(1) An earlier magnetic disk encoding method that places clock bits onto the medium along with the data bits. It was superseded by MFM and RLL.
(2) Varying the frequency of the waves of a carrier in order to transmit analog or digital data. Frequency modulation (FM) is widely used in audio transmission, not only for its namesake FM radio, but for the audio channels in television. See modulation and carrier.
Vary the Angle
In FM modulation, the frequency of the carrier wave is varied by the incoming signal. In this example, the modulating wave implies an analog signal.
Digital Frequency Shift Keying (FSK)
For digital signals, frequency shift keying (FSK) uses two frequencies for 0 and 1 as in this example.
A Sad Tale of FM Origins
FM radio was invented in the early 1930s by Edwin Howard Armstrong, who years earlier had made a fortune selling RCA his amplifier technology. When he asked RCA to license his FM in 1933, RCA turned it down and pursued its own research. Seven years later, RCA offered him $1 million for outright purchase, but Armstrong declined. He was angry at the long hiatus and thought the offer too low. Later, Armstrong sued for patent infringement when he discovered RCA was using his technology, but RCA's legal tactics kept him at bay for so many years that the patents expired. Fighting the company also depleted his wealth. In 1954, Armstrong wrote a note to his wife, walked over to his bedroom window and jumped 13 stories to his death. Eventually, his wife received millions in back royalties from the company.