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[SpecialIssue I

MC-CDMA in the Context of General Multiuser / Multisubchannel Transmission Methods*

Department of Information Technology, University of Ulm, Albert-Einstein-Allee 43, D-8908 1 Ulm

Abstract. MC-CDMA is considered in the context of more general multiuser / multisubchannel transmission systems. Those systems understand the transmission task for all users as an integrated whole and they allow an easy understanding of the advantages and disadvantages of MC-CDMA in comparison with alternative methods. Multiple antennas are also included. An appropriate vector-valued transmission model is explained and then special the cases OFDM-OFDMA and MC-CDMA are considered. Examples are discussed which demonstrate the advantages of spreading techniques in the context of OFDM-OFDMA and the additional gain in power (or bandwidth) efficiency compared with pure OFDM-OFDMA. Simulation results for an indoor scenario with 8 users are presented. Variants of MC-CDMA, extensions and alternatives are also discussed.

For application in future mobile communication systems a number of transmission and multiple access methods have been discussed in the past. As a result of this discussion CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access) will play an important role in the next generation of cellular systems, i.e. in UMTS and most likely in IMT2000 [I], whereas for wireless indoor systems there is a tendency to prefer multicarrier (MC) techniques based on OFDM (Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing). Because of the limited ressource frequency bandwidth on one hand and limited power of mobile units on the other, bandwidth and power efficiency of future systems should be as high as possible. But realization complexity is another important parameter. It is straightforward then to look for hybrid schemes which try to combine the advantages of different methods while avoiding the disadvantages. One such hybrid scheme is MC-CDMA. It has been proposed some years ago and is still under discussion in its various variants, see e.g. [21,[31, [41, [51, [61, 171, [81, 191, [lo], [ I I] and the other contributions in [12]. It is based on MC transmission, which suffers - in its pure form without coding - from the frequency-selective behavior of typical wireless channels. To cope with this, the CDMA (code division multiple access) component of MC-CDMA spreads the energy of each data symbol over some carriers. The additional effect of spreading is that different users can ac*Invited paper

cess the same carriers in a CDMA manner. To profit from spreading in such a multiuser context, multiuser detection (MUD) is needed, which results in an increase in complexity compared to an unspread MC transmission. The advantage of MC-CDMA in comparison with other techniques (like pure CDMA) is that the spreading can be adapted to the frequency-selective behavior of the channel. As a consequence, the receiver needs to be only as complex as necessary. This paper considers MC-CDMA as a special case of more general multiuser/ multisubchannel transmission systems, which understand the transmission task for all users as an integrated whole. Multiple antennas are also included. Those general models allow an easy understanding of the advantages and disadvantages of MC-CDMA in comparison with alternative methods. Section 2 introduces those general multiusertmultisubchannel systems and in section 3 MC-CDMA and OFDMOFDMA are described as special cases. Variants of MCCDMA and alternatives will be considered in section 4. As an example, an indoor communication with MC-CDMA is then compared with OFDM-OFDMA in section 5. A conclusion and some remarks concerning applications finish this paper.
Parts of the following descriptions were published before in [lo], [ l l ], 1131.
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Vol. 10, NO. 4. July-AuguSt 1999

J. Lindner

antenna 1 physical channel


multiuser/ rnultiantenna receiver

sink 1

source 1

transmitter 1



/ -

@ *
source Mtx

transmitter Mtx
Figure 2: Transmission model, receive,:

Figure 1: Transmission model, transmitter.

MuLTISUBCHANNEL TRANS- subchannels are used in parallel for a transmission from one single user to another. The multiple access method on the right describes the access of different users to the 2.1 DEFINITION physical channel and/or to the subchannels given by the Figs. I and 2 show a top-level model of the transmis- multiplexing method on the left. For the definition of the sion assumed here. There are &Itt, radio transmitters on multiple access method, a second multiplexing method is the left and one multiuser receiver with L receiving anten- needed which might differ from the first. The example nas on the right. Without loss of generality only this single OFDM-TDMA means that a user transmits over a bundel receiver will be considered in the following. Between the of OFDM subchannels to onother user. But he can do this transmitters and the receiver there is a multipath propaga- only in his own TDMA time slot. Other time slots are used tion radio channel. Multiplexing techniques like frequency, by different users in the same way with the same bundel of time and code division multiplexing (FDM, TDM, CDM) OFDM subchannels. So in this example the multiplexing are commonly used to define subchannels on the physical method taken as a basis for the multiple access is TDM. In general there are &Itz users and each user owns a channel, which can be accessed by users to transfer data bundel of Ni subchannels. So the total number of subchanto other users. Multiplexing must be used also as a banels available in the system is sis in a multiuser system. Then it is common to stress the
MULTIUSER MISSION multiple access (MA) property by using the corresponding MA terms, i.e. frequency, time and code division multiple access (FDMA, TDMA, CDMA). Additionally, there are relatives of those techniques, which are synchronous and block-oriented transmissions: OFDMIOFDMA, OTDM/OTDMA, OCDM/OCDMA. The 0 stands here for orthogonal. 0 techniques use a guard time between the transmission of successive blocks, in which the transmit signal is partially periodically repeated. By defining the guard time greater than the impulse response duration of the multipath channel and by using only one period at the receiving side, the orthogonality between blocks is preserved. As a result, no interblock interference (IBI) occurs. In a multiuser context, of course, different transmitters need to be synchronized with each other. As mentioned before, combinations of these techniques can be taken to exploit the advantages of one scheme while avoiding the disadvantages of the other. The following terminology will be used to characterize those combinations or hybrid schemes:
multiplexing method - mitltiple access method

The combination to be considered here in more detail is MC-CDMA or, in the terminology introduced above, OFDM-CDMA. Because of its strong relation to MCCDMA, also OFDM-OFDMA will be considered. All those schemes can be modeled by a vector-valued transmission which will be described in the following section.


Fig. 3 shows a continuous-time model for the system in Figs. I and 2. This model holds for all linear modulation methods (QAM) and all multiplexing/ multiple access methods mentioned above. All combinations from before, especially MC-CDMA and OFDM-OFDMA, are also incI uded. The vector source in Fig. 3 generates a sequence q ( k ) of source symbol vectors, which will be mapped by 3ector coding to a sequence ;c(k ) of transmit symbol vectors. The components o f I( k ) and g(k ) are scalar sequences belonging to different-users or different subchannels of one

The multiplexing method on the left defines subchannels, e.g. with TDM, FDM or CDM. Some or all of these


MC-CDMA and General Multiuser Transmission matrix U ( t ) with the physical channel impulse response matrix H ( t ) . The output vector signal of the CMF matrix is given by y(t) = VT*(--t) *g -( t ) . With symbol-spaced sampling, the vector sequence
Nyquistimpulse matnx channel matnx

vector source vector channeI coding


F(k) =y(k T,) -

= R ( k )* c(k)

+ ii( k )


vector signal vectorsink vectordetection channel matched filter rnatnx. V(t)=H(t)U(t)

results. It gives a sufficient statistics with respect to maximum likelihood (ML) or maximum a posteriori (MAP) detection of the of source symbol vectors q ( k ) . The discretetime channel matrix R( k ) on symbol basis (for short: channel matrix) is the following abbreviation:

Figure 3: Continuous-timevector transmission model.

R ( k ) = VT*(--t)* V ( t )It=k T, = U T * ( - t ) * H T * ( - t ) * H ( t ) * U ( t ) It=k


user. The transmit symbols 2,(k) will be complex-valued in general, e.g. z i ( k ) c { f l kj} in case of 4PSK. ~ ( t is ) the transmit signal vector. The individual components of s (t ) are scalar transmit signals of the linear modulation scheme which will be assumed here:

U ( t ) in Fig. 3 is a diagonal matrix containing Nyquist impulses or spreading functions u i ( t ) , i.e. U ( t ) = diag(ul(t),u z ( t ) ,..., u ~ ( t ) ) The . u i ( t ) define the multiplexing scheme and hence the division of the physical channel into subchannels. For CDM the u i ( t ) form a system of orthogonal or quasi-orthogonal broadband functions, resulting in broadband subchannels. In case of OFDM as the other extreme, complex exponentials with different frequencies are used, resulting in narrowband subchannels. As can be seen in Fig. 3 g ( t ) is fed to the matrix H ( t ) . This L x M matrix H ( t ) describes the physical multiple input multiple output (MIMO) channel with M inputs and L outputs. M is the total number of subchannels available for all M t z transmitters and L the number of receiving antennas, see Figs. 1 and 2. One impulse response entry hl, ( t ) belongs to the transmission over the rn-th subchannel to the I-th antenna:

Actually it is a sequence of matrices and it can be considered as a generalization of the discrete-time channel impulse response r( k) of the scalar case. As (5) shows, R( k) includes the physical channel described by H ( t ) as well the matrix U ( t ) ,which defines the transmission scheme. The sequence g ( k ) is fed to the detection algorithm (DET), see Fig. 3. DET includes vector equalization and vector decoding. At the output there is the sequence q(k) of detected source symbol vectors. g(k ) in (4)is a sequence of colored noise vector samples taken at the output of the CMF matrix. The correlation matrix of this discrete-time vector noise process is given by

No is the two-sided power density of each component of the assumed AWGN vector process. Fig. 4 shows a discrete-time transmission model according to (4). One important conclusion drawn from this model is that the performance of the detection algorithm (DET) does only depend on R ( k ) .So this algorithm has no explicit knowledge about the special transmission scheme or the number of antennas R ( k ) is composed of. Furthermore, for general physical channel matrices H ( t ) andlor only quasi-orthogonal waveforms ui ( t ) , each component of k) may be linear dependent of all components of g(k). As a consequence, without loss in performance no separate processing (equalization and decoding) of the individual g(k ) components is possible.


Asynchronous transmitters can be modeled by an appropriate time shift included in the corresponding impulse responses hl,(t). The output of the channel is the vector signal g ( t ) = H ( t ) * g ( t ) ~ ( t ) withE(t) , being a sample function of an additive white Gaussian noise (AWGN) vector process. Individual component signals gl ( t ) and n l(t) belong to receiving antenna number I , see Fig. 2. The vector receiver consists in its first part of a channel matched filter (CMF) matrix, matched to V ( t )= H ( t ) * U ( t ) , i.e. to the concatenation of the transmission scheme-defining



From the input vector signal g ( t ) of the vector receiver the input vector sequence Z(k) the detection algorithm is calculated as follows, see Figs. 3 and 4:

F ( k ) = y(t = k T,)


= UT*(-t)

* HT(-t) * g ( t ) 1kk.T.

VOI. 10, NO,4,July-August 1999

vector source


channel coding

disuete-time channel model on symbol basis

noise vector

--... U...FDM/FDMA ... ..OFDM o m M A

r:,J r l .
pd ...

conventional I S 1 in subchannels

vectorsink vectordetection



in submatricea x

in MC-COMA, MCSSMA submatrices

Figure 4 : Discrete-time vector transmission model. Figure 5: Matrices R(k) f o r d#erent multiplexing / Multiple access methods; IBI: interblock interference. l U l / ISCI: interuser/ intersubchannel interference.

This is the sampled output of the CMF matrix which is matched to V ( t ) = H ( t ) * U ( t ) . The CMF matrix is an important part of the optimum multiuser/multiantenna receiver. It combines three tasks. The first is that the contributions from different antennas are added in a way, which is commonly referred to as maximum ratio combining (MRC). The second task relates to a similar collection of wanted signal energy contributions with respect to time 2 , which is commonly referred to as matched filtering. The third task included in the CMF matrix filtering is related to users andlor subchannels (or vector components of g(k)): They will be separated to a certain extend. After sampling of the output signal of the CMF matrix with kT,, there may be remaining interblock interference (IBI) contributions (between successive vectors g(k))and similar interuserlintersubchannel interference (IUIASCI) contributions (between the vector components of g( k)).Because I/ ( t ) is part of the CMF matrix, the system of Nyquist impulses (or spreading functions) has an influence on these effects. The same holds for the physical channel described by the matrix H ( t ) . The designer of a system usually has no influence on H ( t ) but he can define U ( t ) .Different choices of U ( t ) might result in different IBI and IUVISCI contributions, with the result, that the corresponding systems have different performance, although ML receivers were used. By looking at the matrix R ( k ) ,this can be demonstrated in a graphic way. Fig. 5 shows some basic stmctures of R ( k ) for different combinations of multiplex and multiple access methods. The contents of this table is taken from [ 101 and it was discussed there in more detail. It is remarkable that many combinations and techniques result in similar matrices. The design goal is to get R ( k ) = const.. I . 6 ( k ) ,with I being the identity matrix and 6 ( k ) the discrete-time dirac delta function. In this case neither IBI and nor IUVISCI will be present and the detection algorithm consists of the decoding part only. According to Fig. 5 OFDM seems to be such a method. But this table shall illustrate only, which entries could be non-zero in principle. Muitipath

propagation on the physical channel results in a frequencyselective behavior of the transfer functions. As an example, Fig. 6 shows the matrix R = R(0) for a transmission from one transmitter to one receiver with an OFDM scheme using 32 subchannels. OFDM uses a guard time, so no IBI will be present. A two-path propagation with equal amplitudes was taken and only one receiving antenna. In case of OFDM the components of the vectors correspond to frequencies and the frequency-selective behavior of the channel is reflected in zeros on the main diagonal of R. Some components of g ( k ) will not be transmitted to the receiving side, they are faded out. MC-CDMA - see Fig. 5 is a technique which avoids zeros on the main diagonal by spreading the symbols ; c i ( k ) over some OFDM subcarriers. This will be explained in more detail in section 3. The corresponding matrix R is also shown in Fig. 4. No vector component will be faded out, but equalization is needed for MC-CDMA because of non-zero values at some nondiagonal positions in R. While CMF signal processing is in three dimensions (time, userlsubchannel, spacelantennas), the detection algorithm contains always not more than two: the discrete time (k) and the userlsubchannel (i). The spacial dimension is only part of the CMF signal processing. In case of block-orientated schemes like OFDMlOFDMA, there is no IBI and hence no discrete-time (k)signal processing in the equalization part of the detection algorithm. As a result, the total signal processing effort decreases in comparison with the most general case of CDMA.


In general, multiuser/multisubchanneldetection algorithms compute the total sequence of vectors g ( k ) . Depending on the transmission method and the delay spread


MC-CDMA and General Multiuser Transmission



Multiplexing/multiple access methods with guard time have no IBI, i.e. R ( k ) = R(0). J ( k ) .With the abbreviation R = RfO) (4)then simplifies to

Z ( k ) = R . g ( k )+ E ( k )


spreading with U , despreading with Ui

Figure 6: Matrices R f o r OFDM and MC-CDMA in case of a twopath propagation channel.

of the physical channels, IBI may entend over many blocks. Like in the scalar case, maximum likelihood sequence estimation (MLSE) can be used in this context, but it must be generalized to sequences of vectors. VMLSE (Vector Maximum Likelihood Sequence Estimation) means that the detection algorithm has to find the most probable transmitted source vector sequence q ( k ) given the vector sequence 5(k) as input, i.e. it has tomaximize the corresponding conditional probability:

While in k-direction the noise vector process fi( k ) is uncorrelated, the components of these vectors will be correlated in general, see (6). Because Gaussian noise is assumed on the physical channel, this means also statistical independency. So no memory with respect to k has to be taken into account in the equalization part of the detection algorithm. If channel coding is done over blocks (i.e. in k direction!), of course, the decoding part of the detection algorithm has to take care of that. A restriction of coding to individual vectors (or blocks) would mean that also individual vectors in the sequence @(k) can be detected independently. In [ 151, -[1 4 l m d [ 161 it w a s shown for a block transmission without IBI, that there is a general way to separate decoding and equalization. The remarkable result is that any kind of coding designed for AWGN channels can be used, with a resulting coding gain being the same as in case of AWGN channels. The only drawback of this approach is that a suboptimum block decision feedback equalizer (BDFE) was used. So a loss of some dB must be taken into account. But the examples given in [I51 for a Rayleigh fading channel show better performance than the best known convolutional codes for this channel. Depending on the memory introduced by R also Turbo Equalization together with decoding can be used [17]. This results in optimum performance, but the complexity might be too high for most applications. In case of equalization only (i.e. no coding), (8) becomes the following ML rule: Prob(2 I

Prob(q(k) l Z ( k ) ) = maxProb(Z(k) l g ( k ) ) . (8)


z)= max Prob(E 1 x). X


Channel decoding and equalization are included here as a whole. With no coding, a vector-valued form of the Viterbi algorithm (VA) can be used to perform this VMLSE. In case of convolutional coding, the VA can still be used, but the trellis becomes then a so-called super trellis, which results from the concatenation of coding and physical channel. In case of block coding and no trellis description, the concatenation leads to more general detection algorithm structures which have been a topic of current research. They will not be discussed here. In general, a separation of decoding and equalization will lead to suboptimum detection, but in most cases complexity prevents optimum detection in practice. Therefore, suboptimum detection methods usually consist of an equalization part and a decoding part, and the concatenation of both is done in a way that the performance loss becomes as small as possible. A lot of research work has been in this field, see e.g. [ 141.

The discrete-time variable k has been dropped because there is no IBI. Additionally no coding means that the detection gives directly ; i = 2. With the assumption of a white Gaussian noise vector process on the physical channel, the metric

r := XT* R x - 2 Re { z ~ - *. ~ }
has to be minimized. If one compares the transmission of the vector components with a scalar single carrier transmission, in which the individual symbols (here: vector components) are transmitted as a sequence in time, this metric corresponds to the Ungerbock metric with its colored noise at the output of the channel matched filter [18]. But for this scalar single carrier transmission the matrix R then would have a Toeplitz stucture. In contrast to that, in the vector case considered here also non-Toeplitz matrices R are allowed. While for Toeplitz structures the Viterbi algorithm can be used, a full search over all possible vectors 1 is needed in the non-Toeplitz case.

Special case: block detection methods

Vol. 10, NO.4. July-August 1999

J. Lindner

vector decision (hard)



feedback matrix

vector decision (tanh, slope c)

Figure 7:Vector model of the RNN equulizer.

One suboptimum equalizer with remarkable performance and moderate to low complexity is a recurrent neural networks (RNN). Fig. 7 shows a compact vector model for this equalizer. It has been demonstrated before that an RNN can perform the equalization part of the detection very well, see [19], [20], [21]. In many situations an RNN equalizer gives optimum or close to optimum performance. For a properly defined RNN this can be explained by the equivalence of the energy function belonging to the RNN and the likelihood function of a ML equalizer. To avoid convergence to local minima of the energy function during the iteration, the slope of the tangent hyperbolic nonlinearities is increased linearly with the number of iterations. Then ML or near-ML performance results. Beside the slopes of the tangent hyperbolic nonlinearities, the feedback matrix contains the only free parameters of the RNN. But is easy to show that this matrix is identical with the channel matrix of the discrete-time transmission model explained before, with the exception, that the main diagonal contains only zeros. There is no need for training with typical patterns like in other types neural networks. Of course, the channel matrix has to be derived from the actual physical channel. If the slope of the tangent hyperbolic nonlinearities tends to infinity, a sgn(z) function results and the RNN equalizer becomes a multistage detector, see [ 2 2 ] . In section 3 OFDM-OFDMA and MC-CDMA will be considered. These methods are user-synchronous and they use a guard time. Therefore, the block detection methods described above can be taken for reception. Concerning optimum and suboptimum detection in case of MC-CDMA see also [23], [24], [251 and [261. It is not necessary to restrict the definition of a block to one vector in the sequence c(I ; ) of vectors. A block can also be defined as a finite sequence of vectors with a guard time or pause at the beginning and at the end. In this case, all block detection algorithms can be used. Only the size of the matrix R will be increased. For a MC transmission without guard time this could be a good approach, see [27].

Multiple receiving antennas can have two effects. The first is diversity and the second is beamforming, i.e. the possibility to form an antenna pattern, which looks in a certain direction. Together with multiple transmitting antennas space division multiple access (SDMA) will be possible: A transmitter directs its power only in the direction of the wanted receiver. Spacial mdtching at the receiving side then means a corresponding antenna pattern which looking in the direction of the expected transmitter. This is a more general case of spacial matching than the MRC mentioned in previous section. But the CMF matrix approach can be generalized easily to include this more general spacial matched filtering for the case of non-uniform spacial transmit power distribution. The vector transmission model introduced before will be valid in any case. Moreover, if the individual channel impulse responses in H ( t ) contain already the transmit antenna patterns, the optimum receiver explained before remains unchanged. One can also conclude that in case of omnidirectional transmit antennas any kind of explicit beamforming at the receiving side results in a more or less suboptimum overallreceiver. Like for the choice of different matrices U ( t ) , the performance and complexity of an optimum receiver will change if certain non-omnidirectional antenna patterns are used at the transmitting side. The optimum receiver takes the antennas as given, and the CMF is a sufficient first step towards an optimal over-all solution for the reception of the source symbol vectors q ( k ) . Only the combination of CMF and detection algorithm could lead to an optimum, also in the sense of spacial separation. For the optimum receiver it is easy to see that R ( k ) is a superposition of matrices RI(k),each belonging to one of the L antennas:

Looking at this equation, the effect of an increasing number L of antennas can be analyzed easily. Because the entries on the main diagonal of each & ( A ) are always real-valued and non-negative, the main diagonal elements of R( k) increase with growing L. This corresponds to a diversity effect which is also given in case of an ideal physical channel and orthogonality between users and/or subchannels. In case of multipath propagation, zeros on the main diagonal of a matrix R c ( k ) might be compensated by non-zero values of a matrix belonging to another antenna. Furthermore, if the physical channels to the L antennas differ sufficiently (in phase and/or amplitude of the equivalent lowpass channel impulse responses) the entries beside the main diagonal in R ( k ) can add or subtract. Of course, this is of importance only for those multiplex / multiple access schemes, which can have non-zero values on side diagonals of R ( k ) , i.e. if ISCI is present. If the subchannels are allocated to

MC-CDMA and General Multiuser Transmission different users / transmitters, this result of the superposition of different Rl(k)matrices could be interpreted as an implicit beamforming or SDMA-like effect. If there is no shadowing of antennas, it is very likely that the ratio between values on the main diagonal of R( k) and the values at other entries increases with an increasing number L of antennas. As a consequence, equalization might become simpler. In the same way one could expect that the entries on the main diagonal tend to become all the same. This leads to better BER curves, because all subchannels of one user will behave in a similar way - no bad subchannel dominates. Additionally, the same will hold with respect to users. They tend to get the same BER for an increasing number of antennas. is no intersubchannel interference (ISCI). Mathematically this means for OFDM or OFDMA that (9) becomes:
g(6) = R * g ( k+ ) &(k) (13) = d i a g ( r ~ l ,..., ~ ,r,v fM) . c ( k ) +5(Ic)


For some applications general optimum detection might be too complex with respect to realization. But the complexity of optimum detection depends on the multiplex/multiple access scheme chosen for transmission. Fig. 5 demonstrates this to some extend. As mentioned in section 2.3, the design goal is to get R ( k ) = const..1.6(6), with I being the identity matrix and 6 ( k ) the discrete-time dirac delta function. In this case no IBI and no IUYISCI will be present and the detection algorithm consists of the decoding part only. Multiple receiving antennas can support in reaching this goal, see section 2.5. Methods with guard time seem to have an advantage with respect to complexity of the equalization part because there is no IBI. As a thumb rule one can say that more non-zero elements within the matrices R ( k ) and more non-zero matrices will lead to greater complexity in the equalization part of the detection algorithm. In this sense, OFDM-OFDMA stands for low complexity while CDMA stands for high. The complexity of MC-CDMA is between those two. But the choice of one of these methods has also an influence on the performance of the transmission. Fig. 6 illustrates this, and in section 2.3 this was discussed in a qualitative way. With regard to performance, OFDM-OFDMA will not be the best choice. The vector model described in the previous section holds for all linear modulation schemes with and without guard time, with users being synchronous or asynchronous. Because MC-CDMA is based on OFDM, it is appropriate to look at OFDM first. 3.1

The individual components of Z(I c ) are related to the corresponding components of the transmitted symbol vectors z(k) in a simple way: Z;(k) = T,; . q ( k ) i i ; ( k ) , i = 1, ..., M . Equalization (zero forcing) means only a division by the rii. Furthermore, if DPSK is taken as modulation method - which is the classical method for OFDM - , this division becomes obsolet, because only phase differences between the symbols 2;(k)and z i (k - 1) are important. This demonstrates how the selection of a multiplex/multiple access scheme influences the complexity of equalization. But the drawback of OFDM-OFDMA has also been mentioned before: A frequency-selective transfer function of the physical channel can lead to zero-values for some of the rii - see also Fig. 6 . An unacceptable error floor in the BER curves results, despite of optimum detection. Only a coding part can help. The reason for this bad behavior is the lack of any frequency diversity in the combination OFDM-OFDMA.

Example: subchannels and users in case of OFDMOFDMA With the definitions given above, OFDM-OFDMA uses bundels of OFDM subchannels for transmission from one user to another. The users are separated by OFDMA. To simplify the explanations in the following, the same number NSC of OFDM subchannels will be assumed for each user. The total number I\/I of subchannels available in the system is then given by, see also (1):

Like before, Mt, is the number of users. Because of frequency-selective transfer functions of typical multipath radio channels it is common to take radio frequencies for each bundel, which are separated wide enough (wider than the coherence bandwidth). This allows methods with frequency diversity. Then every user has the chance to transmit at least on some frequencies which are not faded out by the radio channel. The following is an example which will be used subsequently for further discussion:

number OFDM subchannels per user: NSC = 4 number of OFDMA users: Mt, = 8 resulting subchannels in total: h/l = 32


Due to the cyclic repetition of the transmit signal within the guard time and the use of only one period at the receiving side OFDM-OFDMA leads to a diagonal matrix R in (9). As a consequence, the orthogonality between subchannels is preserved - despite of a multipath channel. There

For these numbers, Fig. 8 illustrates the allocation of users and subchannels to vector components in case of OFDM-OFDMA.

VOI. 10, NO. 3 . July-August 1999

J. Lindner

8 users group 1

8 users group 1

8 users group 1

8 users group 4

a users
group 4

8 users group 4

8 users group 4

Figure 8: Vector components in case of OFDM-OFDMA; 8 users, 4 subchannelsper user.

Figure9: Vector components in case of MC-CDMA; 8 users, 4 subchannelsper user.





To get frequency diversity into the OFDM-OFDMA scheme, the energy used to transmit a symbol +,(k) must be spread over some OFDM subchannels. As a consequence, these subchannels are occupied by one symbol only. In order to get the same data rate as in the unspread case, further symbol must be transmitted in the same way over the same subchannels. Spreading over 8 subchannels e.g. means that 7 further symbols have to be transmitted at the same time over these 8 subchannels. Different spreading codes are needed then to provide a means for the separation of the different symbols at the receiving side. The multiplexing method resulting from this approach is CDM. MC-CDMA now means that the symbols transmitted with CDM over the OFDM subchannels come from different users. So CDM becomes its multiple access equivalent, i.e. CDMA. In general it is not necessary to spread over all OFDM subchannels, so the method can be repeated on further groups of OFDM subchannels. In this way each user can transmit symbols in parallel over the groups. Each group defines a new type of subchannel for the users. With the OFDM-OFDMA example from before, a corresponding MC-CDMA example would be
number of subchannels per user: NSC = 4 number of CDMA users: M,, = 8 resulting subchannels in total: M = 32 Here groups with 8 OFDM subchannels were taken to define NSC = 4 (new OFDMIOCDM) subchannels per user. So one user subchannel covers 8 OFDM subchannels (or frequencies). Within each of the Nsc = 4 groups, the Adts = 8 users are separated by CDM. Fig. 9 illustrates these relations. The effect of spreading shall be explained a little bit more in detail. Fig. 10 shows a two-dimensionional ex358

ample (2 OFDM subchannels). A binary antipodal transmission with symbols + j ( k ) = $1 or q ( k ) = -1 was assumed for both subcannels (i = 1,2). This leads to 4 points in the plane at the left in Fig. 10, i.e. to 4 possible values for the input vector ~ ( k ) . Now it is assumed that the frequency-selective behavior of the channel fades out one of the subchannels. As a result, at the input of the receiver (no noise) one dimension vanishes and pairs of two points fall together. The minimum euklidean distance becomes zero and, as a consequence, the above-mentioned error floor occurs, also for optimum detection. This is in contrast to a MC-CDMA transmission. Spreading means a normalized orthogonal (orthonormal) transformation of the vectors g(k ) before transmission over the OFDM channel. This is equivalent with a rotation in space. For 2 dimensions it is easy to choose this rotation such that the resulting minimum euklidean distance at the input of the receiver is maximized. A transmission with 4 ASK in the remaining axis results, without any error floor. Only rotations by 90 degree lead again to minimum distances of zero, but those cases mean no spreading. Argumentations like these were also used in [28], [29] and [301 and in [31], [32] and [33]. The spreading of the symbols to be transmitted over some of the OFDM subchannels can be expressed by a multiplication with a spreading matrix UO, see also Fig. 10:

;C,b.rC-CDiCrA(k) is now the sequence of symbol vectors to be transmitted with MC-CDMA while g o F D M ( k ) means a transmission with OFDM. Therefore the inner part of a MC-CDMA transmission (i.e. the OFDM transmission) can be described by


MC-CDMA and General Multiuser Transmission of this IUI the detection algorithm must have an equalization component. Its complexity depends on the extend of spreading, which is again identical with the size of a submatrix. All block detection methods mentioned in section 2.4 can be used for MC-CDMA detection.

1 Zq 1
ma1 transspreading

/ P



Figure 10: The effect of spreading in case of MC-CDMA; 2 subchunnels, subchannel 2$1ded out.

After receiving the &FD,\f ing side is despreading:

( k ) , the next step at the receiv-

The last line of this equation uses the abbreviations

This derivation says that the MC-CDMA matrix R,\lC-CDI\rA can be calculated from the OFDM matrix in a simple way by a multiplication of R O F D M with U,'* from the left and with Uo from the right. The spreading matrix has the same structure as the matrix in Fig. 9 and spreading corresponds to the submatrices shown there. The submatrices are usually taken to be Walsh Hadamard (WH). Because the groups of vector components belonging to different submatrices are separated by the OFDM orthogonality, all WH submatrices can be the same. With respect to a user, the different groups define the new subchannels, which now belong to the MC-CDMA scheme. In the example of Fig. 9 every user has NSC = 4 of those new subchannels. From this definition of MC-CDMA it follows that the groups of vector components corresponding to different submatrices remain orthogonal to each other (no ISCI) while - due to spreading by the submatrices and the multipath channel - inside such groups IUI occurs. Because
Vol. 10, NO. 4, July-Augu~t1999

As mentioned above, in many cases pure OFDM can lead to lower realization complexity than alternative transmission methods. The price for this advantage is a sensitivity to frequency-selective fading on the radio channel. Without channel coding an unacceptable error floor in the BER curves might occur. But, as explained, spreading can help in this situation and the question arises, how far channel coding can take the role of the explicit spreading discussed so far. In [34], [25] and [35] MC-CDMA was compared with OFDM-TDMA/OFDM-FDMA with respect to bandwidth and power efficiency. Rate compatible punctured convolutional (RCPC) codes [36] with memory 6 were used and independent Rayleigh fading was assumed for the OFDM subchannels. Although the detection method was suboptimum (equalization and decoding separated), a gain in power or in bandwidth efficiency was achieved in favour of MC-CDMA. As an example, for a fully loaded system more than 3 dB gain was obtained for a code rate of 2/3 and a BER of In future this gain might increase with better detection algorithms. See also the example explained and discussed in section 3.4. Compared with OFDM-OFDMA, it can be said that MC-CDMA seems to be the better solution for code rates above about 1/2, at the cost of increased complexity. But methods like the RNN mentioned in section 2.4 are very promising, especially if a proper concatenation with channel decoding - is made. This is a topic of current research and results will published in the near future.

Remark 1 In [31] the relation between spreading and coding was considered too. Like in the simple 2-dimensional example of Fig. 10 euclidean distances were calculated at the receiver input, but for 12 dimensions. It was demonstrated that spreading increases the minimum distance. The physical channel used in this example had a time-invariant frequency-selective transfer function. For code rates above 1/2 the conclusion was the same as above: The performance of coded OFDM will be worse compared with a transmission, in which the symbols cover a wider frequency range. In [33] the same topic was deepened and channel capacity arguments were discussed to support the statement. A lower bound for the BER curves in case of coded MC-CDMA is a BER curve resulting from a transmission with the same coding over an AWGN channel. In [15] it

J. Lindner
matrices R improve for OFDMA with an increasing number L of antennas. In case of only one antenna, a frequencyselective behavior of some transfer functions can be seen. The situation improves for an increasing number of antennas. For L = 4 the effect of the frequency-selective behav-

user 8
1 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

1 4
0 0

m antenna 4
1 receiver up to 4 antennas


user 1, subchannel 1


user 8, subchannel 1

1O m
8 transmitters 1 peruser

Figure I 1: Indoor commrincation scenario with 8 users and up to 4 receiving antennas.

user 1, subchannel2

1 antenna


2 antennas

was demonstrated that spreading in time and equalization with an IBDFE transforms a Rayleigh fading channel into a set of parallel AWGN channels. As a consequence, the resulting coding gain - i.e. the gain in of a coded transmission compared to an uncoded one - is the same as for a transmission over a pure AWGN channel. Therefore all codes for AWGN channels can be taken. The remaining loss was only due to the suboptimum equalizer. Similarconsiderations have been made in [28], [29] and [30], especially for the Rayleigh fading channel.

3 antennas

4 antennas

Remark 2 The concatenation of coding and spreading at the transmit side may be considered as a concatenation of two codes. Spreading is then a code with rate 1 in the field of complex (or real) numbers. But this will not change the problem, because a decoding algorithm for this rate 1 code is identical with equalization and the problem of finding an optimum decoding algorithm for the concatenated code is identical with that of optimum detection discussed so far, i.e. with an optimum combination of equalization and decoding. 3.4 EXAMPLES, PERFORMANCE
A simple indoor communication scenario, see Fig. 11,

Figure 12: OFDM-OFDMA channel matrices for an increasing number of untennas; no inner walls.


1 antenna 2 antennas

was taken as an example to obtain BER curves for OFDMOFDMA and MC-CDMA. A center frequency of 60 GHz was chosen and the transmission bandwidth was 200 MHz. 8 users and 4 subchannels per user were taken, like in the examples given above. The number L of receiving antennas at the input of the multiuser / multiantenna receiver was varied from I to 4. Figs. 12 to 21 show simulation results for the reception of users 2 and 4 for the case without the two inner walls. Every user had one line-of-sight (LOS) path to each receiving antenna and further paths occur due to reflections at the walls of the room. So multipath propagation will be present, resulting in more or less frequency-selective transfer functions. Fig. 12 shows in a qualitative way how the

3 antennas

4 antennas

Figure 13: MC-CDMA channel rnotrices for un increasing nnmber oJantenntrs; no inner w a l k


MC-CDMA and General Multiuser Transmission

OFDM-OFDMA, user 2, without walls ior vanishes to some extend because of different individual channel impulse responses. Fig. 13 illustrates the improve1 ment of R for MC-CDMA. As explained above, each of the 8 users is within one of the 4 submatrices. So it will be BER sufficient to discuss only one of the 8 x 8 submatrices. The lo- remaining 3 submatrices within one matrix R constitute the other 3 subchannels of each user. Due to spreading and multipath propagation the submatrices are fully occupied. 10-2 As a consequence, equalization must be part of the detection algorithm, which tries to separate the 8 users. But, as 10-3 the number of receiving antennas increases, the non-main diagonal entries in R become smaller compared with the ones on the main diagonal, i.e. equalization becomes eas10-4 ier. 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 Figs. 14 and 15 show the BER curves corresponding to Figs. 12 and 13 for a BPSK transmission and the reEb / No in dB ception of user 2. ML equalization was used in case of MC-CDMA. The solid curves are without coding and the dashed ones for a coded transmission. A punctured con- Figure 14: Bit error rates for OFDM-OFDMA, L: number of receiving antennas; dashed curve: convolutional codvolutional code of rate 213 and memory 6 was taken and ing, memory 6, rate 2/3. soft decision ML decoding. The code was derived from a base code with rate 112. BER and were averaged over the 4 parallel subchannels of user 2 and the curves First tests with higher code rates and one antenna show, were normalized with respect to the diversity gain resulting as expected, that also in the case of user 4 the difference from more than one receiving antenna. As a reference the in performance between MC-CDMA and OFDM-OFDMA uncoded BPSK curve for a transmission over an AWGN increases. For user 2, higher code rates than 213 lead to a (Additive White Gaussian Noise) channel is plotted (dot- performance, which is too bad from an application point of ted line, AWGN) and also the AWGN curve for the coded view. transmission. A two-sided noise power density of No was Figs. 18 to 21 show BER curves for the more complitaken for all BER curves. cated scenario with the inner walls present, see Fig. 11. In For OFDM-OFDMA, as expected, the uncoded curves contrast to the case without these inner walls, shadowing is tend to become steeper with an increasing number of anpossible now. Some transmit signals reach a certain receivtennas. Because of the strong frequency-selective behaving antenna via reflections only, with a greater loss. Any ior, also in case of 4 antennas, there is a remaining distance to the AWGN curve of about 4 dB for a BER of MC-CDMA, user 2, without walls The AWGN curve is a lower bound. MC-CDMA performs much better in this situation. Because of the inherent fre1 quency diversity contained in the MC-CDMA scheme the BER AWGN curve will be approached already with one antenna. If the number of antennas increases in case of MC-CDMA, lo- only the power gain of the additional antennas becomes effective, but due to normalization this has no effect on the 10-2 BER curves shown here. convolutional coding, The coded transmissions (dashed curves) show a simI 0-3 ilar tendency. Only the coded curves for one antenna are shown and as a reference the curve for the coded transmission over an AWGN channel. For OFDM-OFDMA 10-4 and user 2 there is a coding gain, but, due to the strong 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 frequency-selective behavior, there is a remaining loss of Eb / No in dB 4 dB compared with the coded AWGN curve. The uncoded BER curves for MC-CDMA are already excellent, but the coding gain is comparable with the coding gain for Figure 15: Bit error rcitesfor MC-CDMA, L: number of receiving the AWGN channel. For user 4, the channel is better and antennas: dcished curve: convoliitioncil coding, mernthe difference between OFDM-OFDMA amd MC-CDMA oty 6. rate 2/3. becomes smaller.

VOI. 10, NO. 4, July-AuguSt 1999

36 1



aP U! O N / 93

9 P u! O N / q3

81 91 PC

Zl 01 8

9 P Z

8 1 91 P1

I1 01 8 9 P Z

c-0 1

c-01 1-01

z-0 1 1-0 1

8 P u! ON / q3

HP U! ON I q3

81 91 P1 21 01 8

c-01 z-0 1
c-0 1
839 1

81 91 PL I1 01 8

p-01 E-01 1.0 1

MC-CDMA and General Multiuser Transmission

OFDMA, user 4, with wails 1


: .

; .

; .

; .



2 4
6 8 10 12 14 16 18 Eb / No in dB


Figure 20: Bit error rates for OFDM-OFDMA, L: number of receiving antennas; dashed curve: convolutional coding, memory 6,rate 2/3.

come smaller. The bandwidth of 200 MHz used in this example might be considered too large with regard to applications. But the room modeled here with ray tracing was to small to get frequency-selective transfer functions in case of, e.g. 20 MHz bandwidth. In case of 20 MHz some receiving antennas might be located such, that no or nearly no signal of some users may be received, because the frequencyselective behavior of the radio channel may fade out all frequency components within this 20 MHz band. On the other hand, a room with 10 times the dimensions of the

one assumed here, could lead to similar results for 20 MHz bandwidth. Concerning the coded OFDM-OFDMA transmission it must be mentioned that interleaving in frequency direction was used. Because one user had only 4 OFDM subchannels, this interleaving could be over these 4 subchannels only. This is in contrast to MC-CDMA, where no coding in subchannel direction was needed, because of the CDMA component with its spreading over 8 frequencies: The 4 MC-CDMA subchannels belonging to every user had approximately the same quality. Otherwise the AWGN curve were not reached for the uncoded MC-CDMA transmissions. Without performance loss, allocations of single (instead of 4) subchannels to users would be possible in case of MC-CDMA, while for OFDM-OFDMA user 2 could not be received in case of one antenna. Coding could not help, because of the error-floor, see Fig. 14 and 15. The superiority of MC-CDMA compared to OFDMOFDMA is obvious in these examples, also in case of coding. Of course, this conclusion cannot be generalized, because in case of only little or no frequency-selective behavior of the channels the frequency diversity of MCCDMA may become obsolete. But the gain in obtainable by spreading for this non-time varying example scenario is comparable with the gain for time-variant channels reported in [25] and [35].




MC-CDMA, user 4, with walls



10-3 1o


2 4

6 8 10 12 14 16 18
Eb / No in dB

Figure 2 I : B i t error rates for MC-CDMA, L: number ofreceiving cintennas: dashed curve: convolutional coding, memon, 6, rate 213.

The ILI components of the vectors g(k) correspond to the total number of subchannels available in the system. Different allocations of subchannels to users lead to different systems from an application point of view. The example in Fig. 9 can be taken to discuss this. MC-CDMA in its original sense means that the components within the groups in Fig. 9 belong to different users, while every user has one component in all groups. In the example shown in this figure, there are 8 users with 4 subchannels per user. An alternative allocation could be (for the same matrix R k 1 c - c ~ !) ~ to ~ take the 8 components in each of the 4 groups as components of one user. This allocation results in 4 users with 8 subchannels per user. The matrix will not change, but this alternative should be termed OCDM-OFDMA, because the user access is now with OFDMA while the subchannels for every user are created by multiplexing with OCDM. In [37] this scheme has been proposed, but the terminology used there was SSMC-MA (Spread Spectrum Multicarrier Multiple Access). In practice OCDM-OFDMA can lead to less realization complexity compared with MC-CDMA. The reason for this is that in case of OCDM-OFDMA orthogononality is given

VO~.10. NO. 1.July-August 1999

J. Lindner

between users. One user has to process only that part of all OFDM subchannels over which the spreading is done. In the example of Fig. 9 this part consists of 8 OFDM subchannels instead of 32 for MC-CDMA. So the detection algorithm has to work with vectors at its input, having only 8 components instead of 4 . 8 = 32. Also channel estimation has to done for one physical channel only. And another fact may be important for the uplink-case. Due to real oscillators, unavoidable frequency shifts between the (mobile) transmitters and the base station receiver will occur. OCDM-CDMA has then the advantage that there is only one frequency shift in the transmission-reception chain for one user. But this assumes that the frequencies used for the one OCDM transmission are in one band; frequency interleaving can be done only within a group.

matrix 1 (first OFDM subchannel, frequency f l ) the following holds in the case of one receiving antenna:

= [Tl,iI]


= Hi(fl)Hl(fl)cp:(O), i,! = 1,...,


There are two techniques which are strongly related to MC-CDMA. The first is MC-DS-CDMA (DS: Direct Sequence)[38], [ 5 ] and the second is MT-CDMA (MultiTone-CDMA) [6]. The group of all three was given the name MC-SSMA (SSMA: Spread Spectrum Multiple Access), because all three use spread spectrum techniques in conjunction with MC methods [12].

MC-DS-CDMA In this scheme, every subchannel of a MC transmission is used by all users in the same way with CDMA for user separation. To maintain the orthogonality between the subcarriers, spreading is done in time direction. As a consequence, a symbol z i (k)of the MC transmission becomes a chip of a CDMA spreading sequence. For N being the length of the spreading sequence, of course, the transmission rate on a subchannel is lowered by the factor N compared with the unspread case. To increase the transmission rate for each user. Nsc parallel transmissions of this kind are taken on the same number N s c of MC subchannels. The structure of the resulting channel matrix R is the same as for MC-CDMA, see Fig. 6. The size of the submatrices within R is N x N and there are Nsc such submatrices. Each submatrix corresponds to one MC subchannel. A fully loaded system therefore means M t z = N users, like in a common CDMA system. In general the submatrices will be non-diagonal, so equalization is required: Every component in the received vector, which corresponds to a certain submatrix, may be a linear combination of all transmitted components belonging to that submatrix. But this effect is caused by the correlation properties of the set of spreading sequences only, not by the physical channel, like in case of MC-CDMA. For a set of orthogonal sequences no equalization is needed. On the other hand this means that MC-DS-CDMA has no frequency diversity. If OFDM is taken as a basis, the physical channel affects each submatrix as a whole. As an example, for sub364

H,(f,)is the transfer function of the physical channel from the transmitting antenna of user p to the receiving antenna and IU is the number of users. The &(O) are the crosscorrelation functions between the spreading sequences of user i and 1. As a consequence, if one transfer function becomes zero - because of a frequency-selective behavior - a total submatrix will vanish. Equalization is needed only, if the system of spreading sequences is nonorthogonal. For MC-DS-CDMA an OFDM subchannel being faded out leads to a fade-out of all user symbols on that subchannel and without coding an unacceptable residual bit error rate would result. This is in contrast to MC-CDMA where equalization is needed, but the BER tends to zero with increasing transmit power. So different systems with the same structtrres of channel matrices and the same meaning of vector components does not mean that the systems are identical. The sensitivity of MC-DS-CDMA to frequencyselective channels can be avoided, if no guard time is used within the length of one spreading sequence. In this case the spreading sequences are multiplied with the complex exponentials of the MC scheme to form a new system ui ( t )of spreading sequences. The spectra of these new sequences wont be narrow any longer, resulting in frequency diversity, also if a guard time is taken at the and of each transmitted sequence. But then this scheme becomes identical with the more general OCDM transmission described in [32], see also 14 (Fazel). For MC subchannels with Rayleigh fading a spreading in time direction like in MC-DS-CDMA may be of advantage. This has been demonstrated in [ 151.
MT-CDMA Multitone-CDMA was originally proposed in [6]. In this scheme each user generates in a first step an OFDM signal with N subchannels. In a second step this OFDM signal is then multipled by a user-specific spreading code with L chips. For a spreading code with f l chips and a chip-syncronous transmission over an ideal physical channel (no multipath propagation), the orthogonality between the subcarriers will not be affected. Due to multipath propagation on the physical channel and non-zero crosscorrelation between spreading sequences the signals of different users will not be orthogonal in general. So the resulting channel matrix R(k) might have the same general structure as in case of CDMA, see Fig. 5. With appropriate detection techniques like those mentioned in section 2.4, users can be separated; see also [39]. For the user-synchronous case a structure as for OCDM results and block detection methods can be used.


MC-CDMA and General Multiuser Transmission the channel. Without channel coding an unacceptable error floor is unavoidable in many situations. Additionally, there might be applications where a conventional OFDM transmission was specified, but the multipath spread for the given application is too large. One way to cope with these effects is to define a MC transmission like OFDM, but without any guard time. Then equalization is needed, like in case of MC-CDMA. In [27] this is discussed in more detail. The result of this discussion is that the performance can be improved compared with pure OFDM, at the expense of increased complexity at the receiving side. 4.3 MC-CDMA AND SINGLE CARRIER TRANSIf the number of carriers in a MC transmission without MISSION guard time is reduced to one, a single carrier transmission ( 15) describes the spreading used for MC-CDMA and transmission results and the IBI becomes normal ISI. (18) the resulting relation between the channel matrices for the inner OFDM transmission and the outer MC-CDMA 4.5 EXTENDED MC-CDMA transmission. ROFDM in (18) can be expressed as follows While spreading in frequency direction gives frequency ROFDM = F . R H H F- . (21) diversity - which is of advantage in case of frequencyF is the fourier matrix, representing the fourier transform, selective channels - spreading in time results in time diversity, being of advantage in case of time-selective channels, and R H H= H T * H , with H being a cyclic matrix cone.g. Rayleigh fading channels. If a frequency-selective taining cyclic shifted versions of sampled channel impulse channel is time-varying, both effects may be present. In responses in its columns [I 11. (21) can be put into (18) this case spreading in frequency and time may be used. A with the result more detailed description of a MC-CDMA scheme generalized in this way (Extended MC-CDMA) can be found R M C - C D M= A UF ROFDM . Uo in [41] and [14]. = u,T* . F . R H H . F- . U, (22) User-synchronous and user-asynchronous transmission, with and without guard time There are further possible variants of all methods with respect to the synchonity of users and guard time. If users are asynchron, the channel matrix R(L) is no longer identical with R(0) . S ( k ) . In this case for transmissions with guard time, only the matrices for k = - 1 and k = 1will be non-zero matrices. Without guard time the sequence R(k) might become longer, but this depends on the special parameters and the delay spread of the physical channels. With the definition




U = F- . Uo
(22) can be written as


There are many possibilities to combine OFDM (or MC) transmission and multiple access schemes. The above mentioned combination of OFDM and TDMA - i.e. OFDM-TDMA - is a good example. because of its simplicity in practical applications. To consider those other combinations would go beyond the scope of this contribution.




U can be interpreted as a matrix containing spreading functions in time domain. For the WH sequences commonly used for MC-CDMA U contains the inverse fourier transforms of these sequences. Such spreading in time domain with any kind of spreading functions was introduced in [32] as orthogonal code division multiplexing (OCDM). If U is defined to be an identity matrix (or UO = F ) , then a single carrier transmission within the blocks results. A common single carrier transmission is given, if the block size tends to infinity. More about this can be found in [33]. For the duality of MC-CDMA and single carrier transmission see also [40].



For OFDM in its pure form only a very simple kind of equalization is needed at the receiving side, because R is a diagonal matrix in that case. As explained above, the price for this advantage is a sensitivity against frequency selectivity, which corresponds to a multipath propagation on
Vol. 10. NO. 4. July-August 1999

Transmission and multiple access methods based on OFDM will probably play an important role in future wireless communication systems, especially in the indoor environment. Therefore, MC-CDMA and its variants could be of interest. This is supported by the fact that spreading, despreading and detection can be done without changing an inner OFDM-OFDMA transmission - like in case of channel coding. Moreover, many kinds of spreading functions are possible. Fourier spreading e.g. transforms an OFDM transmission into a single carrier transmission within the block. Compared with other techniques using implicit frequency diversity, e.g. single carrier transmissions, MC-CDMA has the advantage that the extend of

J. Lindner
spreading can be adapted to the channel and the detection can be less complex. With respect to realization complexity, the variant OCDM-OFDMA (or SS-MC-MA) should be prefered. OFDM-TDMA can be improved in the same manner by changing the OFDM part with spreading into OCDM so that the combination OCDM-TDMA results. For downlink transmissions, the trade-off between complexity and performance seems to be an important point, because mobile units should be as simple as possible. For the uplink, multiple receiving antennas can support the detection in a substantial way and they can improve the power efficiency. This could be of importance for mobile units with its low power budget. The indoor scenario example discussed in section 3.4 has shown that a fully loaded uncoded MC-CDMA system can reach AWGN performance already with one receiving antenna while OFDM-OFDMA needs 4 or more antennas. The comparison of coded transmissions leads to a similar conclusion. Like in the uncoded case MC-CDMA is more robust than OFDM-OFDMA with respect to different locations and situations given in an indoor environment. Due to finite accuracies of the oscillators, a mutual frequency shift between the mobiles and the base station receiver will be unavoidable. In this case, multiuser detection at the base station might become difficult for MC-CDMA. But the OCDM-OFDMA variant, which means only a different allocation of subchannels to users compared with MC-CDMA, could also be a good solution in this context. Furthermore, channel estimation becomes simpler then. It was the aim of this paper to raise the interest in spreading techniques in the context of OFDM and to show that spreading gives an additional gain in power (or bandwidth) efficiency compared with pure OFDM-OFDMA for mobile radio scenarios. But the intention was also to demonstrate how MC-CDMA and its variants can be viewed in the context of more general multiuser / multisubchannel transmission systems, which can be modeled in a straightforward way by a vector-valued transmission. This allows a quick understanding of the relations between many proposals of old and new variants of transmission schemes proposed in this context.

[ I ] M. Shafi et al. Wireless Communication in the Twenty-First Century: A Perspective. Proc. ofthe IEEE, Vol. 85, No. 10, pages 1622-1638,1997.
[2] A. Chouly, A. Brajal, and S. Jourdan. Orthogonal Multicarrier Technique applied to Direct Sequence Spread Sprectrum CDMA Systems. Proc. lEEE Globecom, Nov. 1993, pages 1723-1728,1993. [3] N. Yee, J. P. Linnartz, and G. Fettweiss. Multicamer CDMA in Indoor Wireless Radio Networks. PIMRC '93, Yokohama, pages 109-113,1993. [4] K. Fazel. Performance of CDMNOFDM for Mobile Communication Systems. Proc. ICUPC '93, pages 975-979, 1993.

[ 5 ] S. Kondo and L. B. Milstein.. On the use of multicamer direct sequence spread spectrum systems. Proc. IEEE MILCOM '93, Boston, USA, pages52-56, 1993.
[6] L. Vandendorpe. Multitone direct sequence CDMA system in an indoor wireless environment. Proc. IEEE First Symposium on Communications and Vehicular Technology, Delft, The Netherlands, pages, 1993. [7] M. Schnell. Interference Calculations for MC-SSMA Systems in Mobile Communications. PIMRC '95, Toronto, Canada, Septernber27-29, 1, pages 158-163.1995. [8] K. Fazel, S . Kaiser, and M. Schnell. A Flexible and High Performance Cellular Mobile Communications System Based on Orthogonal Multi-Carrier SSMA. Wireless Personal Cimmunicarions, pages 121-144, 1995. [9] M. Schnell and S. Kaiser. Diversity Considerations for MCCDMA Systems in Mobile Communications. Pmc. ISSSTA '96, Mainz, Germany, September 22-25, 1998, 1996.
[ 101 J. Lindner. MC-CDMA and its Relation to General Multiuser/Multi s u bc han ne I Transmission Sy ste rns . Proc. ISSSTA

'96, Mainz, Germany, September 22-25, I , pages 115-120, 1996.

1 I ] J. Lindner. Multi-Carrier Spread Spectrum: An Attractive

Special Case of General Multiuser/Multisubchannel Transmission Methods . Multi-Carrier Spread-Sprectrurn, K. Faze1 and G.P. Fetrweis (eds.). Kluver Academic Publishers, The Netherlands, pages 3-12, 1997. 121 K. Fazel and G.P.Fettweis (eds.). Multi-Camer SpreadSprectmm. Kluver Academic Publishers, The Netherlands, 1997.
[ 131 J. Lindner, M. Nold, W. G. Teich, and M. Schreiner. MC-

The author acknowledges the direct and indirect contributions of Andreas Bury, Jochem Egle, Achim Engelhart, Michael Nold, Dr. Markus Reinhardt and Dr. Werner Teich. Special thank is due to Jochem Egle, who reviewed this text and also to Michael Nold and Carmen Agueros who did the simulations presented in section 3.4.

CDMA and OFDMA for Indoor Communications: The Influence of Multiple Receiving Antennas. ISSSTA '98, Sun City, South Africa, September 02-04, pages 189-194.1998.
[ 141 M. Reinhardt. Kombinierre vektorielle Entzerrungs- und Decodierverfahren. Fortschr. Ber. VDI Reihe 10 No. 519.

VDI Verlag, Dusseldorf, 1997.

[ 151 M. Reinhardt and J. Lindner. Transformation of a Rayleigh fading channel into a set of parallel AWGN channels and its advantage for coded transmission. Electronics Letters. Vol. 3 I , NO. 25. pages 2 154-2 15.5, 1995.

hlnnrtscript received on Jnniinry 29, 1999



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