Conventional symbol time (ST) synchronization algorithms for orthogonal frequency-division multiplexing (OFDM) systems are mostly based on the maximum correlation result of the cyclic prefix. Due to the channel effect, the estimated ST is not accurate enough. Hence, one needs to further identify the channel impulse response (CIR) so as to obtain a better ST estimation. Overall, the required computational complexity is high because it involves time-domain (TD) correlation operations, as well as the fast Fourier transform (FFT) and inverse FFT (IFFT) operations. In this work, without the FFT/IFFT operations and the knowledge of CIR, a low-complexity TD ST estimation is proposed. We first characterize the frequency-domain (FD) interference effect. Based on the derivation, the new method locates the symbol boundary at the sampling point with the minimum interference in the FD (instead of the conventional maximum TD correlation result). Moreover, to reduce the computational complexity, the proposed FD minimum-interference (MI) metric is converted to a low-complexity TD metric by utilizing Parseval's theorem and the sampling theory. Simulation results exhibit good performance for the proposed algorithm in multipath fading channels.
- Symbol time estimation