Tuesday, 10 February 2009


OFDM has been around since the mid 1960s and is now used in a number of non-cellular wireless systems such as Digital Video Broadcast (DVB), Digital Audio Broadcast (DAB), Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL) and some of the 802.11 family of Wi-Fi standards. OFDM’s adoption into mobile wireless has been delayed for two main reasons. The first is the sheer processing power which is required to perform the necessary FFT operations. However, the continuing advance of signal processing technology means that this is no longer a reason to avoid OFDM, and it now forms the basis of the LTE downlink. The other reason OFDM has been avoided in mobile systems is the very high peak to average ratio (PAR) signals it creates due to the parallel transmission of many hundreds of closely-spaced subcarriers. For mobile devices this high PAR is problematic for both power amplifier design and battery consumption, and it is this concern which led 3GPP to develop the new SC-FDMA transmission scheme.

The LTE downlink transmission scheme is based on OFDM. OFDM is an attractive downlink transmission scheme for several reasons. Due to the relatively long OFDM symbol time in combination with a cyclic prefix, OFDM provides a high degree of robustness against channel frequency selectivity. Although signal corruption due to a frequency-selective channel can, in principle, be handled by equalization at the receiver side, the complexity of the equalization starts to become unattractively high for implementation in a mobile terminal at bandwidths above 5 MHz. Therefore, OFDM with its inherent robustness to frequency-selective fading is attractive for the downlink, especially when combined with spatial multiplexing.

Additional benefits with OFDM include:
• OFDM provides access to the frequency domain, thereby enabling an additional degree of freedom to the channel-dependent scheduler compared to HSPA.
• Flexible bandwidth allocations are easily supported by OFDM, at least from a baseband perspective, by varying the number of OFDM subcarriers used for transmission. Note, however, that support of multiple spectrum allocations also require flexible RF filtering, an operation to which the exact transmission scheme is irrelevant. Nevertheless, maintaining the same baseband-processing structure, regardless of the bandwidth, eases the terminal implementation.
• Broadcast/multicast transmission, where the same information is transmitted from multiple base stations, is straightforward with OFDM.

For the LTE uplink, single-carrier transmission based on DFT-spread OFDM (DFTS-OFDM) is used. The use of single-carrier modulation in the uplink is motivated by the lower peak-to-average ratio of the transmitted signal compared to multi-carrier transmission such as OFDM. The smaller the peak-to-average ratio of the transmitted signal, the higher the average transmission power can be for a given power amplifier. Single-carrier transmission therefore allows for more efficient usage of the power amplifier, which translates into an increased coverage. This is especially important for the power-limited terminal. At the same time, the equalization required to handle corruption of the single-carrier signal due to frequency-selective fading is less of an issue in the uplink due to fewer restrictions in signal-processing resources at the base station compared to the mobile terminal.

In contrast to the non-orthogonal WCDMA/HSPA uplink, which also is based on single-carrier transmission, the uplink in LTE is based on orthogonal separation of users in time and frequency. Orthogonal user separation is in many cases beneficial as it avoids intra-cell interference. However allocating a very large instantaneous bandwidth resource to a single user is not an efficient strategy in situations where the data rate mainly is limited by the transmission power rather than the bandwidth. In such situations, a terminal is typically allocated only a part of the total transmission bandwidth and other terminals can transmit in parallel on the remaining part of the spectrum. Thus, as the LTE uplink contains a frequency-domain multiple-access component, the LTE uplink transmission scheme is sometimes also referred to as Single-Carrier FDMA (SC-FDMA).

Via: 'Agilent Whitepaper' and '3G evolution'.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Well done, I notice that your fig is correct when compare with 3GPP LTE: Introducing Single-Carrier FDMA. The journal that good too, but the symbols of sequence of QPSK data in fig.2. are incorrect.