoding can consume up to approximately twice the bandwidth of the original signal (20 MHz). This is the penalty for introducing frequent transitions. For a 10 Mbps LAN, the signal spectrum lies between the 5 and 20 MHz. Manchester encoding is used as the physical layer of an Ethernet LAN, where the additional bandwidth is not a significant issue for coaxial cable transmission, the limited bandwidth of CAT5e cable necessitated a more efficient encoding method for 100 Mbps transmission using a 4b/5b MLT-3 code. MLT-3 uses three signal levels (instead of the two levels used in Manchester encoding) and therfore allows a 100 Mbps signal to occupy just 31 MHz of bandwidth. Gigabit Ethernet utilises five levels and 8b/10b encoding, to provide even more efficient use of the limited cable bandwidth, sending 1 Gbps within 100 MHz of bandwidth.
The pattern of bits " 1 0 0 0 1 0 " encodes to " 01 10 10 10 10 01 01 10".
Here is another example: 1 1 0 0 0 1 after encoding becomes: 010110101001.
Differential physical layer transmission, (e.g., 10BT) transmits both a positive and negative version of the signals. This does not suffer this inversion in Manchester encoding, since the polarity of the data bits can be determined from the polarity of the Start of Frame Delimiter (SFD).
Manchester encoding may be alternatively viewed as a phase encoding where each bit is encoded by a positive 90 degree phase transition, or a negative 90 degree phase transition. The Manchester code is therefore sometimes known as a Biphase Code.
A transmission rate of 10 Mbps requires that each bit is sent in 0.1 microseconds. For a coaxial cable, the speed at which the signal travels along the cable is approximately 0.77 times the speed of light (i.e. 0.77x3x10E8). A bit therefore occupies 23 metres of cable. Under the same conditions the smallest frame would be 13.3 km!
If you wish to do the same calculation for a twisted pair cable, you would have to take into consideration that the propagation speed is slower at 1.77x10E8 (0.59c). Increasing the bit rate, for example using 100BTx, decreases the time available to send each bit into the wire, but does not change the speed at which the edge of the bits travel through the cable!
Manchester encoding has been specified in a range of other standards, including:
RC5 is an encoding standard used in infrared remote control signal transmission for consumer electronics. RC5 was originally developed by Phillips, and uses Manchester encoding. RC5 encodes commands as 14-bit words.
DALI (Digital Addressable Lighting Interface) is an international standard communication protocol (IEC 62386) used for bi-directional communication between lighting control products. A 2-wire bus is used for communication (commands/data) as well as for power to some sensors.
Interface 5 (PSI5) is a bus interface used in automotive applications. It is an open standard used for car airbag sensors. A current-modulated digital Manchester code is transmitted over a twisted pair cable, which is highly resistant to EMI. A cyclic redundancy check detects errors in transmission. Up to three sensors can be connected on one PSI5 bus and can be also used for automotive position-sensing applications.
MIL-STD-1553 is a DOD Military Standard, which defines both the Mechanical, Electrical, and Functional characteristics. It uses a balanced (differential) interface. The interface is dual redundant with between 2 and 32 interface devices on the bus, used in a half duplex command /response mode, data is sent using a Manchester II bi-phase level. The MIL-STD-1553 interface is used in a wide range of military and support aircraft.
Profibus PA, is a low-volume data network for Process Automation, based on Manchester-encoded Bus-Powered for Intrinsic Safety (MBP-IS). The rate of data change is within the range of tens-of-milliseconds to multiple seconds. A PROFIBUS PA network operates over a single cable that provides power and communication.