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# Orthogonal Frequency Division

Multiplexing/Modulation:
OFDM

Spring 2010

Introduction to OFDM

 Basic idea
z Using a large number of parallel narrow-band sub-
carriers instead of a single wide-band carrier to
transport information
z Very easy and efficient in dealing with multi-path
z Robust against narrow-band interference
z Sensitive to frequency offset and phase noise
z Peak-to-average problem reduces the power
efficiency of RF amplifier at the transmitter
 Adopted for various wireless standards
 802.11a, 802.16a, DAB, DVB (+DSL)
Multicarrier Modulation
• Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing
– Based on the fast Fourier transform
– Standardized for DAB, DVB-T, IEEE 802.11a, 802.16a,
HyperLAN II
– Considered for fourth-generation mobile communication
systems
channel
magnitude

carrier

subchannel

frequency

Multipath Propagation –
Simple Model
| α0 | | α1 | | α2 |
∆1
α1 ∆2

α0
α2

## hc(t) = ∑k αk δ(t - τk)

where k = 0, …, K-1
αk : path gain (complex)
τ0 = 0 normalize relative delay of first path
∆k = τk - τ0 difference in time-of-flight
Equivalent Propagation
Channel
convolution

multipath
channel

## • Effective channel at receiver

– Propagation channel
• hc(t) typically random & changes with time
Must estimate and re-estimate channel

1

0.5

## 2Ts 4Ts -0.5

-6 -4 -2 0 2 4 6 8
t/Ts
1

0.8

0.6

0.4

0.8
0.2

0.6
0
0.4

-0.2
-6 -4 -2 0 2 4 6 0.2
t/Ts

-0.2

Ts -6 -4 -2 0
t/T
s
2 4 6 8

## Max delay spread = effective number of symbol periods occupied by channel

Requires equalization to remove resulting ISI
 Delay spread depends on difference in path lengths
 Effective delay spread: function of the maximum difference
 Sampling period Ts determines effect of delay spread

## Cell size Max Delay Spread

Pico cell 0.1 km 300 ns
Micro cell 5 km 15 us
Macro cell 20 km 40 us
Sampling Period Channel taps Application
802.11a 50 ns 6 WLAN
DVB-T 160 ns 90 Audio
DAB 600 ns 60 TV broadcast

Multicarrier Modulation

## • Divide broadband channel into narrowband subchannels

– No ISI in subchannels if constant gain in every subchannel and if
ideal sampling

channel
magnitude

carrier

subchannel

frequency
Monocarrier vs. Multicarrier modulation
Channel

Channelization N carriers

Similar to
Guard bands
FDM technique

B B
Pulse length ~1/B Pulse length ~ N/B
– Data are transmited over only one carrier – Data are shared among several carriers
and simultaneously transmitted

Furthermore
– It is easy to exploit
– Very short pulses – N long pulses Frequency diversity
– ISI is compartively long – ISI is comparatively short – It allows to deploy
2D coding techniques
– Equalizers are very long – N short Equalizers needed
– Dynamic signalling
– Poor spectral efficiency – Poor spectral efficiency
because of band guards because of band guards

## To improve the spectral efficiency:

Eliminate band guards between carriers
To use orthogonal carriers (allowing overlapping)

## Orthogonal Frequency Division Modulation

N carriers
Symbol: 2 periods of f0

Transmit
f
+
Symbol: 4 periods of f0

f
B
Symbol: 8 periods of f0
Channel frequency
Data coded in frequency domain Transformation to time domain: response
each frequency is a sine wave

bin separately
time f

## Time-domain signal Frequency-domain signal

OFDM uses multiple carriers
to modulate the data
Time-frequency grid Data

N carriers

Frequency
B Carrier
f0

B
One OFDM symbol
T=1/f 0
Features Time
– No intercarrier guard bands
– Controlled overlapping of bands Intercarrier Separation =
– Maximum spectral efficiency (Nyquist rate) 1/(symbol duration)
– Easy implementation using IFFTs
– Very sensitive to freq. synchronization

Modulation technique

A user utilizes all carriers to transmit its data as coded quantity at each
frequency carrier, which can be quadrature-amplitude modulated (QAM).

## OFDM Modulation and Demodulation

using FFTs
d0
b0
d1 P/S
b1 IFFT
d2 d0, d1, d2, …., dN-1
b2 Inverse fast d3 Parallel to
. Fourier transform . serial converter
.
f . . Transmit time-domain
. samples of one symbol
.
time .
bN-1
dN-1
Data coded in
frequency domain: Data in time domain:
one symbol at a time one symbol at a time

## d0’ Decode each

b0’
d0’, d1’, …., dN-1’
S/P d1’ FFT b1’
frequency bin
d2’ Fast Fourier independently
b2’
Serial to . transform .
Receive time-domain parallel converter . .
samples of one symbol . f .
. .
dN-1’ bN-1’
time
Frequency Domain Equalization
 For the kth carrier:
xk = Hk sk + vk

Hk-1

|Hk|2

good
k k

## Effect of the “cyclic prefix”

To combat the time dispersion: including ‘special’ time guards in the symbol transitions

copy
Furthemore it converts Linear conv. = Cyclic conv.
CP
τ T (Method: overlap-save)
Tc

## Without the Cyclic Prefix Including the Cyclic Prefix

Symbol: 8 periods of fi
CP Symbol: 8 periods of fi
Passing the channel h(n)

Ψi(t)
Ψi(t)

≠Ψi(t)

## Initial transient The inclusion of a CP Final transient

remains within maintains the orthogonality remains within
Initial transient Loss of orthogonality Decaying transient
the CP the CP

Ψj(t) Ψj (t)

## Symbol: 4 periods of fi Symbol: 4 periods of fi

CP functions:
– It acomodates the decaying transient of the previous symbol
– It avoids the initial transient reachs the current symbol
An OFDM Modem
N subchannels N complex samples
S/P modulation N-IFFT cyclic P/S transmit
00110 (QAM) prefix filter
encoder

TRANSMITTER
multipath channel
N subchannels N complex samples
invert
QAM channel remove filter
P/S = N-FFT S/P cyclic
frequency +
decoder prefix
domain A/D
equalizer

## DMT vs. OFDM

 DMT (Discrete Multitone Transmission)
z Channel changes very slowly ~ 1 s
z Subchannel gains known at transmitter
 OFDM
z Channel may change quickly ~ 10 ms
z Not enough time to convey gains to transmitter
z Forward error correction mitigates problems on bad channels

## DMT: Send more data here

OFDM: Try to code so bad subchannels can be ignored
magnitude

frequency
DMT vs. OFDM

## Transmit: y(t) = Re{(I(t)+j Q(t)) exp(j2p fc t)}

= I(t) cos(2π fc t) – Q(t) sin(2π fc t)

## Coded OFDM (COFDM)

 Error correction is necessary in OFDM systems
 Forward error correction (FEC)
z Adds redundancy to data stream
z Examples: convolutional codes, block codes
z Mitigates the effects of bad channels
z Reduces overall throughput according to the coding rate k/n
 Automatic repeat request (ARQ)
z Adds error detecting ability to data stream
z Examples: 16-bit cyclic redundancy code
z Used to detect errors in an OFDM symbol
z Bad packets are retransmitted (hopefully the channel changes)
z Usually used with FEC
z Minus: Ineffective in broadcast systems
Typical Coded OFDM
Encoder
• Reed-Solomon and/or convolutional code
FEC
Data bits Parity bits
Rate 1/2
Bitwise
Interleaving • Intersperse coded and uncoded bits

Symbol
• Map bits to symbols
Mapping

## Typical Coded OFDM

Decoder
 Symbol demapping
Frequency-domain z Produce soft estimate of each bit
equalization z Improves decoding

Symbol
Demapping

Deinterleaving

Decoding
Frequency diversity using coding
Random errors: primarily introduced by thermal and circuit noise.

## Channel-selected errors: introduced by magnitude distortion in

channel frequency response.
Data bits
Time-frequency grid

Frequency
B
f0

f Time
Frequency response T=1/f0

## Errors are no longer random. Interleaving is often used to scramble

the data bits so that standard error correcting codes can be applied.

## Ideal Channel Estimation

 Wireless channels change frequently ~ 10 ms
 Require frequent channel estimation
 Many systems use pilot tones – known symbols
z Given sk, for k = k1, k2, k3, … solve xk = ∑l=0L hl e-j2π k l/N sk for hl
z Find Hk = ∑l=0L hl e-j2π k l / N (significant computation)
 More pilot tones
z Better noise resilience
z Lower throughput (pilots are not informative)
magnitude

Pilot tones

frequency
Channel Estimation Via
Interpolation
 More efficient approach is interpolation
 Algorithm
z For each pilot ki find Hki = xki / ski
z Interpolate unknown values using interpolation filter
z Hm = αm,1 Hk1 + αm,2 Hk2 + …
z Longer interpolation filter: more computation, timing sensitivity
z Typical 1dB loss in performance in practical implementation
magnitude

frequency

## OFDM and MIMO Systems

 Multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) systems
z Use multiple transmit and multiple receive antennas
z Creates a matrix channel

OFDM Modulator

H(t) Joint
Demodulator
OFDM Modulator

##  Equivalent system for kth tone

xk = Hk sk + vk
 Vector inputs and outputs
 Enables Single Frequency Network (SFN)
z Multiple transmit antennas geographically separated
z Enables same radio/TV channel frequency throughout a country
z Creates artificially large delay spread – OFDM has no problems

20km

0.9

0.8

0.7

0.6

0.5

0.4

0.3

0.2

0.1

0
0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40

## Why OFDM for High-Speed

Internet Access?
 High-speed data transmission
z Large bandwidths -> high rate, many computations
z Small sampling periods -> delay spread becomes a serious
impairment
z Requires much lower BER than voice systems
 OFDM pros
z Takes advantage of multipath through simple equalization
 OFDM cons
z Synchronization requirements are much more strict
 Requires more complex algorithms for time / frequency
synch
z Peak-to-average power ratio
 Approximately 10 log N (in dB)
 Large signal peaks require higher power amplifiers
 Amplifier cost grows nonlinearly with required power
OFDM Systems and Applications
Standard Meaning Carrier Freq. Rate (Mbps) Applications
handheld
IEEE 802.11a Wireless LAN / WiFi 5.2 GHz 6 - 54 Wireless Internet
IEEE 802.11g Wireless LAN / WiFi 2.4 GHz 6 – 54 Wireless Internet
IEEE 802.11n Wireless LAN (High Speed) 2.4 GHz - ?? 6 – 100 Wireless Internet
IEEE 802.16 Broadband Wireless Access 2.1 GHz & 0.5 – 20 Fixed / Mobile Wireless
others Internet
IEEE 802.20 Mobile Broad. Wireless Access 3.5 GHz ~1 Mobile Internet / Voice?

## Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing (OFDM)

• Digital modulation scheme
• Wireless counterpart to discrete multitone transmission
• Used in a variety of applications