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Single Carrier Modulation With Nonlinear Frequency Domain Equalization: An Idea Whose Time Has Come—Again

Benvenuto, N. B. ; Dinis, R. ; Falconer, D. F. ; Tomasin, S. T.

Proceedings of the IEEE Vol. 98, Nº 1, pp. 69 - 96, January, 2010.

ISSN (print): 0018-9219
ISSN (online):

Scimago Journal Ranking: 2,01 (in 2010)

Digital Object Identifier: 10.1109/JPROC.2009.2035164

In recent years single carrier modulation (SCM) has again become an interesting and complementary alternative to multicarrier modulations such as orthogonal frequency division multiplexing (OFDM). This has been largely due to the use of nonlinear equalizer structures implemented in part in the frequency domain by means of fast Fourier transforms, bringing the complexity close to that of OFDM. Here a nonlinear equalizer is formed with a linear filter to remove part of intersymbol interference, followed by a canceler of remaining interference by using previous detected data. Moreover, the capacity of SCM is similar to that of OFDM in highly dispersive channels only if a nonlinear equalizer is adopted at the receiver. Indeed, the study of efficient nonlinear frequency domain equalization techniques has further pushed the adoption of SCM in various standards. This tutorial paper aims at providing an overview of nonlinear equalization methods as a key ingredient in receivers of SCM for wideband transmission. We review both hybrid (with filters implemented both in time and frequency domain) and all-frequency-domain iterative structures. Application of nonlinear frequency domain equalizers to a multiple input multiple output scenario is also investigated, with a comparison of two architectures for interference reduction. We also present methods for channel estimation and alternatives for pilot insertion. The impact on SCM transmission of impairments such as phase noise, frequency offset and saturation due to high power amplifiers is also assessed. The comparison among the considered frequency domain equalization techniques is based both on complexity and performance, in terms of bit error rate or throughput.