## About

**Phase-shift keying** (PSK) is a digital modulation scheme that conveys data by changing, or modulating, the phase of a reference signal (the carrier wave).

Any digital modulation scheme uses a finite number of distinct signals to represent digital data. PSK uses a finite number of phases, each assigned a unique pattern of binary bits. Usually, each phase encodes an equal number of bits. Each pattern of bits forms the symbol that is represented by the particular phase. The demodulator, which is designed specifically for the symbol-set used by the modulator, determines the phase of the received signal and maps it back to the symbol it represents, thus recovering the original data. This requires the receiver to be able to compare the phase of the received signal to a reference signal — such a system is termed coherent (and referred to as CPSK).

Alternatively, instead of using the bit patterns to set the phase of the wave, it can instead be used to change it by a specified amount. The demodulator then determines the changes in the phase of the received signal rather than the phase itself. Since this scheme depends on the difference between successive phases, it is termed differential phase-shift keying (DPSK). DPSK can be significantly simpler to implement than ordinary PSK since there is no need for the demodulator to have a copy of the reference signal to determine the exact phase of the received signal (it is a non-coherent scheme). In exchange, it produces more erroneous demodulations. The exact requirements of the particular scenario under consideration determine which scheme is used.

## Applications

Owing to PSK's simplicity, particularly when compared with its competitor quadrature amplitude modulation, it is widely used in existing technologies.

The wireless LAN standard, IEEE 802.11b-1999, uses a variety of different PSKs depending on the data-rate required. At the basic-rate of 1 Mbit/s, it uses DBPSK (differential BPSK). To provide the extended-rate of 2 Mbit/s, DQPSK is used. In reaching 5.5 Mbit/s and the full-rate of 11 Mbit/s, QPSK is employed, but has to be coupled with complementary code keying. The higher-speed wireless LAN standard, IEEE 802.11g-2003[1][3] has eight data rates: 6, 9, 12, 18, 24, 36, 48 and 54 Mbit/s. The 6 and 9 Mbit/s modes use OFDM modulation where each sub-carrier is BPSK modulated. The 12 and 18 Mbit/s modes use OFDM with QPSK. The fastest four modes use OFDM with forms of quadrature amplitude modulation. ^{[1]}

Because of its simplicity BPSK is appropriate for low-cost passive transmitters, and is used in RFID standards such as ISO/IEC 14443 which has been adopted for biometric passports, credit cards such as American Express's ExpressPay, and many other applications[4].

Bluetooth 2 will use π / 4-DQPSK at its lower rate (2 Mbit/s) and 8-DPSK at its higher rate (3 Mbit/s) when the link between the two devices is sufficiently robust. Bluetooth 1 modulates with Gaussian minimum-shift keying, a binary scheme, so either modulation choice in version 2 will yield a higher data-rate. A similar technology, IEEE 802.15.4 (the wireless standard used by ZigBee) also relies on PSK. IEEE 802.15.4 allows the use of two frequency bands: 868–915 MHz using BPSK and at 2.4 GHz using OQPSK.

Notably absent from these various schemes is 8-PSK. This is because its error-rate performance is close to that of 16-QAM — it is only about 0.5 dB better[citation needed] — but its data rate is only three-quarters that of 16-QAM. Thus 8-PSK is often omitted from standards and, as seen above, schemes tend to 'jump' from QPSK to 16-QAM (8-QAM is possible but difficult to implement).