Wireless receiver designs: from information theory to VLSI implementation
Zhang, Wei Zhang
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Receiver design, especially equalizer design, in communications is a major concern in both academia and industry. It is a problem with both theoretical challenges and severe implementation hurdles. While much research has been focused on reducing complexity for optimal or near-optimal schemes, it is still common practice in industry to use simple techniques (such as linear equalization) that are generally significantly inferior. Although digital signal processing (DSP) technologies have been applied to wireless communications to enhance the throughput, the users' demands for more data and higher rate have revealed new challenges. For example, to collect the diversity and combat fading channels, in addition to the transmitter designs that enable the diversity, we also require the receiver to be able to collect the prepared diversity. Most wireless transmissions can be modeled as a linear block transmission system. Given a linear block transmission model assumption, maximum likelihood equalizers (MLEs) or near-ML decoders have been adopted at the receiver to collect diversity which is an important metric for performance, but these decoders exhibit high complexity. To reduce the decoding complexity, low-complexity equalizers, such as linear equalizers (LEs) and decision feedback equalizers (DFEs) are often adopted. These methods, however, may not utilize the diversity enabled by the transmitter and as a result have degraded performance compared to MLEs. In this dissertation, we will present efficient receiver designs that achieve low bit-error-rate (BER), high mutual information, and low decoding complexity. Our approach is to first investigate the error performance and mutual information of existing low-complexity equalizers to reveal the fundamental condition to achieve full diversity with LEs. We show that the fundamental condition for LEs to collect the same (outage) diversity as MLE is that the channels need to be constrained within a certain distance from orthogonality. The orthogonality deficiency (od) is adopted to quantify the distance of channels to orthogonality while other existing metrics are also introduced and compared. To meet the fundamental condition and achieve full diversity, a hybrid equalizer framework is proposed. The performance-complexity trade-off of hybrid equalizers is quantified by deriving the distribution of od. Another approach is to apply lattice reduction (LR) techniques to improve the ``quality' of channel matrices. We present two widely adopted LR methods in wireless communications, the Lenstra-Lenstra-Lovasz (LLL) algorithm  and Seysen's algorithm (SA), by providing detailed descriptions and pseudo codes. The properties of output matrices of the LLL algorithm and SA are also quantified. Furthermore, other LR algorithms are also briefly introduced. After introducing LR algorithms, we show how to adopt them into the wireless communication decoding process by presenting LR-aided hard-output detectors and LR-aided soft-output detectors for coded systems, respectively. We also analyze the performance of proposed efficient receivers from the perspective of diversity, mutual information, and complexity. We prove that LR techniques help to restore the diversity of low-complexity equalizers without increasing the complexity significantly. When it comes to practical systems and simulation tool, e.g., MATLAB, only finite bits are adopted to represent numbers. Therefore, we revisit the diversity analysis for finite-bit represented systems. We illustrate that the diversity of MLE for systems with finite-bit representation is determined by the number of non-vanishing eigenvalues. It is also shown that although theoretically LR-aided detectors collect the same diversity as MLE in the real/complex field, it may show different diversity orders when finite-bit representation exists. Finally, the VLSI implementation of the complex LLL algorithms is provided to verify the practicality of our proposed designs.