Open Access

A MIMO System with Backward Compatibility for OFDM-Based WLANs

EURASIP Journal on Advances in Signal Processing20042004:101842

Received: 16 December 2002

Published: 23 May 2004


Orthogonal frequency division multiplexing (OFDM) has been selected as the basis for the new IEEE 802.11a standard for high-speed wireless local area networks (WLANs). We consider doubling the transmission data rate of the IEEE 802.11a system by using two transmit and two receive antennas. We propose a preamble design for this multi-input multi-output (MIMO) system that is backward compatible with its single-input single-output (SISO) counterpart as specified by the IEEE 802.11a standard. Based on this preamble design, we devise a sequential method for the estimation of the carrier frequency offset (CFO), symbol timing, and MIMO channel response. We also provide a simple soft detector based on the unstructured least square approach to obtain the soft information for the Viterbi decoder. This soft detector is very simple since it decouples the multidimensional QAM symbol detection into multiple one-dimensional QAM symbol—and further PAM symbol—detections. Both the sequential parameter estimation method and the soft detector can provide excellent overall system performance and are ideally suited for real-time implementations. The effectiveness of our methods is demonstrated via numerical examples.

Keywords and phrases

MIMO system OFDM WLAN symbol timing carrier synchronization channel estimation

Authors’ Affiliations

Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Florida


© Liu and Li 2004