A formula in the information theory of Claude Shannon (1916-2001) for determining the maximum, error-free rate of a digital communications channel. It is based on the channel's bandwidth and signal-to-noise ratio. See information theory and laws.Shannon's Law C = maximum data rate of channel W = bandwidth of channel S = signal-to-noise ratio C = W log2(1 + S)
A statement defining the theoretical maximum rate at which error-free digits can be transmitted over a finitely bandwidth-limited channel in the presence of Gaussian noise. Shannon's Law is mathematically expressed as C = W log 2 (1 + S/N), where C is the channel capacity in bits per second (bps), W is the bandwidth in Hertz, and S/N is the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR). Shannon's Law also is known as the Shannon-Hartley theorem, as Shannon developed the theorem in collaboration with R.V.L. Hartley, a colleague at Bell Labs. See also bandwidth, bps, channel, Gaussian noise, Hertz, law, SNR, and theory.