RE: baud vs. baud rate

Subject: RE: baud vs. baud rate
From: "Combs, Richard" <richard -dot- combs -at- Polycom -dot- com>
To: "Joel" <eleysium -at- gmail -dot- com>, <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 1 Jul 2009 09:26:17 -0600

Joel wrote:

> A style guide that I have says that 'baud rate' is redundant because
> is a rate (similar to ATM machine). And yet, saying something like,
> the appropriate baud" just seems odd to read. Any opinions on keeping
> dropping "rate"?

Well, yes, baud is a rate. But are you sure you should be talking about
baud at all? It's so 90s. ;-)

Baud is the number of pulses or changes (voltage, frequency) in a signal
per second. Way back last century, in the era of slow and primitive
signaling, each pulse was one bit, so baud and bits per second were
essentially the same (minus some overhead). But that hasn't been even
remotely true in a long time, and the term baud just isn't used anymore
(except, I suppose, in technical discussions of signal transport
technologies and how to transmit more data per baud).

In most contexts, what is of interest is the data transmission rate,
usually measured in kilobits per second (kbps) or megabits per second
(Mbps), not the baud -- which is far lower and of no interest to the
person wondering how long a file transfer will take. :-)


Richard G. Combs
Senior Technical Writer
Polycom, Inc.
richardDOTcombs AT polycomDOTcom
rgcombs AT gmailDOTcom


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baud vs. baud rate: From: Joel

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