I am not sure if this is the right site for asking but I learned about Non Return to Zero encodings and the Manchester encodings at the Networking class and those types of encodings are used in networking often.

However I did not understand why is NRZ encoding called this way.

On the wikipedia page about this encoding type I did not find any mention to the naming convention. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Non-return-to-zero

  • Did any answer help you? if so, you should accept the answer so that the question doesn't keep popping up forever, looking for an answer. Alternatively, you could provide and accept your own answer.
    – Ron Maupin
    Commented Aug 7, 2017 at 21:39

1 Answer 1


The encoding is used by the Physical Layer, not the Network Layer.

Basically, NRZ,and its variants, are binary (two level) encoding, and there is no zero, or neutral, level. This is in contrast to RZ, e.g. Bipolar, where you have both positive, negative, and neutral (zero) levels.

  • I understand now why is it called non-zero. I knew it was used by the physical layer and that it is probably used in other type of communication protocols besides networking. I believe that probably every digital communication must use some sort of digital encoding be it NRZ, bipolar Manchester encoding or other. However I am surprised that there is no question here on NE regarding the encodings on the physical layer. I thought this would be more important.
    – yoyo_fun
    Commented Nov 27, 2016 at 2:44

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