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…
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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…
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Convolution and Fourier Transform

A complex number

One question I am frequently asked is regarding the definition of Fourier Transform. A continuous-time Fourier Transform for time domain signal $x(t)$ is defined as \[ X(\Omega) = \int _{-\infty} ^{\infty} x(t) e^{-j\Omega t} dt \] where $\Omega$ is the…
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Understanding Space-Time Codes: Alamouti Scheme

A description of a real space-time code

In major cellular and wireless networks today, space diversity is employed with the help of multiple Tx antennas and/or multiple Rx antennas giving rise to Multiple Input Multiple Output (MIMO) systems. There are three different modes in which multiple antennas…
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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…
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CDMA or OFDM

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…
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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.


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