Open Access

A Soft Detector with Good Performance/Complexity Trade-Off for a MIMO System

EURASIP Journal on Advances in Signal Processing20042004:414298

Received: 30 May 2003

Published: 19 August 2004


We present a hybrid soft detector that has a good performance/complexity trade-off for a multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) wireless communication system with known channel information. The new soft detector combines the merits of a simple unstructured least-squares (LS)-based soft detector and a list sphere decoder (LSD)-based soft detector for data bit detection. The former is computationally much more efficient than the latter at the cost of poorer performance. The poor performance of the former occurs mainly when the channel matrix is ill-conditioned. Whenever this happens, we use the LSD-based soft detector in the hybrid soft detector; otherwise, we use the LS-based one. Moreover, we provide a tight radius for a sphere decoder, a hard detector, via using the output of an LS-based hard detector. These two hard detectors are needed to determine if LS or LSD should be used in the hybrid soft detector. As an application example, we consider doubling the maximum data rate of the IEEE 802.11a conformable wireless local area networks by a MIMO system with two transmit and two receive antennas. For this application, the new soft detector is about 10 times faster than the LSD-based one and is about 10 times slower than the LS-based one. Yet the packet error rate due to using the new soft detector is quite close to that of using the LSD-based one.

Keywords and phrases

BLASTMIMOsoft detectorconvolutional codesOFDMWLAN