ATIS Telecom Glossary
Monday, December 22, 2014

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noise figure (NF)
Of an active device, over the bandwidth of interest, the contribution by the device itself to thermal noise at its output. The noise figure is usually expressed in decibels (dB), and is with respect to thermal noise power at the system impedance, at a standard noise temperature (usually 20o C, 293 K) over the bandwidth of interest. It is determined by (a) measuring (determining) the ratio, usually expressed in dB, of the thermal noise power at the output, to that at the input, and (b) subtracting from that result, the gain, in dB, of the system. Typical noise figures range from 0.5 dB for very low noise devices, to 4 to 8 dB. In some systems, e.g., heterodyne systems, total output noise power includes noise from other than thermal sources, such as spurious contributions from image-frequency transformation, but noise from these sources is not considered in determining the noise figure. In this example, the noise figure is determined only with respect to that noise that appears in the output via the principal frequency transformation of the system, and excludes noise that appears via the image frequency transformation. Synonym noise factor.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



 
These definitions were prepared by ATIS Committee PRQC
 
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