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Bit-interleaved Coded Modulation: Fundamental Understandings

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The complex road to more wireless bandwidth

The increasing demand for wireless devices and equipment is eating up available bandwidth at a faster rate than ever. Improved technologies in the field could help overcome the challenge.

Digital Economy

In recent years, the explosion of wireless communication for mobile telephony, radio, television and of course the internet has rendered available bandwidth scarcer than ever. The solution to exploiting bandwidth more efficiently lies in combining modulation and coding – i.e. manipulating the carrier signal in smarter ways. This was the aim of the EU-funded B-FUN (Bit-interleaved coded modulation: Fundamental understandings) project. Specifically, the project focused on 'Bit-interleaved coded modulation' (BICM), considered the cutting-edge standard in the field. While more research is required to fully unveil the complexities of BICM, the technology has already begun making its way into different communication applications from mobile telephony to digital video broadcasting. Indeed, BICM is expected to become the most popular future telecommunications standard. In this context, B-FUN evaluated maximum transmission rates in order to improve the design of BICM systems and achieve the best possible performance. In more technical terms, it exploited mathematical models and simulations to study the asymptotic performance of achievable BICM rates in high and low signal-to-noise ratio environments. The project team made considerable progress in this respect and disseminated its results through a number of key journals, university talks, global conferences and online sources. Expected benefits include in-depth insight into the latest coding and modulation systems in the telecommunications industry and improved designs of BICM systems. This is expected to lead to advanced communication systems in order to overcome the decrease in bandwidth and take wireless communication to the next level.


Bandwidth, wireless communication, modulation, coding, bit-interleaved coded modulation

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