History Of Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing Computer Science Essay

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OFDM is a frequency division multiplexing format applied as a Digital Multi-carrier modulation technique. Numerous orthogonal sub carriers which are compact placed are utilized in carrying the data. The data is allotted into lots of similar data channels or streams for each subcarrier a piece. These sub carriers are modified with some standard schemes such as Phase Shifting Keying or QAM (Quadrature Amplitude Modulation) at a minimal symbol rate, insisting complete data roles parallel to standard single-carrier modulation methods in the equivalent bandwidths.

The Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing technology was 1st elaborated in the mid 1960's during the course of analysis about diminishing ISI suitable to multipath. The EDC (Expression Digital Communications) usually is considered as the plotting or accumulation of digital information or data into a Carrier signal. A carrier signal can be considered as a transmitted electromagnetic wave or pulse at a constant base frequency of amendment in which the data can be compelled either by changing the wave phase or base frequency or by improving the signal strengths.

Multiplexing is a course of delivering numerous signals of information on a single carrier at once in a sole complex signal form and then collecting different signals (separately) at the receiving end.

Modulation is the accumulation of information or data into an optical or electronic signal carrier. It can be applicable to Optical signals, Alternating current signals and also to Direct current signals (turn on & off). Even the Blanket waving technique utilized in Smoke transmission signals can be considered as one of the modulation forms. Usually in the telecommunications stream a Channel is considered to be a unique path in which the signals flow where as in case of utilizing the dense wavelength-division multiplexing in the optical fiber transmission system The Channel is a unique wavelength of light surrounded by a merged multiplexed light stream.


The origins of Orthogonal Flexible Division Multiplexing developed in the mid 1950's with the preface of FDM (Frequency Division Multiplexing) for data communications. The 1st OFDM schemes were offered by Chang, 1966 and Saltzberg, 1967. Later Chang patented the OFDM structure and discussed the idea of utilizing the orthogonal over lying multi-tone signals for Data Communications (Chang, 1968). But as far as the commercial utilization is concerned the genuine use of OFDM was limited and practical concerns were raised. However in 1971 Weinstein came up with a concept of utilizing (DFT) Discrete Fourier Transform for proper generation, response and execution of OFDM signals which eradicate the necessity of analog subcarrier oscillators. This concept made the platform for easy and simple execution of OFDM mainly FFT (Fast Fourier Transforms) are used which is a proficient derivative of DFT. The OFDM with these features mainly suits and attracts the radio link designers. Peled & Ruiz, 1980 and Hirosaki, 1981 commenced work in the late 1980's to increase the adaptability of OFDM for commercial purposed by introducing the Digital Audio Broadcasting System.

A multichannel modulation scheme with (DMT) Discrete Multitone Modulation is being produced for fixed channels like digital subscriber loop. This DTM also possesses the extra feature of Bit-Loading which is rarely found in OFDM (Wesel, 1995).

The choice of utilizing Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing for the transmission method is reasoned by the analyzing the studies concerning the single carrier systems. OFDM is frequently influenced by its 2 features which are its well-designed approach to compact with the balancing of dispersive gradually fading channels and its mystic efficiency nature (Ghosh, 1996).

Multiple user systems which utilize OFDM have to be graduated with a specific Multiple Access Scheme as been obliged to single carrier transmission systems. The Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing is a handy modulation technique for multiple access systems when compared to single carrier systems as it basically provides both frequency-division multiple access and time-division multiple access. Also the significant notice is been provided to the blend of OFDM transmission technique and CDMA (code division multiple access) in MC-CDMA systems (Hara & Prasad, 1997).

The OFDM technique too has some disadvantages like it is susceptible to carrier frequency errors as it splits a certain spectral allotments into various subcarriers with natural small carrier spacing a piece. Also the amplifiers have to be linear to safeguard the Orthogonality amid sub carriers. In addition to these OFDM systems have the high peak-to-average crest factor or power ratio that needs a large amplifier power back off and numerous bits A/D & D/A designs. The above qualities might result in an elevated demand on receiver and transmitter design (ETSI, 1997a,b).

OFDM is effectively utilized in the European DAB & DVB systems. DAB is launched in the late 90's and was also the primary research topic for utilization in wireless LAN's. This technique was also the aspirant for the European broadband radio access network standards developed by the European Telecommunications Standards Institute and for the regularity of European 3rd invention personal communications systems within ETSI, OFDM is a precisely gifted technique emphasizing service flexibility and allocation of resources (ETSI, 1998).

However the OFDM-based proposal was discarded in errand of 2 final CDMA proposals which had an extensive support and systematic investigation. OFDM was analyzed for the 4th generation mobile communication system.

Besides the radio systems, the multi carrier systems are also utilized for broad band wired functions. Multicarrier modulation in form of DMT is used in the warped copper-pair channel which is implemented as the modulation method for the ADSL (Asynchronous Digital Subscriber Loop) in the United States and is the primary device for VDSL loop which is being regularized by the ANSI and ETSI (VDSL Alliance, 1997).

Characteristics and Operation Principles


OFDM is similar to MCM, which is nothing but Multi Carrier Modulation which is having huge sub carriers with the extending spectra, which allows for multiple accesses. The main principle of MCM is, it transmits the data by breaking down the single stream into many no of bit streams, where each stream contains the low bit rate. Many carriers are being modulated by using this bit streams.

OFDM is a block transmission technique. In the baseband, multifaceted data symbols amend numerous assembled carrier waveforms. The transmitted OFDM signal multiplexes numerous low-rate data streams. Each data stream is related with a given sub carrier. The key benefit of this model in a radio environment is that every data stream faces almost flat fading canal. In the slowly vanishing channels, the ISI and ICI inside an OFDM symbol can be evaded with a minute deficit of transmission force utilising the idea of cyclic prefix.


Orthogonality is a proposition of a specific and predetermined association between all the carriers in the collection. In OFDM, the sub-carrier frequencies are preferred with the intention that the sub carriers are orthogonal to each other, sensing a cross talk amid the sub-channels is eradicated and also the necessity of inter carrier guard bands. This results in higher simplification in the designs of both the receiver and the transmitter. It also doesn't require a distinct filter for every sub channel like the standard FDM. The Orthogonality necessitates that Sub carrier spacing is

Δf = k/(TU) Hertz,

Where 'k' is positive integer,

'TU' is useful symbol duration.

Consequently with N sub-carriers the complete passband bandwidth is B ≈ N・Δf (Hz)

The Orthogonality also permits eminent spectral competence, with a complete symbol rate close to Nyquist rate.

Functioning using FFT Algorithm

Here the Orthogonality consents for the well organized modulator and demodulator functioning by utilising the FFT algorithm on receiver side and inverse FFT on sender side. Even though the benefits and the notions are known since 1960's still the Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing prevails in wideband communications business to date through the process of economical DSP components (Digital Signal Processing) which ably analyse the FFT.

Guard Interval for removing ISI

The main rule on which the OFDM stands is that there is a benefit of sending out a numerous low-rate streams in parallel instead of sending a high-rate stream as the low symbol modulation policies(rather long symbols than channel time features) have a low endurance to the inter symbol intervention produced by multipath propagation. As the time span of each symbol is lengthy it is possible to include a Guard Interval in the course of Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing symbols which removes the necessity of intersymbol intervention. Even the pulse shaping filter is not required if the Guard Interval is utilised. Also the guard interval increases the capability of OFDM to cope with the time synchronization problems.

Cyclic Prefix

The cyclic prefix is transmitted during the course of guard interval and possesses an OFDM symbol at one end which is copied into guard interval. The guard interval is further diffused with the OFDM symbol following. The guard interval has this OFDM symbol copy at the end is to allow the receiver to combine numerous sinusoid cycles for the entire multipath while it is executing the OFDM demodulation with FFT.

Benefits of Cyclic Prefix

The cyclic prefix

Removes the necessity of ICI (Inter Carrier Interface) & ISI (Inter Symbol Interference).

Converts a linear complex channel into a cyclic complex channel.

Initiates a loss in SNR to reduce the intervention

Simplified Equalisation

Certain sub carriers in the OFDM symbols tend to transmit the pilot signals in order to evaluate the channel conditions like phase shift, equalizer gain, etc. These training and pilot signals can also be utilised to coordinate the frequency (to prevent ICI) and time (to prevent ISI) usually caused by the Doppler shits.

Channel Coding and Interleaving

The OFDM technology is always utilised in the combination with the Channel coding (Forward Error Connection) and virtually utilises time/frequency interleaving. This interleaving is utilised for distributing the errors in the bit-stream which is submitted to the decoder for correcting errors. But when these decoders deal with high intensity of errors usually they leave out a burst of errors (uncorrected) out.

This data is usually encoded in FEC and is interleaved before the modulation process. The bits which are transmitted by the faded sub carriers may be subjected to error detection exclusive of FEC. With both the Interleaving and the FEC the uncorrected bits can be fixed which allows an acceptable frequency range.

Convolution coding is the most common type of coding for correcting errors utilised in the OFDM based systems

Adaptive Transmission

Discrete Multitone Modulation (DMM) signifies the Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing based systems which usually vary the transmission of signals by each sub carrier into the Channel conditions separately. This process is done through Bit-Loading. E.g. VDSL & ADSL.

The rate of upstream and downstream flows can be adjusted either by increasing or decreasing the number of carriers for a specific flow. This feature is used basically in some rare adaptive DSL forms as the bit rate is adjusted to the co-channel intervention and bandwidth is assigned to most needed subscriber.

OFDM extended with Multiple Access

OFDM can be synthesized by applying different access like time, density or arranging the users.

In OFDMA, FDMA can be acquired by applying distinctive OFDM sub-channels to all users. Different quality of service is supported by OFDMA by applying distinct sub carriers to distinct users which is same as CDMA.

Linear Transmitter Power Amplifier

OFDM signal illustrates a large peak-to-average power ratio as it is meant by the sub carriers of separated phases that they recurrently combine effectively. PAPR requires;

A transmitter should contain an analysis of digital to analog converter.

A receiver should contain an analysis of analog to digital converter.

A continuous signal chain inter modulation misuse is caused if there is any deviation in signal chain

Incrementation of noise floor

Intrusion of inter carrier may be caused

Develops Out of band specious diffusion

Versions of OFDM


Iospan wireless has established a technology known as MIMO OFDM Which handles different antennas to send and gets the radio signals.

In approach of Iospan, "In this domain, radio signals jump outside the buildings, trees and more substances as they pass through different antennas. This effect develops different copy of signals. As an outcome, initial signal and different echoes appears the receiving antenna at less variation in time which may the echoes to combine with the other which may decrease the quality of the signal.

To send the data concurrently to the receiver in limited quantity the MIMO system uses different antennas, which can perform the flow of data and combine them together.


Cisco systems have established VOFDM which is nothing but the Vector OFDM which utilises the theory of MIMO technology.

WOFDM (Wideband OFDM)

Wi-Lan has established WOFDM, which creates more gaps between channels so that if any errors in frequency between sender and detection device does not affects its appearance.


F-OFDM which is nothing but the Flash- OFDM is a system which depends on OFDM and determines huge compact layers. Flarion have progressed and advertised it. It has initiated significance on cellular packet switch, as a challenge with GSM and 3G.


Wired applications

Power line communication.

VDSL and ADSL broadband approach by POTS copper wiring.

Multimedia over Coax Alliance (MoCA) home networking.

ITU-T G.hn, a regulation that implements high speed local area network by present home wiring.

IEEE wireless LAN radio interfaces.


Ease of use in Complex channel conditions due to its adaptability avoiding the necessity of a complex equalization.

Possesses enough strength to cope with thin-band CO-channel interventions.

Has enough strength to handle the ISI (Inter Symbol Interference) and the weakness resulted through Multipath Propagation.

High proficiency.

Effectively executes the signal program by utilizing the FFT

Is less influenced by the Errors caused due to time synchronization.


Is highly influenced by the Doppler's Shift

Has a phenomenal effect due to the errors caused by the frequency synchronization.

Cyclic Prefix method often results in some efficiency loss.