App-Note :: Using a Wideband AWG to Optimize Data Throughput with Multi-Level Signaling Techniques.
Increasing the data throughput on high-speed digital interfaces can be accomplished in at least three ways:
Using multiple parallel signals
Increasing the symbol rate
Using higher order modulation schemes that carry more than 1 bit per symbol (such as NRZ)
Traditionally, #1 and #2 are used because NRZ data transmission is very well understood and can be realized in a cost-effective way, both on the transmit side as well as the receive side. However, there are limitations.
Using a higher order modulation scheme has the advantage that more than 1 bit per symbol can be transmitted without increasing the bandwidth requirement. The spectrum plots below show that the data rate can be doubled without increasing the occupied bandwidth.
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