Baseband Processing for 5G and Beyond: Algorithms, VLSI Architectures, and Co-design

Mojtaba Mahdavi

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis (compilation)

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In recent years the number of connected devices and the demand for high data-rates have been significantly increased. This enormous growth is more pronounced by the introduction of the Internet of things (IoT) in which several devices are interconnected to exchange data for various applications like smart homes and smart cities. Moreover, new applications such as eHealth, autonomous vehicles, and connected ambulances set new demands on the reliability, latency, and data-rate of wireless communication systems, pushing forward technology developments. Massive multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) is a technology, which is employed in the 5G standard, offering the benefits to fulfill these requirements. In massive MIMO systems, base station (BS) is equipped with a very large number of antennas, serving several users equipments (UEs) simultaneously in the same time and frequency resource. The high spatial multiplexing in massive MIMO systems, improves the data rate, energy and spectral efficiencies as well as the link reliability of wireless communication systems. The link reliability can be further improved by employing channel coding technique. Spatially coupled serially concatenated codes (SC-SCCs) are promising channel coding schemes, which can meet the high-reliability demands of wireless communication systems beyond 5G (B5G). Given the close-to-capacity error correction performance and the potential to implement a high-throughput decoder, this class of code can be a good candidate for wireless systems B5G. In order to achieve the above-mentioned advantages, sophisticated algorithms are required, which impose challenges on the baseband signal processing. In case of massive MIMO systems, the processing is much more computationally intensive and the size of required memory to store channel data is increased significantly compared to conventional MIMO systems, which are due to the large size of the channel state information (CSI) matrix. In addition to the high computational complexity, meeting latency requirements is also crucial. Similarly, the decoding-performance gain of SC-SCCs also do come at the expense of increased implementation complexity. Moreover, selecting the proper choice of design parameters, decoding algorithm, and architecture will be challenging, since spatial coupling provides new degrees of freedom in code design, and therefore the design space becomes huge. The focus of this thesis is to perform co-optimization in different design levels to address the aforementioned challenges/requirements. To this end, we employ system-level characteristics to develop efficient algorithms and architectures for the following functional blocks of digital baseband processing. First, we present a fast Fourier transform (FFT), an inverse FFT (IFFT), and corresponding reordering scheme, which can significantly reduce the latency of orthogonal frequency-division multiplexing (OFDM) demodulation and modulation as well as the size of reordering memory. The corresponding VLSI architectures along with the application specific integrated circuit (ASIC) implementation results in a 28 nm CMOS technology are introduced. In case of a 2048-point FFT/IFFT, the proposed design leads to 42% reduction in the latency and size of reordering memory. Second, we propose a low-complexity massive MIMO detection scheme. The key idea is to exploit channel sparsity to reduce the size of CSI matrix and eventually perform linear detection followed by a non-linear post-processing in angular domain using the compressed CSI matrix. The VLSI architecture for a massive MIMO with 128 BS antennas and 16 UEs along with the synthesis results in a 28 nm technology are presented. As a result, the proposed scheme reduces the complexity and required memory by 35%–73% compared to traditional detectors while it has better detection performance. Finally, we perform a comprehensive design space exploration for the SC-SCCs to investigate the effect of different design parameters on decoding performance, latency, complexity, and hardware cost. Then, we develop different decoding algorithms for the SC-SCCs and discuss the associated decoding performance and complexity. Also, several high-level VLSI architectures along with the corresponding synthesis results in a 12 nm process are presented, and various design tradeoffs are provided for these decoding schemes.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Department of Electrical and Information Technology
  • Liu, Liang, Supervisor
  • Edfors, Ove, Assistant supervisor
  • Öwall, Viktor, Assistant supervisor
Award date2021 Sept 24
ISBN (Print)978-91-7895-960-0
ISBN (electronic) 978-91-7895-959-4
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Mar 20

Bibliographical note

Defence details
Date: 2021-09-24
Time: 09:15
Place: Lecture hall E:B, building E, Ole Römers väg 3, Faculty of Engineering LTH, Lund University, Lund.
Zoom webinar:
Passcode: 287071
External reviewer(s)
Name: Christoph Studer
Title: Prof.
Affiliation: ETH Zürich, Switzerland
Faculty Opponent:
Assoc. Prof. Christoph Studer, ETH Zurich, Switzerland
Examination Committee:
Dr. Kjell Gustafsson, Ericsson, Sweden
Assoc. Prof. Sofie Pollin, KU Leuven, Belgium
Prof. Håkan Johansson, Linköping University, Sweden
Assoc. Prof. Flavius Gruian, Lund University, Sweden

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Communication Systems
  • Embedded Systems
  • Signal Processing
  • Other Electrical Engineering, Electronic Engineering, Information Engineering

Free keywords

  • VLSI Implementation
  • Hardware architectures
  • ASIC implementation
  • FPGA implementation
  • CMOS Technology
  • Baseband Processing
  • Massive MIMO
  • 5G New Radio
  • Beyond 5G
  • Co-Design
  • FFT processor
  • OFDM modulation
  • wireless communications
  • Massive MIMO Detection
  • Angular domain processing
  • Zero forcing
  • Systolic array
  • Non-linear detector
  • Channel Sparsity
  • Channel compression
  • Linear detector
  • Channel coding
  • Spatial coupling
  • Turbo-like codes
  • Spatially coupled serially concatenated codes
  • Threshold analysis
  • Decoder architecture
  • BCJR algorithm
  • MAP algorithm
  • Coupling memory
  • Window decoding
  • Complexity analysis
  • Performance Evaluation
  • Throughput
  • Decoding Latency
  • Silicon area
  • Design tradeoffs
  • Interleaver architecture
  • Memory requirements
  • Matrix multiplication
  • Channel state information (CSI)
  • Cholesky decomposition
  • Tanner graph
  • Trellis codes
  • Convolutional encoder
  • Code design
  • Puncturing
  • Reordering circuit
  • wireless communication system
  • digital electronic


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