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Bit Stuffing

Definition - What does Bit Stuffing mean?

Bit stuffing is the process of inserting noninformation bits into data to break up bit patterns to affect the synchronous transmission of information. It is widely used in network and communication protocols, in which bit stuffing is a required part of the transmission process. Bit stuffing is commonly used to bring bit streams up to a common transmission rate or to fill frames. Bit stuffing is also used for run-length limited coding.

Techopedia explains Bit Stuffing

In order to fill bit frames, the position where the new bits are stuffed is communicated to the receiving end of the data link. The receiver removes the extra bits to return the bit streams to their original bit rate. This is used when a communication protocol requires a fixed frame size. Bits are inserted to make the frame size equal to the defined frame size.

Bit stuffing also works to limit the number of consecutive bits of the same value included in the transmitted data for run-length limited coding. This procedure includes a bit of the opposite value after the maximum allowed number of consecutive bits of the same value. For instance, if a number of zero bits are transmitted consecutively, the receiving end loses synchronization because a lot of time has passed without voltage sensing. Using bit stuffing, sets of bits beginning with the number one are stuffed into streams of zeros at specific intervals. The receiver does not require any extra information regarding the bit location when the extra bits are removed. Such bit stuffing is done to ensure reliable data transmission and ensure that transmissions start and end at the right places, among other purposes.

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