ATIS Telecom Glossary
Tuesday, November 25, 2014

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dB

Abbreviation for decibel(s). One tenth of the common logarithm of the ratio of relative powers, equal to 0.1 B (bel). Note 1: The decibel is the conventional relative power ratio, rather than the bel, for expressing relative powers because the decibel is smaller and therefore more convenient than the bel. The ratio in dB is given by

equation 08

where P1 and P2 are the actual powers. Power ratios may be expressed in terms of voltage and impedance, E and Z, or current and impedance, I and Z, since

 equation 09

Thus dB is also given by

 equation 10

If Z1 = Z2, these become

 equation 11

Note 2: The dB is used rather than arithmetic ratios or percentages because when circuits are connected in tandem, expressions of power level, in dB, may be arithmetically added and subtracted. For example, in an optical link, if a known amount of optical power, in dBm, is launched into a fiber, and the losses, in dB, of each component (e.g., connectors, splices, and lengths of fiber) are known, the overall link loss may be quickly calculated with simple addition and subtraction.

db image

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



 
These definitions were prepared by ATIS Committee PRQC
 
For more information on the work related to these definitions,
please visit the ATIS website and the ATIS Document Center