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Digital Modulation for

Wireless Communications
Dr. Miguel Rodrigues
Laboratory for Communication Engineering
Department of Engineering, University of Cambridge
E-mail: mrdr3@eng.cam.ac.uk
Agenda
 Introduction

 Pulse shaping techniques

 Multi-carrier modulation

Introduction

Input Input Source Channel Digital

Signal Transducer Encoder Encoder Modulator

Channel

Output Output Source Channel Digital

Signal Transducer Decoder Decoder Demodulator

Basic Elements of a Digital Communication System

How to choose the
Digital Modulation Method?
 Criteria to take into account when choosing the digital
modulation method:
 Power efficiency, i.e., the Eb/N0 ratio for a specific error
probability

bandwidth

 Performance on multipath fading channels and under

non-linear distortion

 Conflicting requirements that cannot be satisfied

simultaneously
Binary Amplitude Shift Keying

t
0 Tb 2Tb 3Tb 0 Tb 2Tb 3Tb
t
1 0 1 1 0 1
Unipolar NRZ binary signal Binary ASK or OOK

Carrier

Bandwidth ≈ 1/Tb Hz
Bandwidth efficiency = 1 bps/Hz
Binary Phase Shift Keying

t
0 Tb 2Tb 3Tb 0 Tb 2Tb 3Tb
t
1 0 1 1 0 1
Polar NRZ binary signal Binary PSK

Carrier

Bandwidth ≈ 1/Tb Hz
Bandwidth efficiency = 1 bps/Hz
Binary Frequency Shift Keying
 Two different ways of generation of FSK
 The outputs of two oscillators are selected according to
the baseband binary data ⇒ discontinuous phase

 The output of a single oscillator is frequency modulated

by the baseband binary data ⇒ continuous phase

0 Tb 2Tb 3Tb t 0 Tb 2Tb 3Tb

t

1 0 1 1 0 1
Discontinuous Phase FSK Continuous Phase FSK

 FSK is a constant envelope modulation scheme ⇒

good performance under non-linear distortion
Minimum Shift Keying
 MSK or “fast” FSK is a special type of continuous
phase FSK

 In MSK the frequency separation between the two

tones is ∆f=1/(2Tb)

 ∆f=1/(2Tb) is the minimum frequency separation that

is necessary to ensure orthogonality between the two
tones over the signaling interval of length Tb

 The power efficiency of MSK is similar to the power

efficiency of BPSK

 The bandwidth efficiency of MSK is twice the

bandwidth efficiency of BPSK
Gaussian Minimum Shift Keying
 GMSK is a derivative of MSK

 In GMSK the baseband binary data is first Gaussian

pulse shaped before frequency modulating a carrier ⇒
smoother phase trajectory

 The 3dB bandwidth-bit duration product of the

Gaussian filter (BTb) is a parameter that measures the
performance of GMSK

 A lower value of BTb implies a narrower bandwidth but

more ISI ⇒ bandwidth efficient but power inefficient

 A higher value of BTb implies a wider bandwidth but

less ISI ⇒ bandwidth inefficient but power efficient
Comparison of Binary
Modulation Schemes

Power Spectrum of Selected Bit Error Rate of Selected

Binary Modulation Schemes Binary Modulation Schemes
M-ary Modulation
 A group of n bits is transmitted in each signaling
interval T=log2(M)Tb

 In M-ASK a group of n bits is transmitted using M=2n

different amplitudes

different phases

 In M-FSK a group of n bits is transmitted using M=2n

different frequencies

 Quadrature amplitude modulation (QAM) uses a

combination of amplitude and phase modulation to
convey the information
Constellations
 A constellation diagram is a graphical representation of
the complex envelope of each possible symbol state

 The power efficiency is related to the minimum distance

between the points in the constellation Quadrature
component

 The bandwidth efficiency is

related to the number of points
in the constellation dmin

groups of bits to each component
constellation point

constellation points differ by a
single bit Constellation diagram
M-ary Amplitude Shift Keying

10 00 11 10
I
Bandwidth ≈ 1/T = 1/(log2(M)Tb) Hz
Bandwidth efficiency = log2(M) bps/Hz Gray coded 4-ASK constellation

 dmin smaller for M-ASK than for M-PSK or M-QAM for the
same average transmitted power ⇒ poorer error performance

 Envelope not constant ⇒ poor performance under non-linear

distortion
M-ary Phase Shift Keying
Q
0110
0111 0010
0101 0011

0100 0001

1100 0000
Bandwidth ≈ 1/T = 1/(log2(M)Tb) Hz I
1101 1000
Bandwidth efficiency = log2(M) bps/Hz
1111 1001

1110 1011
 dmin smaller for M-PSK than for M-QAM 1010

for the same average transmitted Gray coded 16-PSK

constellation
power ⇒ poorer error performance

distortion
Modulation
Q

Bandwidth ≈ 1/T = 1/(log2(M)Tb) Hz

1110 1100 0100 0110 I
Bandwidth efficiency = log2(M) bps/Hz

1111 1101 0101 0111

 dmin larger for M-QAM than for M-ASK or
M-PSK for the same average transmitted
power ⇒ better error performance Gray coded 16-QAM
constellation

 Envelope not constant ⇒ poor performance under non-linear

distortion
Generation of M-ary Digital Signals
cos(2πfct)

In-phase
component
M-ary digital signal

component
-sin(2πfct)

 In M-ASK the in-phase component is an M-level NRZ baseband

signal and the quadrature component is zero
 In M-PSK the in-phase and quadrature components are M-level
NRZ baseband signals
 In M-QAM the in-phase and quadrature components are √M-level
NRZ baseband signals
 The amplitude of the in-phase/quadrature component is given by
the I/Q value of the point of the constellation to be transmitted
Comparison of M-ary
Modulation Schemes

Power Spectrum of Selected Bit Error Rate of Selected

M-ary Modulation Schemes M-ary Modulation Schemes
Pulse Shaping Techniques

requirement

 Nyquist techniques reduce the bandwidth requirement

and eliminate intersymbol interference

 Non-Nyquist techniques reduce the bandwidth

requirement but do not eliminate intersymbol
interference
Nyquist Techniques

-2T -T T 2T -1/(2T) 1/(2T)

Time Domain Pulse Spectrum

There is no ISI

0 T 2T 3T 4T

1 0 1 1 0
Nyquist Techniques
(Raised Cosine Family)
α=0
α = 0.5
α=1

Time Domain Pulse Spectrum

Non-Nyquist Techniques
α1> α2
α2 α1

α1 α2

Time Domain Pulse Spectrum

There is ISI

0 T 2T 3T 4T

1 0 1 1 0
QPSK, Offset-QPSK and π/4-QPSK
 QPSK has a constant envelope when rectangular pulse
shaping is used ⇒ good performance under non-linear
distortion

 QPSK looses the constant envelope property when

other pulse shapes are used ⇒ poor performance
under non-linear distortion

 The aim of O-QPSK and π/4-QPSK is to minimise

envelope variations by eliminating 180° phase
transitions

 In O-QPSK and π/4-QPSK the maximum phase shift at

any given time is limited to ±90° and ±135°
respectively
QPSK, Offset-QPSK and π/4-QPSK
Q Q

I I

O-QPSK constellation π/4-QPSK constellation

and permitted trajectories and permitted trajectories
Multi-carrier Modulation
 In a single carrier modulation scheme each data symbol
is transmitted sequentially on a single carrier ⇒
signalling interval equal to data symbol duration

 In a single carrier modulation scheme the modulated

carrier occupies the entire available bandwidth

 In a multi-carrier modulation scheme N sequential data

symbols are transmitted simultaneously on N multiple
carriers ⇒ signalling interval equal to N times data
symbol duration

 In a multi-carrier modulation scheme each modulated

carrier occupies only a small part of the entire available
bandwidth
Multi-carrier Modulation
Single carrier ≈1/T

0 T 2T 3T 4T
fc
Carrier
Spectrum
T: single carrier signal symbol duration

Multi-carrier Carrier 1
≈1/NT ≈1/NT ≈1/NT

Carrier 2
...

s/p ..
0 T 2T 3T 4T .
Carrier N fc1 fc2 fcN
Spectrum
NT: multi-carrier signal symbol duration
Multi-carrier Modulation
on Multipath Channels
path 2
Two-path channel path 1
relative delay = T’
 Time domain interpretation
path 1 path 1
... ... ... ...
0 T 2T 3T 4T Significant 0 NT 2NT Negligible
path 2 ISI path 2 ISI
... ... ... ...

0 T’ T+T’ 2T +T’ 3T +T’ 4T +T’ 0 T’ NT+T’ 2NT+T’

Single-
Single-carrier case Multi-
Multi-carrier case

 Frequency domain interpretation

Two-path channel Two-path channel
frequency response frequency response
...

Significant Negligible
fc distortion fc1 fc2 fcN distortion
Single-
Single-carrier case Multi-
Multi-carrier case
Orthogonal Frequency Division
Multiplexing
 OFDM is a multi-carrier modulation scheme

 In OFDM the frequency spacing between adjacent

sub-carriers is ∆f=1/(NT)

 ∆f=1/(NT) is the minimum frequency separation that

is necessary to ensure orthogonality between the sub-
carriers over the signalling interval of length NT

 In OFDM the frequency spectrum of each sub-carrier

overlaps the frequency spectrum of adjacent sub-
carriers
Orthogonal Frequency Division
Multiplexing
OFDM Transmitter

Converter

Converter

Converter
Converter

IFFT

D/A
P/S
S/P

Up
...

...
Input

Converter

Converter
Converter
Converter
Down

A/D

FFT

P/S
S/P

OFDM signal Serial Data

...

...
Output
Orthogonal Frequency Division
Multiplexing
 Good performance under delay spread conditions
(a characteristic of multipath channels)
 Bandwidth efficiency
 Easier to equalise when compared to single carrier
signals
 Poor performance under Doppler spread conditions
(a characteristic of time-varying channels)
 Large Peak-to-average power ratio (PAPR) ⇒ poor
performance under non-linear distortion
 More sensitive to frequency offset and phase noise when
compared to single carrier signals
 In spread spectrum modulation the transmitted spectrum is
spread over a range much greater than the message
bandwidth

 In direct sequence spread spectrum (DS-SS) the transmitted

spectrum is spread by multiplying the signal by a wide-band
pseudo-noise (PN) sequence

 In frequency hopped spread spectrum (FH-SS) the transmitted

spectrum is spread by modulating the signal onto a wide-
band series of frequencies generated by a frequency
synthesiser driven by a pseudo-noise (PN) sequence

 The ratio of the transmitted signal spectrum to the message

spectrum is the known as the bandwidth expansion factor or
the processing gain
DS-SS Transmitter

PN Generator
Carrier

DS-SS Signal Demodulator Data

Data

PN Generator
Carrier
DS-SS Transmitter Operation
Waveforms Spectra
≈1/T
... ... Data

0 T 2T
t
0

... ≈1/T
... T
BPSK signal

0 2T t
fc

... ... PN sequence ≈1/Tc

0 Tc T 2T t
0
... ... DS-
DS-SS signal ≈1/Tc

0 2T t
Tc T fc
Waveforms Spectra
≈1/Tc
... ... DS-
DS-SS signal

0 2T t
fc
Tc T
≈1/Tc
... ... PN sequence

0 Tc T 2T t
0

≈1/T
... ... BPSK signal
T
0 2T t
fc

... ... Data

≈1/T

0 T 2T
t
0
FH-SS Transmitter

Frequency
2k frequencies
Synthesiser
Carrier 1 ... k

PN Generator

FH-SS Signal BPF Demodulator Data

Frequency
2k frequencies
Synthesiser
1 ... k
Carrier

PN Generator
on Multipath Channels
path 2
Two-path channel path 1
relative delay = T’
 Time domain interpretation
path 1 path 1
... ... ... ...
0 T 2T 0 2T
Path 2 contributes Path 2 contributes
T
path 2 with equal power path 2 with lower power
... ... ... ...

0 T’ T+T’ 2T+T’ 0 T’ 2T+T’

T+T’
Ordinary modulation case Spread Spectrum modulation case

 Frequency domain interpretation

Two-path channel Two-path channel
frequency response frequency response

Significant Negligible
fc distortion fc distortion
Ordinary modulation case Spread Spectrum modulation case
and CW Interference

Interference

⇒ lower interference spectral density in
the message pass-band
Synchronisation:
Acquisition and Tracking
 Proper operation requires synchronisation or alignment of

 Synchronisation or alignment of transmitter and receiver

firstly an acquisition phase and finally a tracking phase.

 In the acquisition phase a coarse alignment between

carried out to within half a chip

 In the tracking phase a fine alignment between

carrier out using PLL techniques
Multiple Access Techniques

 A single channel can be used by multiple users using

some sort of multiple access technique
 In time division multiple access (TDMA) different users
are assigned different time slots but are jumbled together
in the frequency domain
 In frequency division multiple access (FDMA) different
users are assigned different frequency slots but are
jumbled together in the time domain
 In code division multiple access (CDMA) different users
transmit at the same time and in the same frequency
band but are assigned different orthogonal codes, i.e.,
codes for which the auto-correlation function is nearly an
impulse and the cross-correlation function is nearly zero
Summary

 A range of binary and M-ary modulation methods

have been introduced and compared

 A range of pulse shaping techniques have been

introduced and compared

 Principles of multi-carrier modulation and spread

spectrum modulation have been explained