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■ Introduction
– What is OFDM?
– Multipath fading radio-channel
■ Principle of OFDM
■ OFDM Implementation and System Model
■ Advantages and Disadvantages
■ OFDM in Practice



What is OFDM
■ Basic idea

Using a large number of parallel narrow-band subcarriers
instead of a single wide-band carrier to transport information

Very easy and efficient in dealing with multi-path
Robust again narrow-band interference

■ Disadvantages

Sensitive to frequency offset and phase noise
Peak-to-average problem reduces the power efficiency of RF
amplifier at the transmitter





e.g. Audio



coding /







Decoding /



OFDM demodulation







Multipath Propagation ■ Reflections from walls. ■ Time dispersive channel – Impulse response: p ( ) (PDP)  [ns] ■ Problem with high rate data transmission: – ECE 4338 WIRELESS TECHNOLOGY inter-symbol-interference 6 . etc.

Inter-SymbolInterference Transmitted signal: Received Signals: Line-of-sight: Reflected: Delays The symbols add up on the channel ECE 4338 WIRELESS TECHNOLOGY 7 .

Parallel Transmission Concept– (1) Channel impulse response Time 1 Channel (serial) 2 Channels Channels are transmitted at different frequencies (sub-carriers) 8 Channels In practice: 50 … 8000 Channels (sub-carriers) ECE 4338 WIRELESS TECHNOLOGY 8 .

The Frequency-Selective Radio Channel Power response [dB] 20 15 10 5 0 -5 -10 Frequency ■ Interference of reflected (and LOS) radio waves – Frequency-dependent fading ECE 4338 WIRELESS TECHNOLOGY 9 .

Parallel Transmission Concept– (2) Channel impulse response Time 1 Channel (serial) 2 Channels 8 Channels Frequency Frequency Channel transfer funct Signal is “broadband” Frequency Frequency Channels are “narrowband” ECE 4338 WIRELESS TECHNOLOGY 10 .

3 Ch.9 Ch.5 Ch.6 Ch.1 Ch.5 Ch.6 Ch.3 Ch.2 Ch.4 Ch.10 Conventional multicarrier techniques frequency Ch.7 Ch.2 Ch.8 Ch.1 Ch.Concept of an OFDM signal Ch.10 Ch.9 Saving of bandwidth 50% bandwidth saving Orthogonal multicarrier techniques ECE 4338 WIRELESS TECHNOLOGY frequency 11 .7 Ch.8 Ch.4 Ch.

k (t )  w(t  kT )  xi .Generating the OFDM signal (1) ■ Symbol (QPSK) of sub-carrier i at time k – Other symbol-alphabets can be used as well (BPSK.k Sub-carrier Im Re ECE 4338 WIRELESS TECHNOLOGY 12 .i . m-QAM) ■ Baseband signal is generated by DSP s BB .k  exp j 2 if (t  kT ) Window function xi.

k (t )  w(t  kT ) N 1 j 2 if ( t  kT ) x e  i .k i 0 ECE 4338 WIRELESS TECHNOLOGY resembles IDFT! 13 .Spectrum of the modulated data symbols ■ Rectangular Window of duration T0 Magnitude T0 ■ Has a sinc-spectrum with zeros at 1/ T0 ■ Other carriers are put in these zeros ■  sub-carriers are orthogonal Frequency N sub-carriers: sBB .


k IDFT s0.k (IFFT) xN.k N data symbols: (in frequencydomain) ECE 4338 WIRELESS TECHNOLOGY paralleltoserial sn sN.k x1.k s1.Generating the OFDM signal (2) xn serialtoparallel x0.k Base-band signal (time-domain) 15 .

OFDM.Recall ■OFDM created great expansion in wireless networks – Greater efficiency in bps/Hz ■Main air interface in the change from 3G to 4G – Also expanded 802.11 rates ■Critical technology for broadband wireless access – WiMAX .

Recall ■Also called multicarrier modulation ■Start with a data stream of R bps – Could be sent with bandwidth Nf b – With bit duration 1/R ■OFDM splits into N parallel data streams – Called subcarriers – Each with bandwidth fb – And data rate R/N (bit time N/R) OFDM 8-17 .How OFDM works.

1 Conceptual Understanding of Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing .Figure 8.

■ The choice of fb is related to the bit rate to make the signals orthogonal – Average over bit time of s1(t) × s2(t) = 0 – Receiver is able to extract only the s1(t) signal ■ If there is no corruption in the frequency spacing ■ Traditional FDM makes signals completely avoid frequency overlap – OFDM allows overlap which greatly increases capacity .etc.Orthogonality ■ The spacing of the fb frequencies allows tight packing of signals – Actually with overlap between the signals – Signals at spacing of fb . 3fb .2fb.

Orthogonality ■ Given an OFDM subcarrier bit time of T – fb must be a multiple of 1/T ■ Example: IEEE 802.3125 MHz – Signal is translated to 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz bands OFDM 8-20 .11n wireless LAN – 20 MHz total bandwidth ■ Only 15 MHz can be used – 48 subcarriers – fb = 0.

Figure 8.2 Illustration of Orthogonality of OFDM .

Idea of Guard Interval (GI) ECE 4338 WIRELESS TECHNOLOGY 22 .

Idea of Guard Interval (GI) 1 OFDM symbol Insertion of guard interval (cyclic prefix): FFT-part Channel impulse response (shorter than GI): time t Cyclic convolution of transmitted signal with channel impulse response  multiplication in frequency-domain ECE 4338 WIRELESS TECHNOLOGY 23 .

ISI due to multipath delay Zero-Padding Guard Interval to prevent ISI but introduce IC Guard Interval with cyclic pre to eliminate ISI and ICI The OFDM symbol is cyclically extended ECE 4338 WIRELESS TECHNOLOGY in the guard time!!! 24 .

Cyclic extension ECE 4338 WIRELESS TECHNOLOGY 25 .Guard interval (2) .

OFDM Symbol Transmitter pulse prototype w(t) (1) Configuration T Twin Tguard TFFT Prefix effective TX-time Postfix time kT Channel impulse response max  excess delay time Receiver filter (implemented by FFT) TFFT ECE 4338 WIRELESS TECHNOLOGY time 26 .

k xN/2-1.k h-N/2.k y-N/2.k nN/2-1.k ECE 4338 WIRELESS TECHNOLOGY 27 .k n-N/2.OFDM System Model ■ Multiplication of data symbols with (complex-valued) channel transfer-function: x-N/2.k yi  xi hi  ni yN/2-1.k hN/2-1.

modulation order Channel impulse response Channel Parameters are needed Guard x(4 … 10) FFT interval symbol length length Nr. of carriers should match FFT size and data packet length •considering coding and modulation schemes ECE 4338 WIRELESS TECHNOLOGY 28 .Design of an OFDM System Data rate. of carriers Other constraints: •Nr.

Out-of-band spectrum decrease slowly ECE 4338 WIRELESS TECHNOLOGY 29 .Spectral Shaping by Windowing To make the spectrum go down more rap Can do for individual OFDM symbol.

Spectral Shaping by Windowing ■ Common type of window used is the raised cosine window: ■ Ts= window interval. allow adjacent symbols to partially overlap the roll off region. (shorter than the total symbol duration). ■ Time structure: Symbol time FFT Time Roll off factor ECE 4338 WIRELESS TECHNOLOGY 30 .

and DA-conversion ■ oversampling required – DC offsets. 1. N/2–1 frequency sub-carrier index i 31 . 0. … ECE 4338 WIRELESS TECHNOLOGY fs/2 ….OFDM Symbol Configuration (2) ■ Not all FFT-points can be used for data carriers – Lowpass filters for AD. etc. –1. Transfer function of transmitter/receiver –fs/2 –N/2. carrier feedtrough. … useable sub-carriers DC useable sub-carriers ….

Nc input QAM values are padded with zeros to get N input samples ( used to calculate in IFFT). The OFDM symbol is multiplied by a raised window w(t) to quickly reduce the power out-ofband subcarriers. and the first Tpostfix samples are appended at the end. ■ 4. ■ 2. Add the OFDM symbol to the output of the previous OFDM symbol with a delay of Ts (overlap in the region of Ts) ECE 4338 WIRELESS TECHNOLOGY 32 . The last Tprefix samples of IFFT output inserted at the start of the OFDM symbol. ■ 3.Generating OFDM signal ■ 1.

1 impulse response: time Channel est.1 -0.2 (detection) (FFT) removal I/Q I/Q Channel 0. Time sync. 0 -0. Nw in = 12. Nguard = 24. oversampling = 1 N symbols 0 -10 1 OFDM symbol -20 -30 FFT-part -40 -50 symbol deOFDM Guard -60 -40 -20 0 20 40 60 f [MHz] mapping demod.3 Guard interval I/Q 4 OFDM spectrum for NFFT = 128. interval time domain signal (baseband) 0.OFDM Block Diagram Transmitter 0110 Symbol mapping (modulation) 010101001 Receiver Decoding / deinterleaving power spectrum magnitude [dB] Channel coding / interleaving 10 1 OFDM modulation (IFFT) I/Q 2. 140 160 180 33 200 .2 imaginary real 0 20 ECE 4338 WIRELESS TECHNOLOGY 40 60 80 100 120 sample nr.

OFDM overcomes intersymbol interference (ISI) – ISI is a caused by multipath signals arriving in later bits – OFDM bit times are much. much longer (by a factor of N) ■ ISI is dramatically reduced – N is chosen so the root-mean-square delay spread is significantly smaller than the OFDM bit time – It may not be necessary to deploy equalizers to overcome ISI ■ Eliminates the use of these complex and expensive devices.Benefits of OFDM ■ Frequency selective fading only affects some subcarriers – Can easily be handled with a forward error-correcting code ■ More importantly. OFDM 8-34 .

Calculate the nominal and extended guard symbols added to the OFDM signal. 600 subcarriers can be used for the data transmission. Determine the data rate for nominal and extended CPs for a transmission bandwidth of 10MHz and 16 QAM modulation (4bits/symbol) ECE 4338 WIRELESS TECHNOLOGY 35 .Example 1: Consider an OFDM implementation in the LTE cellular standard. The nominal cyclic prefix (CP) can account for a 7% guard time. The rest are needed for pilot and null subcarriers. i. LTE uses 15kHz subcarriers and can use an OFDM symbol of 1024 subcarriers. ii. the extended cyclic prefix can use up to 25%.

For a transmission bandwidth of 10MHz and 16 QAM modulation (4bits/symbol).Answer : 1. the data rate for the nominal and extended CPs : R nominal CP = 10MHz x( 600 data subcarriers)x(4) 1024 + 72 total symbol = 21.9 Mbps R extended CP = 10MHz x( 600 data subcarriers)x(4) 1024 + 256 total symbol = 18. 2.8 Mbps ECE 4338 WIRELESS TECHNOLOGY 36 .25x1024=256 guard symbols. and the extended CP adds 0.07 x 1024= 72 guard symbols.The nominal CP adds 0.

Difficulties of OFDM Will increase the cost of power amplifier !! ■ Peak-to-average power ratio (PAPR) – For OFDM signals. ■ Power amplifiers need to amplify all amplitudes equally – Should have a linear characteristic with slope K on a V out vs. so the peak value of the signal is substantially larger than the average value. this ratio is much higher than for single-carrier signals – OFDM signal is a sum of many subcarrier signals ■ Total can be very high or very low. Vin curve V  KV – Yet practical amplifiers have limited linear ranges out in ■ Causing distortion if outside the linear range ECE 4338 WIRELESS TECHNOLOGY OFDM 8-37 .

Ideal and Practical Amplifier Characteristics amplifier has non linear characteristic !! Cannot produce any higher output voltage regardless of the input voltage. ECE 4338 WIRELESS TECHNOLOGY 38 .

Smaller Vin Distortion of signal!! Bigger Vin Examples of Linear and Nonlinear Amplifier Output ECE 4338 WIRELESS TECHNOLOGY 39 .

Difficulties of OFDM ■ PAPR problem (continued) – Expensive amplifiers have wide linear range ■ Solutions 1) Could reduce the peak amplitude  Called input backoff  But this would increase the signal to interference plus noise ratio (SINR) because Noise and interference would be relatively stronger because signal is weaker Important to reduce the PAPR in the OFDM signal 2) Specific PAPR reduction techniques can be used  Specialized coding. phase adjustments. clipping using Gaussian functions. active cancellation.  Single-carrier FDMA (SC-FDMA) like used by LTE ECE 4338 WIRELESS TECHNOLOGY OFDM 8-40 . etc.

self-interference cancellation. or even one subcarrier can cause ICI ■ Spacing between subcarriers may need to be increased ■ Could also use different pulse shapes. mismatched oscillators.Difficulties of OFDM ■ – – – ■ ■ – Intercarrier Interference (ICI) OFDM frequencies are spaced very precisely Channel impairments can corrupt this Cyclic prefix helps reduce ICI But CP time should be limited so as to improve spectral efficiency A certain level of ICI may be tolerated to have smaller CPs Doppler spread. or frequency domain equalizers. ECE 4338 WIRELESS TECHNOLOGY OFDM 8-41 .

OFDMA ■ Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiple Access (OFDMA) uses OFDM to share the wireless channel – Different users can have different slices of time and different groups of subcarriers – Subcarriers are allocated in groups . priority and fairness. (similar/equal SINR for all subcarriers) Problems : when frequencies had poor performance. Which means… ECE 4338 WIRELESS TECHNOLOGY 42 .Called subchannels or resource blocks ■ Too much computation to allocate every subcarrier separately ■ Subchannel allocation are formed by : 1) Adjacent subcarriers – all subcarriers could be assigned in a contiguous block of frequencies. user requirements . Opportunity : system can choose across many possible blocks to find the best allocation blocks to different users therefore optimize the balance of channel frequency .

Prediction mechanism-so data is not out of date when received 2) Must measure to find the best subchannel (can be applied to LTE & WiMax) i) Regularly spaced subcarriers – diverse SINR (can be used by LTE) ii) Randomly space subcarriers – diverse SINR and reduced adjacent-cell interference (can be used by WiMax) ECE 4338 WIRELESS TECHNOLOGY 43 .System must accurately know the propagation channel over the full system bandwidth for each user 1. Pilot symbols and signals 2.


emergency. Fairness – proportional fairness considers the ratio of users’ current rates to the users’ average rates to know when a channel is best for them (proportional fairness metric) ■ Requirements – audio.Opportunistic scheduling ■ Schedule subchannels and power levels based on – Channel conditions – Data requirements ■ – ■ – ■ ■ Adjust in a dynamic fashion Use channel variations as an opportunity to schedule the best choice in users Hence the term opportunistic scheduling Criteria (maybe more than one used simultaneously) System efficiency – pick users with best throughput (highest SINR for the time slot). or priority customers ECE 4338 WIRELESS TECHNOLOGY 45 . video ■ Priority – public safety.

lower cost Good for uplinks ■ Uses extra DFT operation and frequency equalization compared to OFDM at both Tx and Rx – DFT prior to IFFT – Spreads data symbols over all subcarriers – Every data symbol is carried by every subcarrier ■ Multiple access is not possible – At one time.Single-carrier FDMA ■ – – – SC-FDMA has similar structure and performance to OFDMA But lower PAPR Mobile user benefits – battery life. all subcarriers must be dedicated to one user – Multiple access is provided by using different time slots ECE 4338 WIRELESS TECHNOLOGY 46 . power efficiency.

Figure : Simplified Block Diagram of OFDMA and SC-FDMA ECE 4338 WIRELESS TECHNOLOGY 47 .


■ Supports various modulation schemes – Adaptability to SNR/SINR of sub-carriers is possible ■ Elegant framework for MIMO-systems – All interference among symbols is removed ECE 4338 WIRELESS TECHNOLOGY 49 . FDMA. MC-CDMA. etc.Advantages of OFDM ■ Solves the multipath-propagation problem – Simple equalization at receiver ■ Computationally efficient – For broadband systems more efficient than SC ■ Supports several multiple access schemes – TDMA.

11a/g – HYPERLAN ■ DAB. – Digital Audio/Video Broadcasting ■ xDSL (Digital Subscriber Line) – uses Discrete Multitone (DMT) ECE 4338 WIRELESS TECHNOLOGY 50 .Applications of OFDM ■ Wireless LAN – IEEE802. DVB. etc.

Summary – Essential “Ingredients” ■ IFFT & FFT – For efficient implementation ■ Guard interval insertion – Obtaining simple equalization – Removing all IS.& IC-interferences ■ Error correction coding – To restore bits that are lost on weak sub-carriers ECE 4338 WIRELESS TECHNOLOGY 51 .