B8ZS (bipolar 8-zero substitution, binary 8-zero substitution, clear channel, clear 64)

B8ZS (bipolar 8-zero substitution, also called binary 8-zero substitution, clear channel, and clear 64) is an encoding method used on T1 circuits that inserts two successive ones of the same voltage - referred to as a bipolar violation - into a signal whenever eight consecutive zeros are transmitted. The device receiving the signal interprets the bipolar violation as a timing mark, which keeps the transmitting and receiving devices synchronized. Ordinarily, when successive ones are transmitted, one has a positive voltage and the other has a negative voltage.

B8ZS is based on an older encoding method called alternate mark inversion (AMI). AMI is used with Dataphone Digital Service, the oldest data service still in use that uses 64 Kbps channels. AMI, however, requires the use of 8 Kbps of the 64 Kbps of each channel to maintain synchronization. In a T1 circuit, there are 24 channels. This loss adds up to 192 Kbps, which means that in reality only 56 Kbps is available for data transmission. B8ZS uses bipolar violations to synchronize devices, a solution that does not require the use of extra bits, which means a T1 circuit using B8ZS can use the full 64 Kbps for each channel for data. B8ZS is not compatible with older AMI equipment.

T1 technology is used in the United States and Japan. In Europe, a comparable technology called E1 provides 32 channels instead of 24 and uses an encoding scheme called high-density bipolar 3 (HDB3) instead of B8ZS.

This was last updated in September 2005

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