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Reducing the Peak-to-Average Power Ratio of


OFDM Signals Through Precoding
ARTICLE in IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON VEHICULAR TECHNOLOGY APRIL 2007
Impact Factor: 2.64 DOI: 10.1109/TVT.2007.891409 Source: IEEE Xplore

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686

IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON VEHICULAR TECHNOLOGY, VOL. 56, NO. 2, MARCH 2007

Reducing the Peak-to-Average Power Ratio of


OFDM Signals Through Precoding
Slimane Ben Slimane, Member, IEEE

AbstractOrthogonal-frequency-division-multiplexing (OFDM)
techniques allow the transmission of high data rates over broadband radio channels subject to multipath fading without the need
for powerful channel equalization. However, they are very sensitive to nonlinear effects due to the high peak-to-average power
ratio (PAPR) owned by their transmitted signals. This paper
proposes an efficient technique for reducing the PAPR of OFDM
signals. The proposed technique is data-independent and, thus,
does not require new processing and optimization for each transmitted OFDM block. The reduction in PAPR of the OFDM signal
is obtained through a proper selection of a precoding scheme that
distributes the power of each modulated symbol over the OFDM
block. The obtained results show that this precoding scheme is
an attractive solution to the PAPR problem of OFDM signals.
It is shown, through computer simulations, that the PAPR of
precoded OFDM signals approaches that of single-carrier signals.
The good improvement in PAPR given by the present technique
permits the reduction of the complexity and cost of the transmitter
significantly. The precoding schemes also take advantage of the
frequency variations of the communication channel and can provide considerable performance gain in fading-multipath channels.
Index TermsBandwidth efficiency, diversity gain, fading
multipath, low complexity, orthogonal-frequency-divisionmultiplexing (OFDM), peak-to-average power ratio (PAPR),
power efficiency, precoding.

I. I NTRODUCTION

IRELESS digital communications is rapidly expanding,


resulting in a demand for wireless systems that are
reliable and have a high spectral efficiency. Orthogonal frequency division multiplexing (OFDM) has been considered as
a promising candidate to achieve high rate data transmission
in a mobile environment. Recently, OFDM systems have been
applied for fixed and mobile transmission. Some examples
of existing systems, where OFDM is used, are digital audio and video broadcasting, asymmetric-digital-subscriber-line
modems, and wireless local-area-networks systems, such as
the IEEE 802.11 and Hiperlan/2 [1][3]. Additionally, OFDM
is being considered for future broadband applications such

Manuscript received November 23, 2004; revised July 4, 2005, October 26,
2005, and February 21, 2006. The review of this paper was coordinated by
Prof. G. Saulnier.
The author is with the Radio Communication Systems Group, Department
of Communication Systems, the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), 100 44
Stockholm, Sweden (e-mail: slimane@radio.kth.se).
Color versions of one or more of the figures in this paper are available online
at http://ieeexplore.ieee.org.
Digital Object Identifier 10.1109/TVT.2007.891409

as wireless asynchronous-transfer mode (ATM) and fourthgeneration transmission techniques.


Due to the large number of subcarriers, OFDM systems have
a large dynamic signal range with a very high peak-to-average
power ratio (PAPR). As a result, the OFDM signal will be
clipped when passed through a nonlinear power amplifier at
the transmitter end. Clipping degrades the bit-error-rate (BER)
performance and causes spectral spreading [4], [5]. One way to
solve this problem is to force the amplifier to work in its linear
region. Unfortunately, such a solution is not power efficient.
Power efficiency is necessary in wireless communication as
it provides adequate area coverage, saves power consumption,
and allows small-size terminals. It is, therefore, important to
aim at a power efficient operation of the power amplifier with
low back-off values and try to prevent the occurrence of signal
clipping. This can be done through some manipulations of the
OFDM signal before transmission.
To achieve the above objective, several proposals have been
suggested and studied in the literature. For instance, we find
clipping with filtering, block coding, optimization with tone
reservation (TR), and selected mapping [6][14]. However,
most of these methods try to exploit the subcarrier symbols of
the OFDM block by creating some correlation between them.
As a result, the reduction in PAPR achieved by these techniques
is relative and is obtained at the expense of either an additional
complexity to the OFDM transceiver, a high coding overhead,
and/or the need of some kind of transmitter/receiver symbol
handshake. Signal companding is another method that has been
proposed and studied in the literature [15], [16]. Companding is
a nonlinear transformation applied on the OFDM signal giving
quite low PAPR values. However, such a nonlinearity operation
destroys the OFDM orthogonality property and degrades its
performance, especially in fading-multipath channels. Other
possible alternative solutions is then to try to exploit other
parameters of the OFDM signal. Exploiting the subcarrier
waveforms of the OFDM signal appears as an attractive solution
for reducing the PAPR of OFDM signals. This approach has the
potential of reducing the PAPR of the OFDM signal without
affecting the bandwidth efficiency of the system and, thus,
leaves the chance to use coding for channel protection. Such
an approach has been adopted in [17], where a set of subcarrier
waveforms was proposed. It has been shown that the PAPR of
OFDM signals can be reduced if the subcarrier waveforms have
different shapes. It has also been shown in [17] that subcarrier
waveform shaping in OFDM is a form of precoding scheme,
where each OFDM block is linearly transformed by a shaping
matrix before modulation and transmission. In the literature,

0018-9545/$25.00 2007 IEEE

SLIMANE: REDUCING THE PEAK-TO-AVERAGE POWER RATIO OF OFDM SIGNALS THROUGH PRECODING

precoding has been considered as a way of maximizing the


diversity gain of OFDM signals and of trying to take advantage
of the frequency selectivity of the multipath-fading channel
[18][22]. For instance, in [18], linear constellation precoding
(LCP), together with subcarrier grouping, has been designed
to maximize both diversity and coding gains. It has been
shown that subcarrier grouping can reduce the complexity of
the receiver without affecting the maximum possible diversity
and coding gains. However, Liu et al. [18] did not investigate
the implication of LCP on the signal variations of the OFDM
signal. Clearly, regardless of the LCP scheme used, the PAPR of
the OFDM will increase as the number of subgroup increases.
This has been shown in [19], where the numerical results
showed that the lowest PAPR ratio is obtained when only
one group is used. However, using LCP with only one group
will make the receiver too complex and limits the number of
subcarriers that can be used. In fact, the precoder proposed
in [19] was designed based on maximizing the diversity gain
and minimizing the PAPR of the OFDM signal simultaneously.
However, their design procedure is quite different from the
method proposed in this paper.
In this paper, we consider precoding as a way of reducing
the PAPR of OFDM transmitted signals. Precoding in OFDM
systems consists of multiplying the modulated data of each
OFDM block by a precoding matrix before OFDM modulation
[inverse discrete Fourier transform (IDFT)] and transmission.
A predefined precoding matrix is used in the OFDM system,
and thus, no handshake is needed between the transmitter and
the receiver. Having the same precoding matrix for all OFDM
blocks will also avoid all the processing needed in block-based
optimization methods. A design procedure for good precoding
schemes is proposed and analyzed in this paper. We will show
that it is possible to reduce the PAPR of OFDM signals through
precoding without destroying the detectability property of the
different symbols of the OFDM block. The obtained results
show that, with a good precoding matrix, the PAPR of OFDM
modulated signals can be made very close to that of singlecarrier signals. With a small overhead, the obtained PAPR
results are better than that obtained in [19].
This paper is organized as follows. In Section II, the OFDM
system model is introduced. Definition of the PAPR of OFDM
signals and the design procedure of the precoding scheme are
described in Section III followed by some illustrative examples.
The performance of the precoded OFDM signal in fadingmultipath channels is treated in Section IV. Some discussions
and conclusions are given in Section V.
II. S YSTEM M ODEL
An OFDM system with multiple phase-shift-keying (MPSK)
modulation and a total of N baseband-modulated symbols per
OFDM block is considered in this paper. As shown in Fig. 1,
the transmitter consists of a baseband (complex) modulator
followed by a precoder and the conventional OFDM modulator
(IDFT). The incoming information data is first modulated in
baseband using a bandwidth-efficient modulation (MPSK-type
modulation). The baseband-modulated stream, with data rate
1/Ts , is grouped into blocks of length N symbols each. Each

687

Fig. 1. Transmitter block diagram of the precoded OFDM scheme.

block of symbols is then precoded by an L N precoding


matrix, denoted P , and defined as
p

0.0

p1.0
P =
..
.
pL1,0

p0,1
p1,1
..
.

..
.

p0,N 1
p1,N 1
..
.

pL1,1

pL1,N 1

(1)

where pi,j s are the entries (complex numbers) of this precoding


matrix, L = N + Np is the total number of subcarriers, and
Np is the extra subcarriers (overhead) used with 0 Np < N .
When no precoding is used, the matrix P reduces to an N N
identity matrix, and no overhead is used.
Consider, without loss of generality, the zeroth OFDM block,
and let us define the set of N baseband-modulated data symbols
of such a block by the following column matrix (vector):
X = [X0 , X1 , . . . , XN 1 ]T

(2)

where []T denotes the matrix transpose



Xi =

Es j (0 +d 2
M ),
e
T

d {0, 1, . . . , M 1}

(3)

and 0 is some initial phase.


The precoding process (matrix) transforms this vector into a
new vector of length L with
Y = P X = [Y0 , Y1 , . . . , YL1 ]T

(4)

where
Yi =

N
1


i = 0, 1, . . . , L 1.

pi,m Xm ,

(5)

m=0

These precoded symbols are then transmitted over the different


subcarriers of the OFDM-modulation scheme. In this case, the
equivalent lowpass of the OFDM transmitted signal can be
written as follows:
x(t) =

L1

i=0

Yi ej2i T ,

Tg t < T

(6)

688

IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON VEHICULAR TECHNOLOGY, VOL. 56, NO. 2, MARCH 2007

where T = N Ts is the duration of the OFDM block, and


Tg = GTs is a time guard interval introduced between consecutive OFDM blocks at the transmitter to prevent the possible
problem of intersymbol interference, which can be caused by
the communication channel, and to preserve the orthogonality
between the OFDM subcarriers. This guard interval is, in
general, ignored at the receiver before demodulation and signal
detection.
The OFDM-bandpass signal is related to its equivalent lowpass by the following expression:


s(t) =  x(t)ej2fc t

(7)

where fc is the carrier frequency.


In the linear case (when no power amplifier is used) and
for large values of number of subcarriers, the spectrum of
conventional OFDM signals goes to an ideal band-limited
rectangular spectrum. This means that the OFDM signal within
each block appears as Gaussian with very high variations from
one sample to the next. Thus, the power spectral density of the
modulated signal will be broadened by the nonlinear distortions
of a high-power amplifier. The PAPR is one way to measure
such variation of the transmitted signal.
III. PAPR OF P RECODED OFDM
The PAPR of the precoded OFDM transmitted signal of (6)
can be defined as follows:
PAPR =

max |x(t)|2
.

E |x(t)|2

(8)

The value of the above expression will depend on the kind


of precoder used at the transmitter. Our objective in this paper
is to select a precoder that minimizes the above expression.
Combining (6) and (5), the equivalent lowpass of the OFDM
transmitted signal can be rewritten as follows:
x(t) =

L1


Yi ej2i T

i=0

N
1

m=0

Xm

L1



j2i Tt

pi,m e

0 t < T (9)

i=0

where we have ignored the guard interval, for now, since it is


just an extension by periodicity.
Using the above equation in (8), we can relate the PAPR
of the OFDM signal to the different entries of the precoding
matrix. For OFDM systems with MPSK modulation schemes
and uncorrelated symbols within each OFDM block, the PAPR
of the OFDM signal at a given time instant t can be upper
bounded as follows:
1
PAPR(t)
N

2
N 1 L1

 
j2i Tt 
pi,m e




m=0 i=0

(10)

and the maximum PAPR is then obtained as


PAPRmax = max PAPR(t)
0t<T

1
max
=
N 0t<T

2
N 1 L1

 
j2i Tt 
pi,m e





(11)

m=0 i=0

where we have assumed that |Xm |2 = Es , m = 0, 1, . . . , N 1,


which represents the average-energy-per-transmitted symbol.
We notice that the PAPR of the OFDM signal is a function of
the size of the OFDM block and the entries of the precoding matrix. Since the size of the OFDM block is fixed, one can reduce
the PAPR of the signal by a proper selection of the precoding
matrix P . However, selecting the proper matrix is not an easy
task because its entries are complex numbers and they can take
any value, which makes computer-search methods very difficult
to use. Thus, before doing any precoding design, we should take
a closer look at the PAPR expression given in (10).
From (10), we define a set of time limited (complex) function
{pm (t)} as follows:


L1
j2i Tt
, 0t<T
pm (t) = i=0 pi,m e
(12)

0,
otherwise
for m = 0, 1, . . . , N 1.
With the above definition, the PAPR of the precoded OFDM
signal can be rewritten in terms of pm (t) as
1
PAPR(t)
N

N 1


2
|pm (t)|

(13)

m=0

We notice that the PAPR ratio is now related to the sum of


N positive functions within the time interval 0 t < T . This
gives some hint on how to select the entries of the precoding
matrix P . A possible solution is to make sure that the peak
amplitudes of the N functions |pm (t)|, m = 0, 1, . . . , N 1
do not occur at the same time instant within the interval of
definition. By ensuring that the peak power of the OFDM signal
can be reduced without altering the average signal power.
A possible set of functions that avoids having the peak
amplitudes to occur at the same time instant can be obtained
by selecting the different entries such that the different functions are cyclic shifts of each other within the time interval
0 t < T . In other words, we can impose the following relation between the different functions:

p0 (t mTs + T ), 0 t < mTs
(14)
pm (t) =
p0 (t mTs ),
mTs t < T
and solve for the entries of the precoding matrix P .
By letting p(t) = p0 (t), we can relate all the different functions to this mother function p(t) with


L1
t
j2 im
N ej2i T ,
0t<T
pm (t) = i=0 pi,0 e
(15)

0,
otherwise
where pi,m are the entries of the precoding matrix P in (1).

SLIMANE: REDUCING THE PEAK-TO-AVERAGE POWER RATIO OF OFDM SIGNALS THROUGH PRECODING

It is clear that if p0 (t) has only one amplitude peak, then all
the other functions will also have one amplitude peak and all the
amplitude peaks will not occur at the same time instant. Hence,
this format will certainly reduce the peak-to-average ratio of the
precoded OFDM scheme.
We also notice from the above expression that the entries
of the precoding matrix are related to each other. Furthermore,
all the entries of the different columns of the precoding matrix
are directly obtained from the entries of the first column. This
indicates that we only need to find the first column of the matrix
P , which will of course simplify the design of the precoder
considerably. In fact, from (15), we notice that having a mother
function p(t), we can extract all the entries of the precoding
matrix from p(t) as
pi,m = pi,0 ej2 N

im

j2 im
N

=e

1
T

T

p(t)e2i T dt
t

(16)

with p(t) as any of the complex functions defined within the


time interval 0 t < T .
Theorem 1: With a precoding matrix designed according
to (16), the maximum PAPR of uncoded OFDM transmitted
signals is upper bounded as
PAPRmax N

PAPRmax

1
max
=
N 0tT

N 1


2
|pm (t)|

(18)

m=0

Using the relation given in (15), the maximum PAPR of the


precoded OFDM signal becomes
1
max
=
N 0tT

PAPRmax

N 1


precoding scheme is also simple since all the entries of the


precoding matrix are obtained from its first column.
A very important property of OFDM modulation is the
separability of the N transmitted symbols of each OFDM block
at the receiver for detection. For regular OFDM, each symbol
is transmitted over a different subcarrier, and hence, symbol
separability at the receiver is ensured by the orthogonality property between the different subcarriers. In precoded OFDM, each
symbol is spread by the precoding matrix over more than one
subcarrier, as shown in (5). Hence, the orthogonality property
between the different subcarriers alone is not enough to separate
the different symbols of the block in precoded OFDM. As a result of precoding, crosstalk between the different symbols of the
block will exist at the receiver, and symbol-by-symbol detection
is no longer optimum. However, with a proper selection of the
precoding matrix, we can eliminate this possible crosstalk and
allow simple symbol-by-symbol detection for precoded OFDM
signals. This can be done by selecting the precoding matrix as
an orthogonal matrix, i.e., a precoding matrix that satisfies the
following relation:
P P = I

L1


pi,m pi,k =

i=0

1,
0,

m=k
m = k.


L1   2
i  j2(mk) i
1  
T,
N =
P
e
0,
T i=0 
T 

T

|p ( (t, m))|

(19)

p(t)ej2f t dt

(24)

is the Fourier transform of the function p(t).


For large number of subcarriers (N 1), the above condition can be approximated by an integral as


(1+)/T
 s

where
(t, m) =

(23)

m=0

t mTs + T, 0 t < mTs


t mTs ,
mTs t < T .

m=k
m = k

where
P (f ) =

(22)

Replacing pi,m by its expression given in (16) and with


some manipulations, the symbol-separability condition of the
precoded OFDM signal becomes

2

2
T
1 1

|p(t)| dt
N Ts

(21)

where I is the N N identity matrix, and P represents the


Hermitian transpose of the matrix P .
Using (1), the above condition can be written as follows:

(17)

with equality when the precoding matrix is an N N identity


matrix (no precoding).
Proof: From (13), the maximum PAPR of the precoded
OFDM transmitted signal is upper bounded as

689

|P (f )|2 ej2(mk)Ts f df =
(20)

Using Schwarz inequality in (19) and replacing Ts by T /N ,


the upper bound of (17) is obtained.

Note that with this precoding scheme, the PAPR of the
precoded OFDM signal is always reduced in comparison with
that of conventional OFDM. This improvement in PAPR is
valid for any number of subcarriers N . The design of such a

T,
0,

m=k
m = k

(25)

with = Np /N , which is just the Fourier inverse of |P (f )|2 at


time instant t = (m k)Ts . Denoting this function by q(t)
1+

Ts

|P (f )|2 ej2f t df

q(t) =
0

(26)

690

IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON VEHICULAR TECHNOLOGY, VOL. 56, NO. 2, MARCH 2007

we conclude that the symbol-separability property of OFDM is


preserved when q(t) satisfies the following criterion:

T, m = 0
q(mTs ) =
(27)
0, m = 0
which is simply the Nyquist criterion [23, p. 276].
The above conclusion indicates that in order to preserve
the symbol-separability property of the OFDM scheme, the
function p(t) should have a bandwidth of at least 1/Ts . A
bandwidth comparable to the bandwidth of the OFDM signal.
To summarize, a precoding matrix designed according to the
following two criteria.
1)
pi,m = pi,0 ej2 N

im

j2 im
N

=e

1
T

T

p(t)e2i T dt
t

with i {0, 1, . . . , L 1} and m {0, 1, . . . , N 1}.

with
(1+)/T
 s

Psrc (f )ej2f t dt

psrc (t) =
0

and
=

LN
Np
=
N
N

|P (f )|2 ej2(mk)Ts f df =

T,
0,

For large number of subcarriers N , the entries of the precoding matrix can be written as
j2 im
N

pi,m = pi,0 e

m=k
m = k

j2 im
N

=e

j2 im
N

can reduce the PAPR of the OFDM signal without altering the
symbol-separability property of the OFDM scheme.
Note that by selecting a precoding matrix satisfying (27),
we basically obtain an OFDM signal similar to a single-carrier
signal due the wide bandwidth of the set of functions {pm (t)}
and the cyclic shifting in time. However, this precoding scheme
does not remove any of the properties of OFDM, where as
discussed in the following sections, simple (single tap) equalization is still possible. It should also be mentioned that this
scheme is also different from single-carrier signals with cycle
prefix and frequency equalization [24]. In the latter, a cyclic
prefix is added at the transmitter and both fast Fourier transform
and inverse fast Fourier transform (IFFT) operators are done
at the receiver. The proposed precoded scheme in this paper is
an OFDM scheme and does not alter any of the structure and
properties of OFDM systems.
In the following example, we illustrate a possible precoding
scheme designed based on the technique just described above
and evaluate the PAPR of the corresponding precoded OFDM
signal.
A. Example
A well-known function that satisfies the Nyquist criterion is
the raised cosine function [23, p. 547]. Consider the square root
of a raised cosine function, which is denoted psrc (t), and having
a Fourier transform [23, p. 547]



Ts sin f2Ts ,
0 < f Ts

1
(28)
Psrc (f ) = Ts ,
Ts f Ts


T sin (f Ts 1) + , 1 < f 1+
s

Ts

Ts

(30)

defines the portion of extra subcarriers (overhead) used by the


precoder.
With the above definition, the entries of the precoding matrix
P can be computed according to (16) with the mother time
function p(t) defined as follows:

psrc (t T /2), 0 t < T
p(t) =
0,
otherwise.

2)
(1+)/T
 s

(29)

= (1)i e

1
Psrc
T

T

1
T

i
N Ts

p(t)e2i T dt
t


(31)

which are completely defined by the selected function. Using


(28) in the above equation and rearranging terms, the entries of
the precoding matrix become
pi,m = pi,0 ej2 N

im

with

pi,0



(1)i
i

sin

2Np ,
N

(1)i

=
,
N

(1)
cos (iN ) ,
2Np
N

(32)

0 i < Np
Np < i N
N iL1

where, as indicated earlier in this paper, L = N + Np , and


was replaced by Np /N . It is observed that once we know the
number of symbols per OFDM block N and L, we can easily
compute the entries of the precoding matrix P . The parameter
L is a design parameter and will depend on the extra subcarriers
used, since L = N + Np . It is easy to verify that this precoding
matrix satisfies the orthogonality condition given in (21). We
refer to this precoder as Precoder 1.
Another precoding scheme, referred to as Precoder 2, can be
obtained by using the raised cosine function as the base function
which has a Fourier transform [23, p. 547]



Ts sin2 fTs ,
0 < f Ts

1
(33)
Prc (f ) = Ts ,
Ts f Ts


T sin2 (f Ts 1) + , 1 < f 1+
s

instead of (28).

Ts

Ts

SLIMANE: REDUCING THE PEAK-TO-AVERAGE POWER RATIO OF OFDM SIGNALS THROUGH PRECODING

Fig. 2. Maximum PAPR ratio of the precoded OFDM signal for different
number of subcarriers. With no precoding, we have PAPRmax = 18 dB for
N = 64 and PAPRmax = 21 dB for N = 128.

Using (11), we can now compute the maximum PAPR of


the precoded OFDM signal and compare it to that of the
conventional scheme. Fig. 2 shows the maximum PAPR of the
precoded OFDM signal for different number of subcarriers and
for two different precoders where an over sampling of eight
was used. The entries of the precoding matrix of Precoder 1
are based on (28) and that of Precoder 2 are based on (33). The
entries of the two precoding schemes are related as
|pi,m | (of Precoder 2) = |pi,m |2 (of Precoder 1)

(34)

where is a normalization factor.


The results of Fig. 2 clearly show the potential of this
precoding scheme. It is observed that with a proper selection of
the precoding parameters, the maximum PAPR of the OFDM
signal can be reduced considerably. We can conclude that the
PAPR of this precoded OFDM signal is not far from the PAPR
of the single-carrier-modulated signals. In fact, a single carrier
with a rolloff factor of 35% has a maximum PAPR of about
4 dB [25], which is quite close to the maximum PAPR of
the precoded scheme when = 35% and Precoder 1 is used
(about 4.1 dB from Fig. 2). We also notice that the PAPR
of the precoded OFDM signal is now almost independent of
the number of subcarriers. This result is very pleasing, given
the fact that the PAPR of conventional OFDM (no precoding)
grows as 2 ln(N ) and can become very large as N increases
[26]. For instance, for the two cases considered in Fig. 2, the
max PAPR of regular OFDM is 18 dB for the case of N = 64
and 21 dB for the case of N = 128. This is at least 7- and 9-dB
worse than the precoded OFDM scheme, respectively. It can
also be seen that the worst PAPR is obtained with the DFT
matrix ( = 0), and then, it decreases very fast when adding
some overhead.
When the number of subcarriers N is large, the maximum of
the PAPR will occur only very seldom, and thus, the measure
of such a parameter may not give the whole picture about the
dynamic variations of the OFDM signal. As shown in (8), the
PAPR is a random variable and takes the values between zero

691

Fig. 3. Complementary distribution function of the PAPR of the OFDM signal


with and without precoding. Precoder 1 is used, and N = 64.

and PAPRmax . A better measure of the PAPR of communication signals is then to consider the complementary cumulative
distribution function defined as
PPAPR = Pr(PAPR PAPR0 )
where PAPR0 is the PAPR threshold.
Fig. 3 illustrates the complementary cumulative distribution
function of the PAPR of the precoded OFDM signal for the
case of N = 64 subcarriers and Precoder 1. It is observed that
the proposed precoding scheme provides considerable gain in
PAPR for the OFDM signal when compared to that of conventional OFDM. Fig. 4 shows the complementary cumulative
distribution of the PAPR of the precoded OFDM signal for the
case of Precoder 2. We also notice here similar results where the
precoded OFDM scheme outperforms conventional OFDM in
terms of PAPR. It is also observed that Precoder 2 is a bit worse
than Precoder 1, which is consistent with the results of Fig. 2.
In both figures, the results were obtained with an oversampling
equal to four. Compared to the case of the DFT matrix [19], we
notice that with little overhead, the PAPR of the OFDM signal
can be reduced with a reduction that depends on the amount
of overhead. For instance, the PAPR can be reduced by about
1.5 dB with an overhead of 10% and by about 3 dB with an
overhead of 20% at a complementary CDF value of 103 .
To assess the effects of the number of subcarriers on the
signal variations of the precoded OFDM signal, we have looked
at the complementary cumulative distribution function of the
precoded OFDM signal for different number of subcarriers.
This is illustrated in Fig. 5 as a function of the PAPR threshold.
Similar to the results of the maximum PAPR, we notice that
the complementary distribution function of the PAPR of the
precoded scheme is not very sensitive to the number of subcarriers and especially at high values of the PAPR threshold. Fig. 6
compares the performance of this precoded scheme to that of
the TR method [7] for the case of N = 256 subcarriers and
an overhead of = 5%. It is observed that precoding provides
lower PAPR values for OFDM signals as compared to the TR

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IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON VEHICULAR TECHNOLOGY, VOL. 56, NO. 2, MARCH 2007

Fig. 4. Complementary distribution function of the PAPR of the OFDM signal


with and without precoding. Precoder 2 is used, and N = 64.

Fig. 6. Complementary cumulative distribution function of the PAPR of the


precoded OFDM signal for N = 256 and overhead = 5%. Results from [7]
are also shown for comparison purposes.

this case in this section and see what kind of reliable lowcomplexity detector(s) can be used.
A. Channel Model
The fading channel considered in this paper is a fadingmultipath channel with coherence bandwidth smaller than the
total bandwidth of the OFDM system and, thus, seen as
frequency-selective fading. The fading process is assumed to be
stationary and slowly varying compared with the block duration
of the OFDM signal, such that it is approximately constant
during at least one block length.
The complex baseband representation of the fadingmultipath channel impulse response can be described by [23]

h( ) =

IV. S YSTEM P ERFORMANCE IN


F ADING -M ULTIPATH C HANNELS
As already shown in the previous section, it is possible to
design precoding schemes that reduce the PAPR of OFDM
signals without altering the properties of symbol separability
of the OFDM block at the receiver. Thus, when the communication channel is ideal (additive interference only), the
performance of the precoded OFDM system will be identical to
that of conventional OFDM. However, any frequency variation
of the communication channel will destroy this orthogonality
property and can degrade the system performance. We will treat

hl ( l )

(35)

l=0

Fig. 5. Complementary cumulative distribution function of the PAPR of the


precoded OFDM signal for different number of subcarriers.

method, 1-dB better than optimum TR, and 1.5-dB better than
TR with 40 iterations at a complementary CDF of 103 .
Notice that the precoding scheme discussed above is just an
example and that several other schemes may exist!

P
1


where hl is a complex random-variable tap weight with variance pl , l is the time delay of the lth path, and P is the
total number of received paths. The tap weights are assumed
independent for different paths.
B. Receiver Structure
Passed through the channel, the equivalent lowpass of the
received precoded OFDM signal during the zeroth block interval is given by

r(t) =

P
1


hl x(t l ) + z(t),

Tg t < T

(36)

l=0

where z(t) is complex Gaussian random process with zeromean and power spectral density N0 , and Tg is the time guard
interval.

SLIMANE: REDUCING THE PEAK-TO-AVERAGE POWER RATIO OF OFDM SIGNALS THROUGH PRECODING

693

Assuming a guard interval larger than the maximum delay


spread of the fading-multipath channel, the output sample of
subcarrier i, after demodulation, is obtained as
1
Di =
T

T

r(t)ej2 T t dt
i

= T Hi Yi + Zi ,

i = 0, 1, . . . , L 1

(37)

where Yi is as given in (5), Zi is a complex Gaussian random


variable with zero-mean and variance N0 , and Hi is the channel
frequency response at subcarrier i with
Hi =

P
1


hl ej2ii /T

Fig. 7. Discrete representation of the precoded OFDM scheme and its receiver
structure.

(38)

l=0

which is a complex Gaussian random variable with variance


2 2 =

P
1


pl .

l=0

To allow coherent detection at the receiver, channel-state


information (CSI) needs to be known at the receiver. For
wireless systems employing coherent OFDM modulation techniques such as HIPERLAN/2 and IEEE 802.11a systems, one
or two complete OFDM symbols are provided in the preamble
in order to support channel estimation. For the proposed precoded OFDM scheme, the pilot symbols are precoded the same
way as the information data symbols. As shown in (37), a priori
knowledge of the transmitted precoded pilot signal facilitates
the generation of the CSI vector at the receiver. Denoting by
[C0 , C1 , . . . , CN 2 , CN 1 ] the pilot OFDM symbol, the CSI at
subcarrier i can be obtained from (37) as
i = Di = Hi + Zi ,
H
T Yi
T Yi

i = 0, 1, . . . , L 1 (39)

where
Yi =

N
1


pi,m Cm ,

i = 0, 1, . . . , L 1

m=0

which is known at the receiver since it is completely defined by


the pilot OFDM symbol and the precoding matrix.
Considering all the received subcarrier samples during the
zeroth OFDM block, the expression in (37) can be rewritten in
a matrix form as follows:

D = T HP X + Z
(40)
where X is as given in (2), Y is as given in (4)
Z = [Z0 , Z1 , . . . , ZL1 ]T

(41)

Having the demodulated OFDM signal, the next step is to


separate the modulated symbols Xm s using the received vector
given in (40) and make a decision on the transmitted symbols.
It is observed that when the channel is frequency selective, a
direct multiplication of the vector D by the precoding matrix
P does not give a perfect separation, and crosstalk between
the different modulated symbols will remain. Several detection
techniques that deal with this type of signal separation have
appeared in the literature. The optimum detector is of course
the maximum-likelihood sequence-estimation detector where
all the N symbols are detected jointly. However, such a detector
has a complexity that increases exponentially with N and is not
practical even for moderate number of subcarriers. Fortunately,
much simpler detection schemes do exist and can provide very
good performance in fading-multipath channels [27][34].
In this paper, we consider the minimum-mean-square-error
(MMSE) detector, which is basically a one-tap equalizer per
subcarrier. In this detector, each element of the received vector
is first weighted using the following weighting parameter:
Gi =

H
i
i |2 + 2 / 2
|H
z
s

i = 0, 1, . . . , L 1

where z2 is the variance of the additive white noise, and s2 is


the variance of the data-transmitted symbol. The parameter Gi
is used to compensate for the channel phase and to minimize
interference between the modulated symbols of the OFDM
block. The obtained vector is then multiplied by the precoding
matrix P . The block diagram of the OFDM system using this
receiver structure is illustrated in Fig. 7. In matrix form, the
received vector after weighting and multiplication by the matrix
P is written as follows:
V = P GD

= T P GHP X + Z 

H = diag{H0 , H1 , . . . , HL1 }.

(42)

(44)

where G is an L L diagonal matrix with


G = diag{G0 , G1 , . . . , GL1 }

is the noise vector, and H is an L L diagonal matrix representing the channel coefficients of the different subcarriers with

(43)

(45)

and Z  is the complex Gaussian noise vector. Decisions on the


transmitted symbols of the OFDM block are then carried out
using the vector V .

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IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON VEHICULAR TECHNOLOGY, VOL. 56, NO. 2, MARCH 2007

TABLE I
CHANNEL MODELS FOR HIPERLAN/2 IN DIFFERENT INDOOR SCENARIOS

results [18][22]. We also notice that the bit-error probability


depends on the coherence bandwidth of the channel, and better
performance is obtained when the coherence bandwidth of the
channel is small (ex. channel B in Fig. 8). In our simulation, we
have considered only channels A and B as these two channels
have a maximum delay spread less than the guard interval and
do not introduce any ISI between consecutive blocks. We have
also checked the system performance with other values for
and the DFT matrix; the obtained results are similar to that
given in Fig. 8.
V. C ONCLUSION

Fig. 8.

Performance of precoded OFDM signals in fading-multipath channels.

C. Simulation Parameters and Results


In this section, the performance of the precoded OFDM
scheme is evaluated through computer simulations for different
multipath radio channels. The system parameters were adjusted
according to the HIPERLAN/2 standard [1] with an OFDM
modulation using coherent QPSK and having a total of N = 64
subcarriers. The entries of the precoding matrix are obtained
from (28) with an overhead of = Np /N = 10%. This gives a
total of L = 70 subcarriers for the OFDM system. The guard
interval used in the simulation is Tg = 0.25 T. The MMSE
detector discussed in the previous section is employed at the
receiver, where we have assumed that perfect CSI is available.
The multipath radio channel considered in this paper is as
specified in [35]. It contains different channel models, representing different environments, and with tapped delay lines
with a total of 18 taps. Each tap suffers independent Rayleigh
or Rician fading with a mean corresponding to an exponentially
average power-delay profile. The main parameters (normalized
to the block duration T ) of the channel models are given in
Table I.
Fig. 8 shows the average bit-error probability of the precoded OFDM scheme as a function of the signal-to-noise ratio
for channels A and B with the assumption of perfect CSI.
Also included in the figure is the average bit-error probability
of conventional OFDM (no precoding). It is observed that
precoding takes advantage of the frequency selectivity of the
communication channel and improves the system performance
considerably, which is consistent with previously reported

This paper proposed a new technique to reduce the PAPR


for OFDM transmission. The proposed method is based on
signal precoding, where each data block is multiplied by a
precoding matrix prior to OFDM modulation and transmission. This method is data-independent and, thus, avoids blockbased optimization. It also works with an arbitrary number of
subcarriers and any type of baseband modulation used. The
PAPR distribution function of the OFDM transmitted signal
was investigated for two suggested precoding schemes. The
obtained results showed that precoding can reduce the PAPR
of OFDM signals considerably. In terms of BER performance,
it has also been shown that the proposed precoding scheme
is similar to the previously proposed precoding schemes for
OFDM as it takes advantage of the frequency variation of the
fading-multipath channel and improves the BER of OFDM signals. Compared to conventional OFDM (no precoding), relative
power gains of up to 15 dB for a bit-error probability of 104
can be obtained, depending on the frequency selectivity of the
channel.
The implementation complexity of the proposed technique
is acceptable, since it does not require any optimization from
one OFDM block to the next. The technique is also very
flexible, and it can be used for OFDM and discrete multitone
transmissions.
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Slimane Ben Slimane (S92M93) received the


B.Sc. degree in electrical engineering from the
University of Quebec, Trois-Rivieres, QC, Canada,
in 1985, and the M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees from
Concordia University, Montreal, QC, in 1988 and
1993, respectively.
During the period of 19931995, he worked as
a Research Associate and Part-time Instructor at
Concordia University. He is currently an Associate
Professor with the Radio Communication Systems
Group, Department of Communication Systems,
the Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden. His research
interest is in the area of wireless communications with special emphasis on
digital-communication techniques for fading channels, error-control coding,
relay communications, spread-spectrum communications, and multicarriertransmission techniques.