Thursday, 14 May 2009

Inter symbol and inter carrier interference (ISI and ICI) in OFDMA

Radio channel are random, fast changing and error prone. In a wireless system the variation/fluctuation in the received signal is called fading. The goal of the wireless system design is to overcome different types fading and provide reliable and efficient transmission. Generally there are two types of fading.
  • Large scale fading: It is the fluctuation in the average signal strength over a large distance and is caused by terrestrial change. This occurs when a mobile travel from a lake to mountainous are to a lake area or from an open area to a tall buildings area. Large scale fading can be mitigated by controlling the transmit power.
  • Small scale fading: Occurs as a result of the fluctuations in the received signal strength over a small distance and is caused by multipath and Doppler's shift. Doppler shift refers to the change on frequency of the signal because of relative motion between the transmitter and the receiver.

The figure here shows the multipath propagation for a signal. Signal goes from transmitter to the receiver through multipath that have different lengths i.e. path 1, path2 and path 3. The signal from different path arrives at the receiver at different times although it’s originated from the same source. The received symbol as shown below is longer than the duration of the original symbol.

Delay spread can cause adjacent symbols to interfere at the receiver. As a result of the multipath the delayed version of the first symbol shifts into the next symbol time and thus causes overlap between he symbols. In OFDMA this is taken care of where more time is give for each symbol to be received at the receiver by inserting a guard time.

The Doppler shift introduces another type of interference in OFDMA i.e. inter carrier interference (ICI). OFDMA divided the spectrum into narrowband subcarriers and they are tightly spaced simply because they are orthogonal. One of the requirements for orthogonality is to maintain the subcarrier spacing exactly the reciprocal of the symbol period. The figure below shows the frequency shifts thus changing the subcarrier spacing which results in the loss of orthogonality. This loss of orthogonality creates interference among the signals which is called as ICI. Since the subcarriers in OFDMA are usually very narrow hence the OFDMA system becomes very sensitive to ICI. ICI destroys the orthogonality of the OFDMA system which is overcome by the use of cyclic prefix mechanism.

Under this mechanism OFDM symbols are extended into periodical symbols i.e. redundant information is sent out to ensure that analysis can be conducted on the undistorted information and is called as cyclic extension.

It can be implemented by copying the portion of the original symbol from the end and attaching it to the front or copying it from the front and attaching it to the end. Since OFDMA has already assigned the guard time to defeat ISI, cyclic extension can be put into the guard time interval. This is called cyclic prefix. With cyclic prefix used the delayed version of the previous symbols cannot shift into the useful time of the current symbol so ISI is eliminated as well. Also the cyclic prefix provides redundant information and allows spectral analysis in the receiver to maintain the orthogonality of the subcarriers. Thus the cyclic prefix can be used to deal with both ISI and ICI.

The above concepts can be summarized in teh form of the picture below


Anonymous said...

Please fix the pictures

Anonymous said...

Found it useful but please fix the pictures

Anonymous said...

explain ici a bit more & and how it can be removed in mimo ofdm sytems ????

Anonymous said...

Found it really useful but please fix the pics..