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Power Efficiency Comparison of OFDM and Single-Carrier Signals

Hideki Ochiai

Department of Information & Communication Engineering The University of Electro-Communications 1-5-1 Chofugaoka, Chofu-shi, Tokyo, 182-8585, Japan email: ochiai@ice.uec.ac.jp

Abstract—The power efficiency of the linear modulation signals in terms of the required output back-off of the power amplifier is analyzed and com- pared, based on a simple approach that deals only with the knowledge of the statistical distribution of the instantaneous power of the input signals. The proposed method may also be useful for predicting the efficiency of the peak-to-average power reduction techniques for single-carrier and OFDM signals for a given level of the adjacent channel power ratio. As widely recognized, the result shows that the efficiency of the OFDM signal is con- siderably poor without peak power reduction. Thus the improvement of the power efficiency by the simple clipping and filtering is also studied.

I. INTRODUCTION

Growing demand for communications systems with high transmission rate and paucity of bandwidth resource have ren- dered linear modulation signaling indispensable. In particular, the orthogonal frequency-division multiplexing (OFDM) signal- ing has manifested itself in a variety of recent high-rate applica- tions such as digital subscriber lines, digital broadcasting, and wireless local area networks. One major and quite obvious drawback of the high-rate linear modulation compared to conventional constant envelope modu- lation is its large dynamic range of the complex envelope, which makes linear amplification extremely challenging. The power amplifier (PA) typically exhibits nonlinear characteristics as the signal input power approaches its saturation region, and this nonlinear amplification not only causes in-band distortion but also yields out-of-band radiation. The in-band distortion may be considerably alleviated by powerful channel coding. The out-of-band radiation, on the other hand, leads to adjacent chan- nel interference (ACI) and, in most of wireless applications, the allowable amount of adjacent channel power ratio (ACPR) is strictly specified by regulations to maintain the overall spectral efficiency. To circumvent severe nonlinear amplification, a large input back-off of the amplifier operation as well as a sophisticated linearization technique may be necessary, which in turn leads to prohibitively low efficiency of the PA. If no adjacent channel interference is allowed, the signal must be fully “backed off” according to the peak-to-average power ratio (PAR) of the input signals. In some applications, however, a limited amount of the ACPR may be acceptable, in which case the efficiency of the system with a given ACPR becomes of major concern. In this paper, we calculate and compare the power efficiency of the linear modulation signals for a given permissible non-

This work was supported in part by the Telecommunications Advancement Foundation (TAF) of Japan.

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linear distortion level. For this purpose, we propose a simple analytical method to evaluate the power efficiency of the sig- nals. Conventional analysis of the nonlinear system requires the knowledge of the second-order statistics of the input and output signals with the measured power amplifier model, which involves much complicated processes. On the contrary, our ap- proach only deals with the statistical distribution of the instanta- neous power of the signals with soft envelope limiter and it does not take any other specific PA model into account. This signifi- cantly simplifies the analysis, but it may not delineate practical system impairment. Nevertheless, it has been empirically shown [1] that the input instantaneous power distribution of the signal is a reasonable measure to estimate the corresponding ACPR. Furthermore, our simulation results show that the approach may be in fact useful if the actual power amplifier is close to ideal soft envelope limiter. A more elaborate analysis can be found in [2], where a new figure of merit is introduced that combines the PA and signal bandwidth efficiency for a given target bit-error rate (BER). It has been well recognized that the OFDM signaling is ex- tremely sensitive to the nonlinearity of the channel [3], and without PAR reduction at the baseband before amplification, the amplifier efficiency becomes prohibitively low. The clipping and filtering [4–6] may be simplest and most practical approach when the information transmission rate per subcarrier is low [6]. The post filtering may avoid the out-of-band radiation due to the clipping, whereas the in-band distortion can be compensated by channel coding. However, if the out-of-band radiation is allow- able to some extent, it is not clear how much benefit the clipping and filtering technique can offer. Thus, the achievable improve- ment in power efficiency by the clipping and filtering is also investigated for the OFDM signals. Throughout the paper, the memoryless PA is considered, and the AM/AM characteristic of the PA is assumed as a soft enve- lope limiter, since this will significantly simplify our subsequent analysis. This assumption may be valid if the PA is ideally lin- earized by the linearization techniques such as adaptive predis- tortion [7].

II. POWER EFFICIENCY ANALYSIS OF SIGNALS

Let f (p ) denote the probability density function (pdf) of the instantaneous power p = |s (t )| 2 of the complex baseband signal s (t ) normalized such that the average input power is unity, i.e.,

P in = E [p ] = pf (p )dp = 1 .

0

Suppose that this signal is nonlinearly amplified, and the output instantaneous power q is given by

q

= Ag (p )

(1)

where the constant A 1 corresponds to the amplifier gain. The AM/AM characteristic g (p ) is assumed to satisfy

g (p ) p

for 0 <p<

(2)

and the maximum of the instantaneous output power is bounded as

(3)

0<p< Ag (p ) = P max

max

where P max corresponds to the saturation instantaneous power of the amplifier. The assumption of (2) may be reasonable for linearized or quasi-linearized amplifiers, which is of interest in this paper. Without loss of generality, the gain A is assumed to be unity in the following for simplicity. The average output power is then given by

P out = E [q ] = P max g (p )f (p )dp

0

(4)

and due to the property (2), P out 1 . The output back-off (OBO) can be defined as

OBO P max .

P out

(5)

The average power of the nonlinear distortion component caused by the nonlinearity of the PA is given by

P d = 1 P out .

(6)

Note that due to the normalization, P d can be also seen as an average output distortion-to-input signal power ratio, and in the following, we simply refer to P d as the average distortion power ratio (ADPR). The OBO is an important measure for the amplifier efficiency. For example, the average efficiency of the class A amplifier may be expressed as [8]

(7)

η A = 1

1

2 OBO .

Apparently, the average efficiency of the class A amplifier is inversely proportional to the OBO, and the maximum of 50% is achieved only when OBO=1. Therefore, in this paper, the relation between OBO and the ADPR P d in (6) is of particular interest. Given the distribution of the normalized instantaneous power f (p ) of the baseband sig- nal and the amplifier characteristic g (p ), one can obtain the rela- tion of P d and OBO or η A according to (4)–(7). In what follows, g (p ) is further restricted to a soft envelope limiter.

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A. Soft Envelope Limiter Case

For the soft envelope limiter model, the instantaneous output power is given by

g (p ) =

P max ,

p,

p>P max p P max

(8)

where P max corresponds to the threshold above which the in- stantaneous signal power is clipped. Substituting (8) into (4), one can write

P out = P max

0

pf (p )dp + P max

P max

f (p )dp.

(9)

Integrating the first term by parts with some simplification, one may obtain

P out = P max

0

F

c (p )dp

(10)

where F c (p ) denotes the complementary cumulative distribu- tion function (ccdf) of the instantaneous power p, i.e.,

F c (p 0 )

p

0

f (p )dp = Pr [p>p 0 ]

(11)

for a given threshold instantaneous power

Therefore, in the case of soft envelope limiter model, the eval-

uation procedure can be simplified as follows: Given the ccdf of the instantaneous power of the modulated signals, which may be obtained by either theoretical analysis or simulation, calculate P out and P d from (10) and (6), respectively, with P max being an intermediate parameter. The relation between OBO and P d then follows from (5).

p 0 .

B. Complex Gaussian Signals

If the ccdf of the instantaneous power of the modulated sig- nals can be described analytically, then an explicit closed-from expression may be obtained. For the OFDM signals with a rel- atively large number of subcarriers, it can be well approximated as a complex Gaussian process. The ccdf of the normalized in- stantaneous power of the Gaussian signal is given by the expo-

nential distribution

(12)

From (10), (5), and (6), the OBO of the Gaussian signal with the soft envelope limiter can be expressed as

F

c (p ) = e p .

ln

P d

OBO = 1 P d .

(13)

III. SIGNAL MODEL

Throughout the paper, the following two cases are considered for modulated signals.

A. Single-Carrier Signals

For the band-limited single-carrier case with a linear modula- tion, the complex baseband signal can be written as

s (t ) =

n =−∞

h (t nT )d n

(14)

where T is the Nyquist symbol period, h (t ) is an impulse re- sponse of the pulse shaping filter, and d n is the nth complex data. In this paper, the square-root raised-cosine filter with roll- off factor α will be considered as a sample pulse shaping filter. We will evaluate QPSK, π/ 4 -shift QPSK, and square (rectangu- lar) and cross M -QAM for the complex data sequence d n .

B. OFDM Signals

For the band-limited OFDM signal with N subcarriers, the complex baseband signal can be expressed as

s (t ) =

N1

n

= −∞

w (t nT s )

k

=0

d k e j 2π

k

T

u

( tnT s )

(15)

where w (t ) is a windowing function, T s is the OFDM symbol period, T u = NT is the effective (useful) OFDM symbol pe- riod, and d k is the complex data of the k th subcarrier. We do not consider the guard interval in the following evaluation. The OFDM signal can be also band-limited by pulse shaping filter, but the use of windowing as above may have several implemen- tation advantages [9]. For w (t ), the following raised-cosine win- dow with a roll-off β will be considered [10]:

w (t) =

0

1

,

2

1

1

,

2

0

,

1 cos

1 + cos

βT u ( t +

π

βT u ) ,

βT u ( t T u ) ,

π

t ≤ −βT u

βT u <t< 0 0 t T u

T u <t< (1 + β )T u

t (1 + β )T u

Hence, T s = (1 + β )T u , and the reduction of the transmission

1+ β for a

given bandwidth. The insertion of the guard interval may further

reduce the effective transmission rate.

rate due to the windowing function is by a factor of

1

C. Clipping and Filtering

In practice, the OFDM signal may be deliberately clipped in the baseband process, and the out-of-band power is removed by the filtering prior to the power amplification [4–6]. In particular, if the filtering is designed to be rectangular as in [6], the out- of-band radiation due to this clipping can be completely elimi- nated. However, the filtering process results in the peak power regrowth, which should be considered carefully. As a parameter of severity of clipping, the clipping ratio γ is defined as [6]

(16)

A max

ˆ

P

in

γ =

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where A max is the maximum amplitude over which the the clip-

ˆ

ping with soft envelope limiter is performed, and P in is the aver-

age power of the OFDM signal prior to the deliberate clipping. For notational convenience, following [6] γ = 0 denotes hard

envelope limiting. To effectively reduce the peak power, the OFDM should be

oversampled before clipping, as shown in [11]. This oversam- pling may also alleviate the degradation caused by the clipping distortion. Let J denote the oversampling factor prior to the clipping. Based on the theoretical analysis in [6], the average signal-to-distortion ratio (SDR) of this system can be readily calculated as in Fig. 1. In practice, the SDR should be less than the operating signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) such that the degrada- tion caused by clipping is negligible, or, at least recoverable by the channel coding. Note that additional degradation may occur due to the in-band distortion caused by the nonlinear amplifica- tion, which should also be estimated into the system margin in practice.

60 J = 1 J = 2 50 J = 16 40 30 20 10
60
J
=
1
J
=
2
50
J
= 16
40
30
20
10
0
0
0.5
1
1.5
2
2.5
3
Average Signal-to-Distortion Ratio [dB]

Fig. 1.

Clipping Ratio γ

Achievable average SDR versus clipping ratio. (Calculated with N =

64, but noticeable difference is not observed for large N .)

IV. NUMERICAL RESULTS

The computer simulation has been performed to investigate the relation between the OBO and the ADPR P d . The results are obtained by calculating the ccdf of the instantaneous power of the signals based on the Monte-Carlo method and with (10), i.e., the soft envelope limiter is assumed for the PA model through- out simulations. All the continuous and band-limited baseband signals are sampled at 16-time the Nyquist rate.

A. Comparison of OBO of Single-Carrier Signals

Fig. 2 shows the OBO of the single-carrier signals pulse- shaped by the square-root raised-cosine filter with a roll-off fac- tor α = 0 .35 , which is a typical value chosen in the standard

such as IS-54. Note that the peak power distribution of the pulse-

shaped signal is very sensitive to the value of α [12], and as α

approaches zero for higher bandwidth efficiency, the augmen- tation of the PAR as well as the required OBO becomes pro- hibitive. As one can observe from the figure, as the acceptable P d decreases, the π/ 4 -shift QPSK signal results in lower OBO than the standard QPSK, while for relatively large P d , the stan- dard QPSK signal becomes preferable, which agrees with the argument in [1]. Compared to the conventional square QAM, the cross QAM may result in lower OBO as the acceptable P d decreases. This is in accordance with the PAR property of the given constellation without pulse-shaping, since the cross QAM generally yields smaller PAR than that of the square QAM. The theoretical value of the Gaussian signal, i.e., (13), is also plotted as a reference.

0 10 Square QAM Cross QAM -1 10 Gauss -2 10 16 32 128 256
0
10
Square QAM
Cross QAM
-1
10
Gauss
-2
10
16
32
128
256
-3
10
QPSK
π/ 4 -QPSK
-4
10
Average Distortion Power Ratio P d

0

123456

Output Back-Off [dB]

Fig. 2.

Comparison of OBO with respect to the ADPR of single-carrier signal

(α = 0. 35)

B. Comparison of OBO of the Clipped OFDM Signals

Fig. 3 shows the OBO of the OFDM signal with time-domain raised-cosine windowing with roll-off β = 0 .125 . In all the re- sults, the number of subcarriers N is 64, and each subcarrier is modulated by 16-QAM. It is observed that without peak power reduction, the OBO of the OFDM signal approaches that of the Gaussian as expected. Furthermore, the resultant OBO signif- icantly depends on the clipping ratio γ. Note that the clipping ratio γ should be determined based on the required SDR; if the average SDR should be kept larger than, say 30 dB for the coded system, then from Fig. 1, γ should be larger than 2.0. Fig. 4 highlights the relation between the clipping ratio and the resultant OBO, with P d being a parameter. The dotted lines in the figure represent the corresponding OBO of Gaussian sig- nals, which may serve as reference values for those without clip- ping. For small P d , the benefit of the use of clipping and filtering becomes apparent, but for a low P d with a relatively large γ, the OBO reduction becomes marginal. Therefore, careful design of the clipping and filtering may be required when the ACI is al- lowed for the system.

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0 10 Clipped OFDM No Reduction Gauss -1 10 -2 10 -3 10 γ= 0
0
10
Clipped OFDM
No Reduction
Gauss
-1
10
-2
10
-3
10
γ= 0
1.0
1.5
2.0
2.5
-4
10
Average Distortion Power Ratio P d

0369

Fig. 3.

Output Back-Off [dB]

Comparison of OBO with respect to the ADPR of OFDM signal (64

subcarriers, 16-QAM, clipping oversampling rate J = 16)

P d = 10 -4 9 P d = 10 -3 6 P d =
P d = 10 -4
9
P d = 10 -3
6
P d = 10 -2
P d = 10 -1
3
Clipped OFDM
Gauss
0
0
0.5
1
1.5
2
2.5
3
Output Back-Off [dB]

Clipping Ratio γ

Fig. 4. Comparison of OBO with respect to the clipping ratio and the ADPR of OFDM signal (64 subcarriers, 16-QAM, clipping oversampling rate J =

16)

C. Average

Efficiency

OFDM Signals

Comparison

of

Single-Carrier

and

From the results of the OBO above, the average power effi- ciency of the class A PA can be estimated. Fig. 5 compares the efficiency of single-carrier and OFDM signals. The OFDM with clipping can achieve higher efficiency than 16-QAM and 256- QAM if γ is chosen as low as 1.0. Note, however, that in this case the achievable SDR is only 10 dB, and if the transmission rate is high, the reliable communication becomes impossible [6].

D. Power Spectra

The above analysis only deals with the statistical distribution of the instantaneous power and does not take into account the second-order statistics of the nonlinearly amplified signals. In

0 10 Square QAM Clipped OFDM -1 10 γ= 2.0 256 γ= 1.0 γ= 0
0
10
Square QAM
Clipped OFDM
-1
10
γ= 2.0
256
γ= 1.0
γ= 0
-2
10
16
Gauss
QPSK
-3
10
π/ 4 -QPSK
-4
10
50
40
30
20
10
0
Average Efficiency
η A
[%]
Average Distortion Power Ratio P d
Power Spectral Density [dB]

Fig. 5.

Comparison of average efficiency of the class A amplifier for various

signals with linear modulation.

0 π/ 4 -QPSK 16-QAM OFDM (γ= 2.0) P d = 10 -1 P d
0
π/ 4 -QPSK
16-QAM
OFDM (γ= 2.0)
P d = 10 -1
P d = 10 -2
P d = 10 -3
0
0.5
1
1.5
2

-20

-40

-60

Normalized Bandwidth 1 /T

Fig. 6. Achievable average SDR versus clipping ratio.

practice, the ACPR of the power spectra is restricted by the reg- ulation, and thus evaluation of the relation between the ADPR P d and the corresponding spectra is necessary for each of mod- ulated signals. We have calculated the estimated spectra of the nonlinearly amplified signals based on average periodogram. As mentioned, the PA model is the soft envelope limiter. The result is given in Fig. 6 for several modulated signals. The scale of the abscissa is normalized by the Nyquist rate. Since the pulse- shaping filter of α = 0 .35 is applied for the single-carrier sig- nals, the main-lobe is spread by a factor of 1.35, while for the OFDM, the spectral spread of the main-lobe, which is deter- mined by the window function, is small. However, it should be noted that since β = 0 .125 is used in the simulation, there is an expansion in the time domain by a factor of 1.125. It is observed from the figure that the ACPR of the spectra due to the soft envelope limiter yields similar values for all the modulated signals compared as long as the ADPR is the same. These results may justify the use of the ADPR as an evaluation parameter for the severity of the out-of-band radiation due to nonlinearity instead of evaluating the actual ACPR of the spec- tra, which may require more tedious work for accurate estima- tion. From the figure, it may be worthwhile to point out the fol- lowing rule of thumb for the soft envelope limiter; if the ACPR must be below -40 dB and -50 dB, then the ADPR should be less than 10 2 (-20 dB) and 10 3 (-30 dB), respectively.

V. C ONCLUSIONS

In this paper, the power efficiency of the OFDM and single- carrier signals have been evaluated. For this purpose, we have developed a simple method to derive the relation between the OBO and a given distortion power due to nonlinearity of the PA. In the case of the soft envelope limiter, this can be done by simply deriving the complementary cumulative distribution of the instantaneous power of the modulated baseband signals. The spectral analysis based on the simulations shows that the

ACPR and the ADPR are closely related, which justifies the use of the ADPR as an effective evaluation parameter instead of the actual ACPR, at least for the soft envelope limiter model. Since the OFDM signal behaves as Gaussian and thus shows prohibitively low power efficiency, the combination of the OFDM with a simple clipping and filtering technique has been investigated for a possible peak power reduction. The results suggest that the benefit of such an approach may depend on the allowable ADPR as well as the SDR, and as the required SDR increases or the ADPR decreases, the benefit of the clipping be- comes smaller, in which case the use of other effective peak power reduction techniques should be necessary.

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