Wireless Mantra of the Week: Channel Coding in 5G NR

Mantra. 5G NR introduces new coding techniques of polar coding and LDPC coding to replace convolutional coding and turbo coding, respectively.

Brief Explanation. Two main coding techniques in LTE are convolutional coding and turbo coding. Convolutional coding is simple and used to protect few bits of information such as physical layer (PDCCH) signaling that allocates radio resources to a UE. In contrast, turbo coding is used to protect user traffic (carried by PDSCH) because it is more powerful in protecting a large number bits. In 5G, in essence, polar coding replaces convolutional coding and Low Density Parity Check (LDPC) coding replaces turbo coding. Polar coding and LDPC coding are more powerful (i.e., capable of correcting more errors introduced by the radio channel) than convolutional and LDPC coding, respectively. LDPC coding is also more power-efficient, consuming less processing power. In summary, new coding techniques in 5G NR contribute toward making 5G more efficient than LTE.

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