A Beginner’s Guide to OFDM

OFDM slices the spectrum just like a bread

In the recent past, high data rate wireless communications is often considered synonymous to an Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing (OFDM) system. OFDM is a special case of multi-carrier communication as opposed to a conventional single-carrier system.  The concepts on which…
Read more

Minimum Shift Keying (MSK) – A Tutorial

MSK as a special case of both non-linear and linear modulation schemes

Minimum Shift Keying (MSK) is one of the most spectrally efficient modulation schemes available. Due to its constant envelope, it is resilient to non-linear distortion and was therefore chosen as the modulation technique for the GSM cell phone standard. MSK…
Read more

How Errors Lead to New Discoveries

In the book "Where Good Ideas Come From", the author Steven Johnson mentions some stories on how errors lead to new scientific breakthroughs which I think would be interesting for radio/wireless enthusiasts. The first among them is what laid the…
Read more


OFDM subcarriers in frequency domain

Reading about interference cancellation techniques today, I recalled an interesting article by Sridhar Vembu titled Two Philosophies in CDMA: A Stroll Down Memory Lane. Vembu is the founder and CEO of Zoho Corporation, a venture which has turned him into…
Read more

I/Q Signals 101: Neither Complex Nor Complicated

(Top) An 8-PSK waveform. (Bottom) Two constellation diagrams: one at the Tx shown by thick red lines and the other at the Rx for a phase offset of 17 degrees shown by dotted purple lines

There was a recent discussion on GNU Radio mailing list in regards to the simplest possible intuition behind I/Q signals. Why is I/Q sampling required? Question: The original question from Kristoff went like this: “… when you mention `GNU Radio…
Read more

Mueller and Muller Timing Synchronization Algorithm

Logic behind Mueller Muller TED

Proposed in 1976, Mueller and Muller algorithm is a timing synchronization technique that operates at symbol rate, as opposed to most other synchronization algorithms that require at least 2 samples/symbol. The most confusing thing communication engineers and radio hobbyists find…
Read more

There are 26 letters in English language and countless rules. The language of signal processing is simpler.

- It has only 1 letter: a sample at time 0. From there, we can build any discrete-time signal on which our 1s and 0s can be mapped.

- It has one major rule which is repeatedly employed for demapping the received signal to bits.