Tutorial: Navigating Through the Maze of Digital Communication Options in the 21st Century

  • Room: Meridian 1
Monday, October 29, 2018: 2:00 PM - 5:00 PM


Bernard Sklar, Ph.D.
Director of Advanced Systems
Communications Engineering Services


This whirlwind tutorial uses novel, easy-to-understand ways to explain our industry's most creative technologies such as OFDM, SC-OFDM, MIMO, and MU-MIMO. We start with a "road-map" of important concepts, and learn how to make reasonable design choices for bandwidthlimited, power-limited, both bandwidth and power-limited systems, while interweaving the subtle relationships among SNR, bandwidth, time, capacity, and robustness. We emphasize multipath channels and the winning techniques to mitigate their degrading effects. We also show how OFDM has "paved the way" for MIMO, a "game-changing" development, which will undoubtedly be specified in all future wireless standards. The tutorial is intended for seasoned engineers who might have forgotten some of the essentials that drive all systems, but beginners should have no difficulty in following the fast pace. Our goal is to organize and clarify how to navigate through this wondrous 21st century maze. The notes have about 200 slides dealing with issues such as: The things we ought to know. Insight gained by equating "like things" to "like things." What did Shannon teach us about capacity, bandwidth and power? The two basic classes of signaling - different as day and night. Design choices for various channel types. Small-scale fading, and how to avoid worst-cases. Understanding the creativity of OFDM and SC-OFDM. How pre-coding with "dirty-paper coding (DPC)" removes interference. How to get it all synchronized. Knowing our resources and requirements, how to make wise choices.